I’ve seen Gov. Dennis Daugaard in campaign mode before, but I’ve never seen him like I saw him Saturday.
I’ve covered the 2010 gubernatorial race, as well as various appearances by Daugaard in Yankton and elsewhere since he was elected. While I’m no expert on the governor, I certainly have a working knowledge of him from these events and interviews I’ve done. He is a very considerate, polite and respectful man in my experience.
So as a reporter it was interesting to see Daugaard as the Republican Party “Cheerleader in Chief” while covering the Yankton County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. It’s a role you would certainly expect the governor to play, but I’d never seen him rallying the base for an upcoming election. I felt like I was witnessing a new dimension of Daugaard.
He took a hard, partisan line on matters as he spoke to party members about the need to vote in November — and the need to vote Republican.
The Democrat Senate and the Democrat president create more obstruction than opportunity today,” the Republican governor said during his Yankton County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner address held at JoDean’s Steakhouse and Lounge. “Republicans want to create jobs, restrain the growth of government, and reduce energy costs and dependence. The national Democrats are totally absorbed with getting re-elected, not just in this election but any other year. They are doing what’s popular and not what’s necessary.
You can read my complete coverage of Daugaard’s speech at the event here.
Yankton resident and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels was also in attendance Saturday. Daugaard took the opportunity to praise Michels in his hometown.
When I was fortunate enough to gain the nomination of our party to run for governor, it was a very easy choice to make when I asked Matt to be my running mate.
I tried to be deliberate about it and not let my own personal thinking be the only thing in the room. I asked a number of people through an intermediary who they thought would be a good lieutenant governor. I probably asked 10 different people whom I respect.
I had my own ideas. Matt was at the top of that list. But I wanted to see what other people thought. Of those 10 people who were asked, there was only one person that every single one of them named, and that was Matt Michels. So not only do I respect him, but many, many other people across this great state respect him.
Matt, thank you so much for saying yes.
The governor went on to tell a joke, claiming it was the result of Michels seeing the future.
A man will approach a marine at the White House and say, ‘I want to speak to President Obama.’
The marine will say, ‘Sir, I’m sorry, didn’t you know? Obama is no longer the president. He was defeated in the election.’
‘Oh,’ the man will say and then depart.
The next day, the man returns to that same marine. He says once again, ‘I want to speak to President Obama.’
Once again, the marine will say, ‘Sir, President Obama was defeated in the 2012 election. He is no longer the president.’
The man will depart.
On the next day, the man will again approach the same Marine guard and say, ‘Sir, I want to see President Obama.’
Again, the marine in exasperation will say, ‘Sir, I told you now twice before, and I say again for the third time, President Obama is no longer the president.’
‘Oh, I know. I just love hearing you say that!’
(Laughter and applause.)
Matt sees the future, and I am happy about that future!
So, all in all, I learned a lot Saturday.
First, Gov. Daugaard can deliver what my editor calls “a red meat speech” to the party faithful when needed.
Second, Michels can see the future! 🙂 (Though we’ll have to see if his prediction comes to fruition before I pay him any money to look into my own future …)