Other View: Time to put aside bickering and get to work for stateSouth Dakota’s new Republican congresswoman, Kristi Noem, won a hard-fought battle by a hair, defeating U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin by a mere 2 percent of the vote. Conservative West River voters tipped the scales in Noem’s favor as election night wore on, prompting Noem to proclaim: “My heart is in West River.”
South Dakota’s new Republican congresswoman, Kristi Noem, won a hard-fought battle by a hair, defeating U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin by a mere 2 percent of the vote.
Conservative West River voters tipped the scales in Noem’s favor as election night wore on, prompting Noem to proclaim: “My heart is in West River.”
We hope that heart motivates her to show up more often than we saw Herseth Sandlin.
We also hope Noem recognizes that it’s now her job to represent not only the conservative voters who sent her to Congress, but the other 52 percent of the state that will be keeping an eye on her work over the next two years. More than half of the voters did not choose Noem and she should be wary of that.
It’s time to put the partisan bickering aside and work toward healing our state and nation from a deep recession that has affected so many lives for the worse.
Democrats and Republicans alike helped steer us into that decline, and it will require Democrats and Republicans working together to reverse it.
As a member of the new House Republican majority, Noem will be pressured to tow the party line. Just as she criticized Herseth Sandlin for being a mindless follower of Nancy Pelosi, Noem should not mindlessly follow John Boehner.
Native Americans, who had a good relationship with Herseth Sandlin, wonder whether Noem will tend to their concerns.
It’s now her job to do that. It’s now her job to serve the entire state, not just 48 percent of it.
Despite a vitriolic campaign that seemed to bring out the worst in both candidates, Noem made some reasonable promises.
She wants to repeal President Obama’s health care plan. But she favors some elements of it and recognizes the need for health care reform. Obamacare passed, Noem said, because Republicans failed to enact their own reforms when they had a chance.
That’s reassuring. Obama’s plan is too costly, but that can be curtailed without recreating a system that serves insurance companies at the expense of sick people.
Noem’s desire to cut the federal budget and reduce the staggering deficit will serve the nation well as she works with the rest of Congress toward that end.
Hopefully Republicans and Democrats alike realize, after riding a roller coaster of winning and losing political control with each passing election cycle, that voters actually long for stability.
Empty rhetoric won’t win Republicans votes two years from now if they don’t actually deliver better fiscal management.
Noem admits they’ve fallen short in the past. That’s a good sign she means business.
Time will tell.
Rapid City Journal