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Noem Is Doing Her Best to Land the Veep Slot

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) is not terribly excited about being governor of a state with a famous mountain, a lot of buffalo, and not much else. You know that's true when a person sees being vice president as a step up, even though the job is famously not worth a bucket of warm you-know-what.

Running for veep is tricky when you don't know who the presidential candidate will be. Like, who do you flatter? She's charismatic and well spoken, which works with all presidential candidates. What else? How about finding issues that both of the most plausible Republican presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis agree on, and push them for all they're worth? Yup. That's what she is doing.

So Noem has instructed the South Dakota Board of Regents to take steps to make the state an "example to the nation of what quality higher education should look like." In the letter she tells the Board to do the following.

First of all, why is she trying to show something to the nation? She is not governor of the nation. She is governor of one state. Second, what do any of these things have to do with quality education? Maybe they just so happen to be things that both Trump and DeSantis want to have their running mate talk about? Third, she has no business telling the Board of Regents anything. The whole purpose of states creating Boards of Regents is to isolate the state educational system from political pressure. That's why they are there. And what is she trying to do? Put pressure on the Board anyway.

Since the governor has no realistic way to pressure the Board other than slashing university funding, which would not be popular with students (most of whom can vote) and their parents (most of whom can also vote), this is all for show. The Board will undoubtedly thank her for her wisdom and then do nothing about any of the points except those that the Board members themselves actually support. But the whole point of this exercise is to demonstrate to both Trump and DeSantis that if they want a fiery attack dog, she's available and ready to roll. (V)

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