Earlier today, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem spoke at CPAC. Regular readers know that I am a fan of hers. She grew up on a farm near my home town and has become an intellectual leader of the conservative movement. In a year when pretty much everyone knuckled under to authoritarianism in the face of an alleged emergency, she stood tall for freedom. Under her leadership South Dakota is, I think, the best governed state in the country, as reflected in its booming economy and its growing population.
In her CPAC speech today, Noem demonstrated the principled intelligence and the steady, calm demeanor that have made her a leader of the conservative movement, and that never seem to desert her:
I think Governor Noem is a strong contender for the GOP national ticket in 2024, along with others like Ron DeSantis and Tom Cotton. I have asked her twice whether she is interested in being on the 2024 ticket, and she laughed the question off both times. The first time, she said that she had started her day by taking her horses to the farrier. She could do that in South Dakota but not Washington, she said, and she had no desire to go back.
The second time, she said I would have to talk to her husband, who doesn’t want to leave South Dakota, which these days is a kind of promised land. Looking at these exchanges optimistically, I note that she didn’t quite say “No.” Personally, I would like to see her as one of the prime standard-bearers for the conservative movement.