Will Mike Rounds run?

Mike Rounds

Kevin Woster at the Rapid City Journal wrote an interesting article where he interviews former Governor Rounds about the possibility of a 2014 Senate run.

Ask Mike Rounds what his campaign plans are for 2012 and he takes the coy road.

?None that I know of,? the former governor says. ?I?m a businessman these days.?

The dodge takes a different turn when you ask about 2014, however.

?Oh, you never know,? Rounds says.

Rounds is right, of course. We don?t know what he?ll be doing when the 2014 campaign cycle rolls around. But we do know that Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson will be up for re-election, should the three-term senator decide to try for four.

Woster discusses this idea with Northern State University professor Jon Shaff.

And Rounds? He?s a threat at any level of political campaign in South Dakota. And the fact that he has a new political action committee ? named the Peter Norbeck PAC ? leads some to believe he?s more than a little likely to make a run
for something in a few years.

?I think the creation of a PAC is an indication that Rounds is looking at doing something in 2014,? says John Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University in Aberdeen. ?It doesn?t take much imagination to guess that he has his eyes on the Johnson Senate seat.?

So what do you think? Are we going to see Mike Rounds return to politics? How formidable do you think he would be?

35 Replies to “Will Mike Rounds run?”

  1. Anonymous

    Well if there ever was a difference between Noem and Rounds worth giving a hoot about Noem is doing her best to blur the difference these days.

    I think we are hard on both of them. We had it good in SD under Rounds and Noem is better than SHS.

  2. Anonymous

    The only way a lot of conservative Repubicans would vote for Smilin’ Mike is if he was the only candidate running against Johnson. Half a brain is better than no brain, but neither of these career politicians are good for South Dakota. Please, somebody else… anybody else, would you please run to represent us?

  3. Anonymous

    Rounds ran structural deficits for 7 of his 8 years – even while the economy is good. He got by with it through luck when the state received several one-time influxes of cash, and when Pres. Obama sent massive stimulus funds to states in 2009-10. Rounds added over 1,000 jobs in state government over 8 years.

    Man could we use someone with a record like that in DC! If we send Rounds to the senate just think of all the borrowed money he can send to state government!! The good times will be back!!!

  4. Jake

    I think people are too hard on Rounds and Noem. I think they are both the same. Not overly conservative on a lot of issues. Noem keeps pretending to be really conservative because that is how she was elected. Rounds is conservative on social issues much like Noem and neither of them are liberal. They are just not idea people with a strong vision.

    If they are both the same than Rounds will win because he has more experience, never ran a negative campaign and his LG (daugaard) was elected with over 50% of the primary vote. Rounds also understands health care laws very well just like Noem understands ag issues.

    I would vote for Rounds because I think he would be a shoe in for the seat. Noem would likely have to face Herseth-Sandlin again and I worry she wouldn’t win without the wind at her back.

    Also I would like to see the GOP hold all of these seats. If we have a brutal Rounds v Noem primary then we might lose the senate seat and if we have an all out open primary for the House the same thing could happen. SHS and Brendan Johnson could easily win if we beat each other up.

      1. insomniac

        The problem for Noem is Josh Shields looks down on county party volunteers and that other guy who worked on the campaign he has running around DC with him doesn’t have the time of day for any volunteer on the planet. Stoick has some experience on the grassroots level but it’s been a long time for him and the activists have severely changed.

  5. Duh

    Rounds would have zero impact. Just another quiet, smiling white guy in a suit. Having deficits 7 of 8 years doesn’t help either. The only reason he left on a “high note” is that he didn’t make any tough decisions or piss anyone off. Hardly the metal that SD needs in DC.

      1. Les

        Smoking ban?(intrusive gov) Sanford funding?(misappropriation of aero funds) Abortion Law?(against the popular vote) Gorilla?? Would that be school laptop dollars?

        I’m sure those were tough decisions, just not necessarily right decisions. That said, Rounds over Noem any day.

  6. Duh

    USDALUM: I’ll give you the smoking ban. Abortion? A true GOP rubberstamp, big deal. Sanford lab? If I recall, our federal representatives did most of the heavy lifting, he was there for the photo op. I do recall that he flew to many meetings which ironically were to places that had family sporting events taking place. Nice. I’m sure he had to sign on the dotted line on some events but my overall view is simply: Political Lightweight. I want someone to WOW, he doesn’t command attention, he’s just there. No different than Pressler, Miller, et. all.

    Old Guy

    – Dems side, don’t care.

    GOP side:

    Noem for Senate.

    ??? for House. Jackley (Doubtful he’ll do it), Matt Michaels, Dusty, Curd (He’s smart as a whip) however, his riding the fence on political contributions is somewhat unnerving, but I do understand his tactic, medically speaking.

    1. insomniac

      Well none of those issues worked against Daugaard in the primary. He got over 50% of the vote also.

      I think there are a small amount of people who don’t like Rounds and the rest are happy with him.

      Is he perfect? No. Would he vote 99% of the time with John Thune? Yes. So if Thune is ok then Rounds is also.

    2. Why do I even read these blogs

      Duh, for the record Gov Round actually paid for every trip he used the state plane for to an event of his children. Therefore he saved the state money not only by being one of the pilots but paying or trip out of his own pocket.
      As for the Sanford Lab – he spent countless days away from his family in Washington DC making sure that funding was approved not to mention to was the one who got T. Denny to donate his money. If you want to start talking facts let me know I’ll be happy to discuss with you.

