Franken to South Dakota: Supposedly independent Dem candidate a safe vote for Pelosi

posted at 2:20 pm on August 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

If Al Franken notices a decline in speaking engagement invitations from fellow Democrats, perhaps he’ll look back at his campaigning for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, who’s busy trying to defend her incumbency in a red state.  Herseth Sandlin has been projecting herself as a model of independence to South Dakota voters, but instead of supporting that, Franken more or less cut a TV ad for her Republican candidate with this remarkably inept gaffe:

With those red-state Dems distancing themselves somewhat from Pelosi, it’s interesting to note MN Sen. Al Franken‘s (D) comments this weekend while campaigning for Rep.Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD).

Franken visited the state to tour an Indian Reservation with Herseth Sandlin, and he also used the opportunity to tout her re-election campaign. “She has voted differently than I voted on a couple of things,” Franken said, according to the Rapid City Journal, “but we need to be able to have somebody here in South Dakota who’s going to vote for Speaker Pelosi, not for Speaker Boehner.”

While Herseth Sandlin hasn’t exactly run away from Pelosi like some other Dems, she can’t like the fact that Franken, in this generally conservative, GOP-leaning state, would tout her vote for the Speaker. Herseth Sandlin’s first TV ad touted her independence, and her opposition to the “trillion dollar health care plan.”

D’oh! As Jim Geraghty noted earlier today in his poll roundup, Herseth Sandlin already has enough problems in the race:

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows [GOP challenger Kristi] Noem picking up 51 percent support against [Democrat incumbent Stephanie] Herseth-Sandlin, who receives 42 percent of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided. The latest numbers mark an improvement for the Republican challenger from the 49 percent to 44 percent lead she held in July.

This is in a state where Barack Obama has a 41/58 approval rating, and where only 29% of voters think that their personal finances have improved over the past two years.  Rasmussen didn’t poll on Pelosi’s favorability, but it’s not likely to be above Obama’s in South Dakota.  Independents already favor Noem by almost 2-1 in this race, 54/28 — and 18% of Democrats do as well.  Campaigning for the incumbent as a safe vote for Pelosi is about as foolish as it gets.

But as the popular definition of “gaffe” instructs, this is nothing more than the accidental telling of a truth in 2010.  A vote for a Democrat in Congress is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and their radical agenda, no matter how “independent” a Democrats claims to be while campaigning.  Only by taking control of the House away from Democrats can voters stop the radical, high-spending, and intrusive policies of Obama and the Democrats.


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My name is Pat.

BobMbx on August 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Finally, an honest Democrat.

There is no such thing as an “independent” Democrat and anyone who buys that there is such an animal, is simply delusional.

Every Democrat running for a House seat might as well be Nancy girl herself and every Senator is the vile criminal Harry Reid.

Make no mistake.

NoDonkey on August 9, 2010 at 2:26 PM

The GOP ticket in SD is very strong this year. Thune has no opponent. The GOP candidate for the open governor’s seat is about 20 points ahead of the Dem.

And while Sandlin has be touting her vote against Obamacare, Noem has been hitting Sandlin on Sandlin’s failure to commit to vote to repeal Obamacare.

Why Sandlin and Franken were out on a reservation looking for votes, I don’t know. The reservations are reliably Democratic votes (and alleged Dem vote fraud in the 2002 Thune-Johnson match-up). Perhaps Sandlin is doing the standard avoid-town-hall tour and going to safe, set-ups of reliable Dems.

Wethal on August 9, 2010 at 2:26 PM

This is in a state where Barack Obama has a 41/58 approval rating

I wonder how strong Pelosi is there…

MeatHeadinCA on August 9, 2010 at 2:26 PM

If you’re trying to play up your “independent/conservative’ leanings, and play down the fact that you’re a liberal, WHY would you have Al Franken campaign for you?

She deserves whatever she gets from this for the sheer stupidity of having Sen. SNL campaign for her.

lizzie beth on August 9, 2010 at 2:28 PM

It’s the sign of a bad “comedian” when the things they think are supposed to be funny aren’t while the things they’re trying to be serious about are.

teke184 on August 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

I’m not sure I would interpret that as “a safe vote for Peloci”, but I’m sure it doesn’t help an incumbent who is already loosing.

Count to 10 on August 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

It’s okay. Franken isn’t noted for his intelligence.

