South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem made a name for herself nationally during the pandemic. She has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.
Her state did not lock down like the rest of the country. She declined to close businesses across her state or issue mask mandates.
She proudly stands on her handling of the pandemic.
“When other states saw that our example was working, they unwound their lockdowns. They declared themselves open for business, too,” Noem said in February. “How long would it have taken our nation to recover from this pandemic if we had not had South Dakota’s example?”
She dodged a question at the libertarian CATO Institute in February about whether she was considering joining the 2024 presidential race.
“I hope we get the best leader in the White House to lead this country, not just being willing to take on the tough issues and tough decisions as we face some of these challenges like we have seen that are unprecedented,” Noem said while evading the question about whether she would run.
In January, she also told CBS News’ Robert Costa that the presidency was not on her mind.
“I’m not convinced that I need to run for president,” Noem said. “… I think it’s important that people focus on governing rather than going out and making big, broad statements and going out and taking action for their own political futures.”
Kristi Noem Mentioned as Potential Trump Running Mate
Noem has also been mentioned as a potential Trump running mate. She has been mentioned along with former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene.
Former Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN’s State of the Union last July that it was clear to him that Noem had aspirations for higher office.
“The Kristi Noem I served with was conservative, dedicated to truth, and I at the time would have thought would have put her country above her political career at any moment,” Kinzinger, a Trump opponent, said. “It is clear … she is running for president or vice president.”
Noem Defends Donald Trump
Noem has defended Trump from attacks by his political adversaries. Last year, she condemned the House January 6 committee, saying it was unbalanced. She called the Capitol riot a “horrific day” and suggested that Trump has reflected on what happened that day.
“I think that there’s aspects of that day that all of us should use to examine ourselves. And I know that President Trump has as well,” Noem said about January 6.
After the release of the Durham Report, Noem affirmed Trump’s belief that the Russia investigation was a “witch hunt.”
“The release of the Durham Report confirmed what we knew all along: The Crossfire Hurricane Russian ‘collusion’ investigation was a complete and total fraudulent witch hunt against President Trump,” Noem wrote on Twitter.
Noem’s vibes suggest she has a stronger interest in being a potential Trump running mate than running in her own right for president.
John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.