Wednesday, June 02, 2004
South Dakota Congressional Report: Stephanie Herseth beats Larry Diedrich
In a race that could forshadow things to come, South Dakota Democrat Stephanie Herseth edged past Republican Larry Diedrich in a squeaker. Why is a South Dakota Congressional race so important?
Well, first because it holds portents for the Senate race, the most highly contested race in the United States, a race that could see the Senate Minority Leader broken. I'm talking about the Thune-Daschle race, bruh; keep your eye on this little chestnut. And this is a race in which 100 years of tradition was smashed when the Senate Majority Leader actively campaigned against Daschle, his counterpart from across the aisle. Fucking incredible, and a shining sybol of how civility has left the most aristocratic club in the world (outside of the princes of the Vatican): the United States Senate.
Second, this could be seen as a referendum against George Bush. The first lady campaigned for Diedrich. The Speaker of the goddamned house campaigned for Diedrich. Cheney, a man with so many fucking negatives it boggles the mind, campaigned for Diedrich (hey, Wyoming is important to a Republican victory!) Whiffs of the Thornberg-Wofford Senate race (a fascinating race that figures high in the minds of politics geeks like me, a race which presaged the defeat of a seemingly invincible George Bush the Elder) are in the air. Remember when George, at above 90 percent approval ratings, sent his peasant farmer Attorney General Richard Thornberg to get his ass handed to him by Harris Wofford, an upstart with a health care message, in Pennsylvania? You don't? Okay, so maybe it's just me.
Third, South Dakota should be, by all rights, Bush country, no?
"South Dakota Democrat Stephanie Herseth narrowly defeated Republican Larry Diedrich Tuesday to win the House seat that eluded her two years ago.
"Herseth edged out Diedrich 51 percent to 49 percent to win the seat of Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.), the former governor who resigned earlier this year after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter. Janklow defeated Herseth with 53 percent of the vote in 2002.
"Both parties invested heavily in the campaign, spending up to $4 million on the race. Party leaders such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) campaigned there.
"Herseth and Diedrich will meet again this fall in the general election. Herseth's win marks the second Democratic pick-up in a special election this year; Ben Chandler won a Kentucky House seat in February."
Posted by Ron Mwangaguhunga at Wednesday, June 02, 2004