She Finally Gets It
Noem's reasons for her campaign's somnolence? Laughable, kind of. Whining that "usually at this time the Republican candidate maybe would be up by 10 or 15 points," Kristi complains that "we're in a totally different environment. We've got trade wars going on. We've got a national environment that's definitely impacting us here in South Dakota." Specifying the problem, Noem went on to say that Trump "decided to go to war to get us more fair agreements; the problem is that he did it after four years of depressed prices already. So we already had farm income cut in half because of low commodity prices and then to go into this trade war at this time is pretty devastating."
Wow. This kind of finger-pointing at the President as the reason for her gubernatorial campaign's uphill challenge is quite the reversal of her tone when Trump was here a month ago, helping her campaign with a stop in Sioux Falls. Then Noem said she is "eternally grateful that God gave us a President that puts America first," adding that our state can partner with the President to "make South Dakota and America even greater." I suppose this kind of blatant obsequiousness is de riguer at events like these, but it sure contrasts with her outburst yesterday about Trump's trade policy being "devastating" to South Dakota.
Given the financial hit that South Dakota's soybean industry is taking thanks to Trump and his incompetent trade policies, our state hasn't become "even greater." It has become even lesser--to the tune of about $500 million less. The only thing that's gotten "even greater" since Trump went on his trade war rampage is our country's balance-of-trade deficit, which is on track to make ten-year highs. Kiplinger last month just flat out said that Trump's "policies are more likely to grow the deficit than to cut it." And in the meantime, we have millions of tons of soybeans, which historically have been a bonanza for balance-of-trade calculations, looking for a market because China, Trump's principal trade antagonist, has said "no thanks."
What amazes me is that so many people could see this coming while Noem didn't even acknowledge the risk. With many others, this blog (in '16, months before the election) was full of concerns and warnings about just such a scenario. But did Noem pay attention to the apprehensiveness that was so pervasive at the time? Not really. I can't find a peep about the gathering storm coming from her office during the last couple of years, so this Kristi-come-lately outburst in Huron yesterday smacks of inattentiveness or lack of understanding. I think it's both, which make for two reasons to dismiss her from public office next month.