GarandFan on August 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

If you’re trying to play up your “independent/conservative’ leanings, and play down the fact that you’re a liberal, WHY would you have Al Franken campaign for you?

^ What she said.

Joe Caps on August 9, 2010 at 2:30 PM

whoops that should have been a quote not a strike

Joe Caps on August 9, 2010 at 2:30 PM

when you win your election by a trunkload of votes then this type of karma tends to happen. Nice to have met ya Stephanie, we hardly knew ye….

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 2:33 PM

The “Al Franken” decade is truly over.

J_Crater on August 9, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Hilarious:)

ohiobabe on August 9, 2010 at 2:34 PM

She’s just lucky that Franken didn’t open his speech with a rape joke.

Bishop on August 9, 2010 at 2:38 PM

when you win your election by a trunkload of votes then this type of karma tends to happen. Nice to have met ya Stephanie, we hardly knew ye….

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 2:33 PM

A truckload of ‘prison’ votes, no doubt..

Ltlgeneral64 on August 9, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Kristi Noem. Another hot conservative woman. I like the direction the GOP is going.

Doughboy on August 9, 2010 at 2:41 PM

She’s just lucky that Franken didn’t open his speech with a rape joke.

Bishop on August 9, 2010 at 2:38 PM
Well, as long as it’s not a rape rape joke it’s ok…there democrats.

SHARPTOOTH on August 9, 2010 at 2:41 PM

“but we need to be able to have somebody here in South Dakota who’s going to vote for Speaker Pelosi

Franken can be faulted for a lot of things. Telling the truth shouldn’t be one.

Now, if we can just get Franken to campaign for Klobuchar. I can see it now…”but we need to be able to have somebody who stands up to the special interests, who would take away free Viagra from sex offenders…”

MNHawk on August 9, 2010 at 2:42 PM

She has voted differently than I voted on a couple of things

That still stings, doesn’t it?

The “we need to have somebody” line is also pretty faint praise.

TexasDan on August 9, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Silly me, the V word is apparently forbidden…

/eyeroll

MNHawk on August 9, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Keep campaigning Franken, you are F’in brilliant…

right2bright on August 9, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Silly me, the V word is apparently forbidden…
/eyeroll
MNHawk on August 9, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Victory?

Bishop on August 9, 2010 at 2:46 PM

If you can’t get BHO, go with Al Franken…..
they’ve hit rock bottom and they’re starting to dig.

couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of people…

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 2:47 PM

I don’t believe that her campaign did not have approval over Franklin’s add for her.

Blake on August 9, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Al Franken engages his mouth, and every now and then the truth slips out…Heck, with friends like this, the Dems don’t need enemies. Fly on out there BHO, I hear the golfing is good in SD this time of year, give that gal a hug, say something stupid—-just end it with, “LIVE from SD, it’s Saturday NIGHT!”

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Thank you Senator Smalley.

Monica on August 9, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Kristi Noem. Another hot conservative woman. I like the direction the GOP is going.

Doughboy on August 9, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Yes…we are.

GrannyDee on August 9, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Silly me, the V word is apparently forbidden…

/eyeroll

MNHawk on August 9, 2010 at 2:43 PM

It’s not forbidden, it’s filtered. Want to know how much spam we get for Viagra? We do our best to clear moderation queues at HA all day long, so just be a little patient and comments that aren’t spam or obscene will appear.

Ed Morrissey on August 9, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Not a mistake… Like Waxman said… they’re happy to lose some Democrats who aren’t true believers. She’s probably one of them.

They know they’re going to lose so they’re targeting party purity for funding. For proof, look to the DNCC and see who Pelosi’s funding… I’ll bet it’s not her.

Skywise on August 9, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Al Franken is campaigning for someone?

d1carter on August 9, 2010 at 2:55 PM

The gift that keeps on giving. Time to replace Franken on the campaign trail with the FLOTUS, for some hard hitting, political commentary on what’s wrong with the nation. That should about do it.

a capella on August 9, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Al Franken is campaigning for someone?

d1carter on August 9, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Yeah, Weird Al and Carrot Top were all booked up so they brought in the third string.

NoDonkey on August 9, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Franken isn’t noted for his intelligence.

