Four of Hearts: Kristi Noem, South Dakota Governor, what won’t this Governor do to be VP?

Kristi Noem, visions of  Trump’s Project 2025 dancing in her head  
  • Noem blames Capitol insurrection on lack of civics education.”
  • She blamed an inadequate education in American civics as “the root cause” of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, making no mention of President Donald Trump’s role in the attack that sent Congress into hiding.
  • Gov. Noem, a close ally of the president, supported his efforts to contest the results of the presidential election.
  • Since Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, Noem has tried to deflect blame from the president. apnews.comJanuary 25, 2021
  • On ABC’s “This Week,” Stephanopoulos continued to push back against Noem, saying that there was no verifiable evidence of extensive voter fraud. However, she was adamant that widespread fraud existed, despite the lack of concrete evidence. Nov. 8, 2020.
  • N.Y. Times reports: Noem Refuses to Say Whether She Would Have Certified the Election on Jan. 6”


Report: 10 Voter Fraud Lies Debunked, GET THE FACTS: American elections are clean and trustworthy despite what President Trump and others claim.


“Kristi Noem Refuses to Say Whether She Would Have Certified the Election on Jan. 6”

N.Y. Times reports. The country shouldn’t be in the position where a sitting governor and potential vice-presidential nominee won’t say that Mike Pence did the right thing by accepting Biden’s valid Electoral College victory, but unfortunately that’s where we are right now.


Profile in Terror: Kristi Noem

A Borowitz Report Sunday Read

APR 14, 2024


Clearly, she has the fear-mongering credentials required to be Trump’s number two. But does she want the gig? The answer is, “Hell yeah!”

On July 3, 2020, Trump delivered a speech at Mount Rushmore that was widely roasted for being racist and divisive. (“Trump’s Mount Rushmore Speech Is the Closest He’s Come to Fascism” read Foreign Policy’s headline.) Noem seized the chance to do some vigorous ego-stroking, presenting Trump with an extraordinary gift: a replica of Mount Rushmore with his head grafted on. In this mini-monument, Abraham Lincoln appears to be strenuously avoiding eye contact with the host of “The Apprentice.”

One of these things is not like the other. (Tom Lawrence)


Meet a top Republican VP prospect. She’s Trump without the empathy.

The Trumpification of Kristi Noem

The South Dakota governor’s new teeth are just the latest step in a very MAGA makeover.

Vanessa Friedman has been chronicling the use of image as a communication device in politics since the Bush v. Gore election of 2000.

As the race to be Donald J. Trump’s running mate heats up, Ms. Noem’s new smile reflects a tactical move that has as much to do with politics and psychology as it does with appearance.

“It’s all about her appeal to an audience of one,” Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist, said. “The whole teeth thing almost looks like it was done for Trump to see. She is showing him she works well in front of the camera, that she has that star power he wants onstage with him, while fitting into the mode of women in the Trump universe.”

Mr. Trump was, after all, the president who often identified his staff members, especially members of the military, as coming from “central casting.” He now dresses almost entirely in the colors of the American flag. He reportedly liked women to “dress like women” — and, as Richard Thompson Ford, a law professor at Stanford University and the author of “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History,” said, “We know what that means to him.” It is reflected in the profile of almost every woman in the Trump orbit, including his family members and his former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

In this, Ms. Noem’s dental upgrade is simply the most recent step in what appears to be a yearslong makeover that has transformed her, more than any other woman on Mr. Trump’s shortlist, into what Samantha N. Sheppard, a professor of cinema and media studies at Cornell University, called “the perfect ornament for Trump.” Even beyond her popularity and credentials as a governor, and her MAGA platform, she offers an example of a certain kind of “Miss America-like white femininity,” Ms. Sheppard said, also reflected in Fox News anchors and that involves cascading hair, extensive eyelashes and a blinding smile.

How does Mr. Trump know she’s part of his team? All he has to do is look.

The story is told in the imagery. Back in 2010, when she was first running for Congress, Ms. Noem had a haircut that looked like a cross between “the Rachel,” the layered, straightened haircut Jennifer Aniston made famous on “Friends,” and the power bob favored by Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. When she won re-election in 2012, she had chopped it into a short look that Ms. Sheppard compared to the signature haircut of Kate Gosselin from “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” albeit slightly more corporatized.

After Mr. Trump won the presidency and the MAGA movement took off, Ms. Noem adopted a new look. Her hair got longer and longer, with tousled waves kissed by the curling iron, her part moved to the center. She began to resemble a doppelgänger for Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée. Or a dark-haired version of Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife and the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee. Even Ms. Noem’s clothes changed, from the khaki shirtdress she wore to CPAC in 2011 to the bright blue sheath she chose for her State of the State address this year.

There is no better example of her transformation than the cover photo on her new book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” which features a portrait of Ms. Noem with lips glossed, eyelashes thick and one hand seemingly playing with her wavy locks as she sits in her desk chair in a blazer and dress before the American flag.

“She practically looks like a member of the Trump family,” Mr. Bonjean said. “Maybe a cousin.”

And while her Trumpification could be a coincidence, Ms. Noem has revealed herself to be sensitive to the effects and uses of costuming, as seen in recent ads in which she dressed up as a dental hygienist, an electrician and a highway patrolman, the better to convey the idea that “South Dakota is hiring.” (“We have over 20,000 open jobs,” she says in one ad. Plus no individual income tax!)

“It’s absolutely strategic,” Mr. Ford said. Ms. Noem is “signaling that she’s going to be Trump’s kind of woman. And, at the same time, that she isn’t going to challenge him.”

This approach to political image-making has its roots in the pantomimed femininity of Phyllis Schlafly and Sarah Palin, where the promise of a powerful woman was defanged by her participation in the pageantry of traditional gender cosplay.

The teeth simply finish the picture, as does the fact that Ms. Noem used the opportunity to talk up the dentist who did the procedure. If anyone would recognize the value of using power to push product it is Mr. Trump himself. And perhaps, in doing so, recognize a kindred spirit.

The governor may sell herself in part as a grass-roots cowgirl, but Ms. Noem is speaking Mr. Trump’s language, proving that she belongs and that she is all in with his vision. That she is going to “get in line and stay in line,” Ms. Sheppard said. “That she knows how to conduct herself and be who he needs her to be.”

In any case, he has clearly noticed. A few days after the tooth news broke, Ms. Noem joined Mr. Trump at a rally for the Senate candidate Bernie Moreno in Vandalia, Ohio. After she spoke — they were wearing matching MAGA hats — Mr. Trump announced: “You’re not allowed to say it, so I will not. You’re not allowed to say she’s beautiful, so I’m not going to say it.”

What could she do but smile?

Vanessa Friedman has been the fashion director and chief fashion critic for The Times since 2014. More about Vanessa Friedman


The Trump VP picks that make the most sense


The South Dakota governor has long featured on lists like this. It’s not clear what she would add that anyone else couldn’t provide — apart from appealing to Midwestern voters — and she has little in the way of a national profile on which to build.

But sometimes a relatively blank slate can be a good thing. And Noem has more of an alliance with Trump than many other governors.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s vice-presidential chances

Asher Price

Nov 20, 2023


Plus: If Donald Trump clinches the nomination, he may pick someone like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in a year in which suburban women may provide the crucial swing votes.

Governor Kristi Noem, “God-Fearing” Family Woman, and Corey Lewandowski, Trump Creep, Reportedly Had “Yearslong” Affair

It’s always the ones who insist that marriage is “a special, God-given union between one man and one woman” that forget how to count.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to endorse Trump at Friday rally, sources say

Updated  September 7, 2023


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is expected to endorse former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in her home state Friday, two sources familiar with the plans tell CNN, fueling speculation about the role the Republican governor may play in his third bid for the White House.
Once a potential 2024 candidate herself, Noem initially inched away from Trump after last fall’s midterm elections and the launch of his latest campaign. She told The New York Times at the time that she didn’t believe the former president offered “the best chance” for the Republican Party in 2024.

However, the South Dakota governor has since changed her tune, opting out of a White House bid and offering support for Trump. But Noem is still angling to be in the 2024 discussion. She’s remained in contact and on good terms with the former president, according to sources familiar with their interactions. Though Noem didn’t attend last month’s first Republican presidential debate, ads touting her state’s low taxes and job openings aired during it and since then on Fox News.

Noem has another connection: Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager and confidant, has advised her since 2020. Lewandowski’s on-again-off-again relationship with the former president has leveled, according to sources, and he now regularly speaks to Trump.

“The fact is, none of them can win as long as Trump’s in the race. And that’s just the facts. So why run if you can’t win,” Noem, who has been in touch with Trump and his team, said of the former president’s primary rivals in an interview on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.”

“I think she’s angling to keep all her options open”. 






















Noem: ‘I’m not convinced that I need to run for president’


Noem has been named among a handful of Republican governors floated as possible 2024 presidential candidates as some Americans disillusioned with their party leaders turn their attention elsewhere.   

The governor, who was endorsed in her reelection bid by former President Trump, said last summer that she’d support Trump’s latest White House campaign, but said after the midterms that the former president does not “offer the best chance” for the GOP. 

Noem has also been floated as a possible Trump running mate, but said in November that she’d be “shocked” if he asked her to be on the ticket alongside him. 


Opinion: Kristi Noem provokes conservative ire by not being intolerant enough

Paul Waldman


March 25, 2021 at 5:35 p.m. GMT+1

If you’re not a close observer of conservative politics, you might have missed the new Republican obsession with transgender rights. But it is indeed an obsession; in the first two months of Joe Biden’s presidency, Fox aired 86 separate segments on transgender issues.

Driven by the terror that a trans girl might get to play on her middle-school softball team, bans on transgender kids participating in athletics have been passed this year in at least one house in AlabamaArkansasMississippi and Tennessee, and others are on their way. 

But as they look to 2022 and 2024, Republicans are eager for the kind of electoral sugar high they’ve successfully used in the past: something that provides a burst of energy that gets their base so wound up it could win them an election or two. The prototypical case was in 2004, when they introduced bills banning same-sex marriage in state after state, riling up the base with the idea that if gay people married the structure of American society would quickly collapse.