  7. Anonymous

    Prediction 2014 US Senate:

    Rounds – 56%
    SHS – 44%

    Noem – 50%
    SHS – 50%

    and the climate will determine who wins that seat. If Obama is president Noem will win. If A republican is and we actually make some serious cuts and changes to Medicare Herseth will win.

  8. Duh

    Why Do… From what I recall, Rounds reimbursed the plane rides AFTER he got busted. Also, some of his “meetings” were very supect so that he could go to the games. Whatever. I’m sure EVERY politician does stuff like this and in his defense, he was Gov 24/7 and did represent the state well. I just don’t stomach attempts to Cannonize him when he was a very average governor. Keep it real.

    Sanford, all speculation. Just show Denny a 40X50 sign with his name on it, and you’ll probably get money. From my end, most of the work was done by our fed reps, not Rounds. By the way, hows that lab going???

    In sum, Rounds would be better than anyone on the other side of the ticket. Is he the best GOP rep we have? Not in my opinion.

  9. The Truth

    I believe Rounds is very serious about the senate in 2014. Certainly, he’d be a heavyweight in that race and my money’s on him to take out Johnson.

  10. Anonymous

    All due respect to our former Governor but Mike Rounds has never been through a serious statewide campaign, he accidentally won the Gov primary in 02 because he was the “none of the above” choice. Was never really challenged, he is popular but untested as a campaigner. He can probably still win handily but he has never seen anything like Johnson and the Democrats will throw at him in a serious campaign. Just saying.

    1. The Truth

      I agree. Same old campaign won’t work against Johnson. So let me qualify, “if” Rounds runs the right campaign, he will beat Johnson handily. I’m not convinced about Noem’s prospects since that’s been brought up here.

      Was it an accident that he won in 2002? Maybe he knew precisely what Kirby & Barnett needed to do to eachother to win. He ain’t stupid. He’s never lost an election.

      1. Arrowhead

        Anyone who doesn’t give Rounds the advantage in a general election either has a grudge or would never vote for a Republican.

        Fact: Noem ran a very negative campaign in 2010. She beat and incumbant. She had the biggest wave ever at her back. Herseth-Sandlins supporters are angry at her and holding out hope that SHS challenges Noem again in 12 or 14. Those people will not sit on the sidelines in 2012 or 14. When the dust settles in the presidential contest and Noem won’t be able to run against Obama or Pelosi and has to defend her own cuts or why she is a DC porker she will be vulnerable. She is NOT John Thune.

        Mike Rounds on the other hand has a positive record in Pierre. He’s stepped away from politics for a while. His LG is Governor. He made some conservatives mad and he made the left that was never going to vote for him mad.

        1. Anonymous

          Yes running Rounds would strike a severe blow to all of that pent up anger SHS supporters have against Noem.

          Rounds would be all but a shoe in.

      2. T.S.A.S.

        Nothing happens by accident in politics. Mike Rounds’ strategic political planning is vastly underrated; usually at the peril of his opponents. I suspect that’s why he’s being so cagey about future plans right now. He’s meticulously thinking through all possibilities, pro and con. You can bet your last buck, that if he gets in he’ll win.

        1. Anonymous

          Rounds was the severe underdog when he ran for Governor. He analyzed the situation and took advantage of it. Rounds proved he can adjust and read the field rather than campaign from a script written 12 months in advance.

          Much like Lee Brown out strategized Shields and Chris Nelson in the congressional primary. Brown let the enthusiasm work in his favor while Shields strangled it to death in the curd camp.

          It’s important to know your strategists are flexible and not wedded to a plan. Noem would not have one the primary if Shields had been her campaign manager.

  11. Anonymous

    I come from farther left on the political spectrum than Duh – far enough over that I have a D by my name – but I agree with pretty much everything Duh says about Rounds. He was a caretaker governor who made very little positive impact on SD, and ran deficits, grew government, took credit for others’ heavy lifting, and got awfully comfy using public resources to make his already comfortable life more comfortable.

    Could he win a senate race because he’s a Republican in SD, and he’s smilin’ Mike? Probably – depending on which way the pendulum is swinging in 2014. (My guess is it continues swinging GOP in 2012 and in 2014 it’s back to Democrat.) But the real question should be: Based on past performance, what evidence is there that Rounds, if elected, would do what America needs – cutting “wants” from the budget and transferring state and local functions from the federal government back to state and local government? Rounds is a don’t rock the boat type of guy. I just don’t think anybody should expect any big things out of him besides just smiling and maintaining the status quo.

  12. Anonymous

    If Noem can get past the cliches or the canned lines she would be formidable for the US Senate. If she can’t then She will never defeat a popular former Governor like Rounds.

  13. Troy Jones

    Mike Rounds is a great retail politician. People discount his primary victory unfairly. A few weeks before the primary, Ribfest occurred in Sioux Falls. Candidate Mike was not there for just a few hours but several hours for several nights. As my wife and friends were sitting close I got to watch him. I was struck by how many people he had quality conversations with and observed people as they were leaving asking for a Rounds sticker. I distinctly remember saying to my wife when we went home, Rounds will be alot closer than people expect. His victory is a measure of how much I under-estimated this skill of Rounds.

    Jim Abdnor is the best I’ve ever seen at this, John Thune second, and Mike Rounds is third (I hear Dick Kniep should be in the top level but I never directly observed this).

    1. ymous

      The democrats ran “nobody” against Thune in the last election. I will refrain from name calling but I belive even you can see this point. I don’t believe this had ever happened before. I would be more careful about using the “stupid” label in the future. It can have a way if circling back. Just saying!


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