GarandFan on August 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Smart enough to steal an election…

Del Dolemonte on August 9, 2010 at 3:02 PM

If you’re a dem on the fence in a red state, why bring in a uber-liberal assclown like Smalley in the first place?

Look at the bright side though, at least he didn’t fall asleep during her speech.

pain train on August 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Kristi Noem. Another hot conservative woman. I like the direction the GOP is going.

Doughboy on August 9, 2010 at 2:41 PM
Yes…we are.

GrannyDee on August 9, 2010 at 2:50 PM

No Kiddin. The women of the GOP have more balls than the old recycled 60′s geldings who have been sloww rollin us to socialism! Replace all the farts and send in some folks young enough to have skin in the game then term limit the whole lot of em.
8 years is enough! No more professional leechs, oh and put them all on SSI and our Health Insurance!
These clowns don’t deservge any better wages or benefits than the US military!

dhunter on August 9, 2010 at 3:15 PM

I hate to agree with Franken

antisocial on August 9, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Senator Stuart Smalley (D-SNL)-Minnesota

portlandon on August 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM

What did Stephanie Herseth Sandlin expect?

labwriter on August 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM

What did Stephanie Herseth Sandlin expect?

labwriter on August 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM

She’s a Democrat, she probably has no idea who Al Franken is.

Some staffers got her off of the floor, slapped her face, gave her some uppers, put some clothes on her, dragged her to the hall and propped her up like a rag doll at a sideshow.

Democrat politicians are exactly like the people you find sleeping in the park and begging for spare change, except Democrats take a shower every week or so.

NoDonkey on August 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Did Stephanie Herseth Sandlin make faces while Al Franken Stuart Smalley, Klown of the Senate, was speaking?
.
Smug, pompous SOB.

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

It could a been worse she could have brought in this clown

http://www.solidprinciples.com/blog/obama-morphs-into-pinnochio/

dhunter on August 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Who says this was unintentional? Al is as left as you can get and he’d be more than happy to help a “moderate” democrat lose because they haven’t drunk all their Kool-aid.

chickasaw42 on August 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Good analysis, although anyone from South Dakota, my home state, will tell you that big-R Republicanism is not a phenomenon here — it’s a way of life. Out of 31 governors, including our current one, only six have not been Republican. One of those, Andrew Lee, was Populist, and the other five were democratic.

Politicians like Tim Johnson are popular because we’re a rural state, and Johnson has pull with the farm bill appropriations. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is part of the Herseth dynasty, with connections dating back to her grandfather’s turn in our governor’s chair.

Fortunately, the 2004 elections proved that all the pull in the world can’t save you if you’re a blithering liberal idiot.

gryphon202 on August 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM

gryphon202 on August 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM

That is a great depiction of Tommy Boy, he looks like he’s got a long stick up his butt, as usual.

What a worthless piece of absolute rotten garbage he was, although he wasn’t any worse than Harry Reid.

NoDonkey on August 9, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Want to know how much spam we get for Viagra?

Ed Morrissey on August 9, 2010 at 2:52 PM

OK. I’ll ask. How much spam do you get for Viagra? And how do you serve it?

Archie Noble on August 9, 2010 at 4:10 PM

What a worthless piece of absolute rotten garbage he was, although he wasn’t any worse than Harry Reid.

NoDonkey on August 9, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Harry Reid is Nevada’s problem now. I did my duty in helping to get rid of Tom “I know more about health care than you plebes do” Dashcle.

gryphon202 on August 9, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Franken must have thought he was addressing a safe audience, and that his remarks would go no further.

Baka.

LarryD on August 9, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Franken must have thought he was addressing a safe audience, and that his remarks would go no further.

Baka.

LarryD on August 9, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Speaking of blithering liberal idiots…

gryphon202 on August 9, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Franken isn’t noted for his intelligence.

GarandFan on August 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Minnesota voters aren’t known for theirs, either.

Jaibones on August 9, 2010 at 4:56 PM

If you’re trying to play up your “independent/conservative’ leanings, and play down the fact that you’re a liberal, WHY would you have Al Franken campaign for you?

Especially since the guy is kind of known for having anger issues.

Dave_d on August 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

An Independent Politician is on the same level as a House/Senate page. Broke and with a bevy of unsupported positions – in Politically Correct speak and idealist.

MSGTAS on August 10, 2010 at 9:39 AM