In the long run, that made Republicans only look intolerant, but in the short run it was very useful. Many in the party would like to do the same with transgender rights, telling the base that if they get angry and mobilized enough, they can arrest the social changes that undermine their values.

It’s a lie, of course. Just as Donald Trump didn’t rid America of immigrants, the next Republican president isn’t going to return us to the norms of gender and sexuality of the 1950s (or the 1850s, or the 1750s). Social change will continue, and older people will find it disorienting, as they always have.

But the conservative base wants to be fed that lie — that the right president and the right Congress can stop the social changes they find disturbing. Anyone wanting to lead the Republican Party needs to show that they believe the lie, too, and they’re the person to make it a reality.

That’s what makes it dangerous for someone such as Noem to acknowledge that passing retrograde laws could have negative economic implications for her state.

While no one can predict the future, there’s an important broader context: Especially in 2022 and possibly into 2024, the Democrats are likely to be in a very strong position when it comes to the practical things that affect people’s lives.

With ramped-up distribution of coronavirus vaccines, the pandemic is likely to be largely behind us — but still fresh enough in our memories that we’ll be thankful for getting past it. And according to nearly every projection, the economy will be going absolutely gangbusters.

We don’t know how long that will last, or what other events might alter the political landscape. But from the standpoint of today, Republicans might well conclude that if it’s difficult to argue their economic brilliance is needed to restore a functioning country, some culture-war mojo is just the ticket to remaining competitive.

That means every potential 2024 GOP contender will try to pass the test of the party’s social conservatives.

As Trump showed, social conservatives don’t actually care how pious you are or whether a tear runs down your cheek at the thought of a zygote being snuffed out. They want to know their candidates will aggressively fight the culture war on their behalf, which means showing that there are no lengths to which you won’t go in order to strike out at liberals and liberalism, no matter the consequences or how doomed the effort.

For now, transgender kids are the scapegoat, the target Republican politicians can use to show their social-conservative bona fides. Anyone who wavers in the fight against them can expect to suffer for it.




September 4, 2021

Just days after Texas’ unprecedented, restrictive anti-abortion law took effect, Republicans around the country are looking to import it. “GOP officials in at least seven states, including Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina and South Dakota, have suggested they may review or amend their states’ laws to mirror Texas’s,” write WaPo’s Meryl Kornfield, Caroline Anders and Audra Heinrichs.

We can’t help but notice that many of those states have something in common: Republican governors with 2024 ambitions.

— South Dakota Gov. KRISTI NOEM is directing attorneys in her state office to review Texas’ law in order “to make sure we have the strongest pro life laws on the books.”


Kristi Noem Tries to Mop Up Damage From Nightmare Week

Rachel Olding

Updated Oct. 02, 2021 


Noem has been accused of strong-arming the state into giving her daughter a real estate license. Days after Kassidy Peters’ application to become a certified real estate appraiser was rejected, Noem brought the employee in charge of the relevant agency, as well as the woman’s supervisor and the state labor secretary, to her office. Noem’s daughter was also present at the meeting, the Associated Press reported.

The 70-year-old head of the state’s appraiser program, Sherry Bren, was forced out from the job a week later. Kassidy’s application was approved four months later.

The allegations of nepotism capped a disastrous week; she was forced to deny reports of an affair with political aide Corey Lewandowski but cut ties with him a day later after a major Trump donor accused him of sexual harassment.

Noem has not answered questions from reporters on the nepotism allegations, instead choosing to release a video and a few tweets that avoided addressing key details. She did not deny the facts of the story.


Kristi Noem Ditches Lewandowski After Two Bombshell Reports

The South Dakota governor cut ties a day after denying and attacking an unsubstantiated article about an affair with Lewandowski.

Zoe Richards, Breaking News Reporter

Published Sep. 30, 2021 12:29PM ET 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has cut ties with Corey Lewandowski, a day after angrily dismissing claims that she was having an affair with the former Trump adviser, who had also been advising Noem.

A spokesman for the governor, Ian Fury, told Politico: “Corey was always a volunteer, never paid a dime (campaign or official). He will not be advising the Governor in regard to the campaign or official office.”

The statement, claiming Lewandowski had “always” been a “volunteer,” appeared to downplay the role he served in advising Noem.

On Tuesday, a conservative news outlet called American Greatness published a bombshell report alleging that “multiple” unidentified sources had confirmed Noem has been having a months-long affair with Lewandowski, who was former President Donald Trump’s first campaign manager.

Noem blasted what she called “rumors,” while affirming her commitment to her husband.

“These rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie,” Noem wrote on Twitter. “These old, tired attacks on conservative women are based on a falsehood that we can’t achieve anything without a man’s help. I love Bryon. I’m proud of the God-fearing family we’ve raised together. Now I’m getting back to work.”


Kristi Noem’s Education Reform Branded a ‘Whitewashed Lie’

South Dakota’s governor has been accused by critics of trying to push her political and social views into the state’s classrooms.


“Democracy is based on the rule of law. Undermining the rule of law destroys the central feature of democracy and replaces that system of government with something else.”

— Heather Cox Richardson