Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Afterthoughts from the South Dakota PB Republican Primary US Senate Debate

Afterthoughts from the South Dakota PB Republican Primary US Senate Debate

May 15, 2014

Classic Milquetoast Cartoon found on Wikimedia Commons – Or as we found out in this debate: A Mike Rounds Cartoon

The South Dakota Republican Primary US Senate debate just finished airing on SDPB. I don’t believe anyone could call this an overwhelming victory. I believe Stace Nelson won the debate, but even he wasn’t able to shine because the questions were not ones aimed at the target audience. Presumably the target audience for a GOP debate would be Republican voters. Yet somehow most of the questions definitely seemed to come from left-leaning sources. I think the questions would have been OK in a Democrat Primary, or even in a general election debate; but I didn’t think they fit well in a Republican debate.

But having said that I still believe Stace did the best in this debate. Here are some thoughts on each of the candidate in this debate. This is ordered from who I believe lost the debate down to who I think won. These are short because I don’t feel this debate gave the kind of content a Republican Primary is looking for.

Annette Bosworth – She was a train-wreck in this debate. I also find her behavior in the last few months to be morally unsound (and potentially legally unsound). For those reasons I won’t say more about her.

Larry Rhoden – Rhoden actually had some pretty OK answers. The problem is he is so monotone that he is unable to connect with the audience. He did mention free market principles a few times and pointed out Obamacare is an overreach of the federal government. He also rightly mentioned the steps he has taken as a SD legislator to fight against EPA overreach. If there are any more debates I would avoid using Rounds talking points (such as Common Sense); it makes him look like a mini-Rounds. If he could find some fire somewhere he could be a contender. But without fire he appears to be an uninspiring Rounds clone.

Jason Ravnsborg – Actually Jason did pretty good at answering questions. He brought up specific solutions such as the Penny Plan and Save the VA. He also went on the attack more than all of the other candidates combined. His reference to Rounds as Milquetoast is going to be well-used in the blogosphere and twitterverse. But at the same time his inexperience with such events was very clear. There were times I wondered if Jason was going to be able to speak, or remember what he was talking about. Such a forum is nerve-wracking; and it got the better of him. With a better performance I would have moved him up to at least second place.

Mike Rounds – It should be no surprise to any reader of this blog that I don’t like Mike as a candidate. He did have  a couple of good answers. I think his best answer was invoking the REINS Act, which if passed by Congress would require Congress to approve major regulations enacted by the executive branch. But the problem I had with him in this debate was his complete insistence that he had nothing to do with the implementation of Obamacare in SD and has never worked with Daschle on healthcare.  The thing is all of the 50 states had to enact legislation to align state laws with ACA, even South Dakota. It was the Rounds administration that pre-filed the bills for the legislature to enact these Obamacare changes. Instead of lying about this I think Rounds should have owned and it said “Yes, I had to because the federal government strong-armed South Dakota into doing it”. But no, he chooses to pretend it didn’t happen. And maybe Rounds was opposing Daschle on the Health Project they both were on. But by saying he wasn’t on a Health Project with Daschle he is either saying the Bipartisan Policy Center is lying, or he is lying. I guess we can let the voters decide on that one….

Stace Nelson – I thought Stace did pretty good in this debate. The only minor criticism I have is that at times he went into too much biographical data when answering a question. But on the good side he consistently talked about cutting pork. He mentioned it with the farm bill and with military spending. Maybe it’s because of his service, but I felt Stace was the only one on the stage that was not a war hawk. I think by showing he is willing to cut pork in all areas of government, including the Defense Budget, Stace is showing fiscally conservative voters that he will actually work to the reduce the deficit and national debt.

In closing I can only make one prediction from seeing this debate: this debate will not have likely shifted the opinions of any Republican primary voters. Any already supporting a candidate before the debate will likely support that person afterwards. Along that thought-line, undecided voters didn’t have the type of questions that Republican primary voters care about. Really all this debate did was give bloggers something to talk about.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    May 16, 2014 at 8:22 am

    They are going to vote for Rounds no matter what. I’m not. I’m not voting for Daugaard either. What these dudes are good at is lying and covering things up. Unfortunately, it works.

  2. May 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I agree wholeheartedly that the viewer questions did not align with the primary audience. I can argue that good general election questions should be asked any time, but you are right: these questions did not address specific dynamics of the primary race, and they did not help primary voters differentiate the choices that face them on June 3.

  3. June 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I also share with him my concern over the content of some of
    the songs and its effect on him. The Magic of and Complete Fulfillment
    in Astral Relationships, Sex, Reproduction, Families, and the
    Astonishing Symptoms of Astral “Old Age”. The new title update
    also features various changes to the enemies in ‘Dark Souls 2.
    The first step in establishing communication is eye contact.
    He also said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

  1. May 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm
  2. June 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: