Is that it? Dems after the gov because the Pledge is not as lemony as they'd like.

The latest attack by Democrats in the Race for Governor sounds more like questioning from torquemada than legitimate debate. If you happen to have missed it the issue du jour for the Democrats is whether or not the Governor is going to serve a full four year term. As reported in today's Argus Leader, the Gov responded to those questions yesterday on Public Radio:
"I understand what people are saying, some of the Democrats are worried I might be challenging Tim Johnson, who is my friend and who I have a very good working relationship with, in two years,'' Rounds said on the radio program. "I've indicated to folks from Day One, that if they look at my track record, that I've never left a job I've been elected to early.''

Rounds also said "I will tell you honestly that I really think at this stage of the game, this will probably be the last time that I actually run for a public office statewide within this state."

But he said of making that formal commitment:

"In terms of making pledges and so forth, I think the best thing to do is, because people have a tendency when they do that, they come back and say 'Well, I've simply changed my mind.' For me, I'm simply going to say, 'Look, I've never looked beyond the election that I've had. I have no interest in doing something other than this particular job that I'm asking to apply for, and I will not look beyond the election that I'm working on right now.' "
Because the reply of "this will probably be the last time that I actually run for a public office statewide within this state" has not been physically etched in granite and signed in blood at midnight, Democrats are whining "it's not good enough."
Two Democrats seeking their party's nomination to challenge Rounds had different reactions to the comments.

Both Jack Billion of Sioux Falls and Dennis Wiese of Flandreau said they would commit to a four-year term.

"I can say that if I'm elected, I'll serve all four years," Billion said. "Beyond that, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying what Governor Rounds should do ... "

Wiese said he heard wiggle room in Rounds' statement, and he said that's an issue in the campaign to come.

"I'm running for a four-year term," Wiese said. "Frankly, if I get elected to a four-year term ..., I'm going to serve that term out. That's what you're running for. If the public is electing Dennis Daugaard (Rounds' running mate as lieutenant governor), then let's put his name at the top of the ballot."
Read the whole silly thing here. Similar to the charges they're placing on the Governor, I'm not sure I can believe the Democrats when they say "I'll serve all four years." For one, they could spontaneously combust. For another, a UFO could come and capture them.

Frankly, if you look at recent history, in the last few decades the only Governor who failed to complete a full term because they wanted to take a higher profile position was a Democrat. Dick Kneip left the Governorship early because he took a position as an ambassador.

I think the GOP track record on this stands for itself. Republicans like being Governor. Nobody has left before their time in recent decades. Now you can all sleep easy.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Why is it that the simplest, most direct answer to this question is the most difficult for Mr. Rounds to come up with?

If he really means that he will not run for another office, he should say so directly.
Bob Newland said…
Because Rounds is already in the custody of aliens.
chad said…
It's actually a simple question that requires a simple "yes" or "no" answer.

Will he pledge to serve a full term?

The thing to remember here, is that this isn't a campaign issue unless Rounds waffles. He's doing that now and he's doing a pretty poor job of it. Rounds could easily take this "issue" off the table if he would just give a straight answer.

Citizens deserve to know who they are electing to be the chief executive of their state the next four years. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
Anonymous said…
Chad:

Why are so worried about Gov. Rounds and his future? You guys are so worried about locking him into an answer so that if he would take Johnson on you can replay his waffling.

Does waffling even matter anymore? Besides, Johnson has almost 10 issues he's waffled on in the last decade. In fact I remember flip flop sandles being handed out at an event in honor of Johnson's inability to stake down a consisent position on taxes, military spending, the rights of convicted felons, education spending etc....

The RNC has a laundry list of Johnson flip flops. In fact Johnson voted with Daschle to allow federal student aid to be used by convicted murderers. Look it up in the Congressional Record.

Hmmm...lets go back to what Johnson said when asked what he was going to do when he was in Congress and was looking at taking Pressler on. I hear the Argus archives calling. Chad, I hope you beat me to the Argus archives because I have some of the greatest Johnson quotes regarding future intentions etc...
Anonymous said…
I believe that the record will show that Senator Johnson served out his entire term in the House of Representatives.

That is what we're asking Rounds to declare: If re-elected I will fill out my entire term as governor.
chad said…
Anonymous ..

Frankly, I don't care if he is going to pledge to serve a full-term or not.

The citizens of the state deserve a straight answer. Rounds has been wiggling around on this.

The vote for governor is for a four year term. When voters cast a ballot, they deserve to know who they are giving the four-year term to.

It's really that simple.

And I'll repeat: It's not a campaign "issue" in the least if Rounds would just give a straight answer.

"Yes" or "No".

Do the voters NOT deserve a straight answer on this?
Nonnie said…
What difference does it make if he decides to take on Johnson anyway? That is not the issue of the governor's race. The issues will be what do the Democrats stand for and want to accomplish vs. what the Republicans stand for and want to accomplish. Lots of people accept jobs or get elected to jobs and then try for another job before their term is up. Let's see, the most noteworthy lately was the Democrat John Kerry. Remember him??? Jim Abbott took a leave of absence from his job to run for governor last time. Do you really think that if Daschle had gotten elected last time, and then had a chance to run for president that he wouldn't have taken in half a second? This is a non-issue in reality, but one that the Democrats are pursuing in hopes to later use it against Rounds in this election. Deal with the real issues at hand and forget this.
Chad said…
Nonnie:

As I've stated twice here, this is not a campaign issue unless Rounds continues to waffle.

Voters deserve an answer. Please tell me why they don't deserve to know if Rounds is going to serve a full term or just up and leave in order to pursue his personal political ambitions?

I'd like to know a serious reason why voters don't deserve a straight answer to this fundamental question.

If someone can give me some legitimate answers to these points, then it might justify dropping the question.

But until then, I'll be happily entertained to watch Rounds waffle and weave.
Anonymous said…
I suspect it's hard for Rounds to answer the question because he doesn't yet know the answer. Considering the circumstances, I don't think it's terribly out of line for him to say "I'm probably not going to do it." Who knows what could happen between now and then?

And let's be honest - it's just an issue for Democrats to use against him. It's not as if Billion or Wiese can tell you what they'll be doing in two years (e.g. they could spontaneously combust before that point).
Will said…
I'm no Democrat, and it's an issue for me, Nonnie. No matter who I vote for, I have a right to know whether or not that person intends to fulfil the term that I am electing them for.

I've always been annoyed by the Senators who run for President while maintaining their seat in the Senate. I think that's crap. Kerry should have resigned if he wanted to be President instead of Senator.

Rounds should choose between being Governor and being Senator, and he should honor that choice. If he wants to be a Senator, he should go back to selling insurance until 2008. If he wants to be Governor for all 4 years of the term he is running for, he should run for Governor.

This indecisive, waffling middle ground is weak at best and deceitful at worst. Like Kerry, he wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Will said…
Anon wrote:
"And let's be honest - it's just an issue for Democrats to use against him."

Like I said, I'm no Democrat, and I think he should answer the question. So you're wrong. It's not *just* an issue for Democrats to use against him. It's more than that.
Anonymous said…
Speaking of the biggest flip flopper flapper of them all...I seem to remember Tom Daschle cotemplating a run for the Presidency while he was still a sitting United States Senator. Rounds hasn't even said he was contemplating a run for the Senate.

Hmmmm...In fact the South Dakota legislature stepped in and declared that a sitting U.S. Senator shall not run for the Senate and run for the Presidency at the same time. Also, where were you when Lieberman ran...and Kerry?

Now Chad, because you are already against the wall on this one, I'm going to put you through it...Did you or any of your esteemed cronies ever call for Daschle to resign his Senate seat. Or, did you ever call for Daschle to commit to finishing his term before even thinking about a possible Presidential bid? The answer is hellll no!

See, you want a double standard...and a campaign issue. I say what's good for Daschle is certainly good enough for Rounds.

And by the way, Daschle supported federal student aid payments for convicted murders. At least Johnson had enough sense to flip flop on the issue. See the Congressional Record. That was a good flip flop flap for Johnson...at least the way I see it.
Will said…
The funny thing is, Rounds made no pledge whatsoever. PP's cutesie post title notwithstanding, this has nothing to do with the lemony-ness of the pledge, because there is no pledge to begin with.

A pledge is a commitment, a promise; something you honor and live up to. It need not be "etched in granite and signed in blood," (nice smokescreen, btw) but it also can't be littered with equivocations (i.e., "I think," "at this stage of the game," "probably," etc.).

Tell me, what has Rounds committed to here? What has he promised? What must he live up to? What pledge has he made?

Rounds said:
"For me, I'm simply going to say, 'Look, I've never looked beyond the election that I've had."

I think this is a direct quote from Hillary Clinton.
Anonymous said…
"Johnson voted with Daschle to allow federal student aid to be used by convicted murderers. Look it up in the Congressional Record."

I just looked it up, moron, and there was no bill to allow "convicted murders" to get financial aid. People like you are pathetic. You should have the intellectual strength to explain what the vote was really about and then explain your concerns about how it could possibly be utilized in an extreme case. Instead, you rely on what you heard on Rush Limbaugh. Why not identify the specific bill and tell people what it actually says?
Will said…
Sorry, it's from Bill Clinton. Gov Rounds is employing the Clinton Family Rule: "Don't look past the next election or you might not get past the next election."

That's what Bill Clinton said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer.

See: http://tinyurl.com/eahns

"BLITZER: Yes. You saw, perhaps, our recent CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll. A lot of Democrats want her to run for the party's nomination in 2008. Forty-six percent of registered Democrats prefer her. Only 16 percent -- 41 percent, excuse me --16 percent for John Kerry, 15 percent for John Edwards, 8 percent for Joe Biden. She's the frontrunner right now, isn't she?

CLINTON: No, because she's not a candidate. And I don't know that she will be. We have a rule in our family that I always followed and now she does. Don't look past the next election or you might not get past the next election. So I am convinced in my own mind she hasn't decided on that. I believe I would know if she had. And I don't want her to even think about it. I want her to focus on getting reelected and on doing her job as a senator. There will be lots of time to think about that down the road. I just don't think she should do that."
Anonymous said…
Will,

You're doing a brilliant job of obfuscation for your boy Rounds.

If he wants to answer like President Clinton, let him answer like President Clinton.

His evasive non-answers up to this point seem to suggest that he isn't running for another office.

I'll now give him three possible direct answers.
1. Yes, I will serve out my term.
2. No, I won't serve out my term.
3. I haven't decided whether or not I'll serve out my term.

But all the rest of this is just so much B.S.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous at 10:32pm this is for you:

Until 1994, the Higher Education Act of 1965 allowed serial murderer, rapists, and child molesters, all potential Democratic voters, to receive Pell Grants to further their education. At one time 27,000 is these miscreants were taking advantage of Pell Grants for prisoners.

Donald Moeller, John Wayne Gacy, and God bless his soul Tookie Williams all had the opportunity to take part in this program.

Tom Daschle voted to continue this program. So when I wrote that Tom Daschle voted to allow convicted murderers to continue receiving Pell Grants I was right. Moreover, you are wrong as the day is long. You did not search the Congressional Record because if you did you would have found the following:

On July 30, 1991, at 6:57 p.m. in the 1st Session of the 102nd Congress, Tom Daschle voted on Amendment 938 to H.R. 2608 to allow rapists, child molesters and all other prisoners the opportunity to use Pell Grants. See: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=102&session=1&vote=00161

My intellectual honesty is of a depth and breath which you cannot fathom. You are reduced to calling me a moron. In fact my intellectual gravitas is far superior to what you have because I can actually make a blog post that is completely and totally honest and 100% correct without having to cite bills and records. I draw upon my wisdom at the spur of the moment to recall bills that liberals would like to forget.

See the voting records of the United States Senate are a funny thing. They are public and open to anyone and pesky pols and minions like your self cannot escape them.

Bottom line at the end of the day is that Tom Daschle voted to continue the program that allows murders to further their education. In the meantime it takes money away from all other college kids who were struggling to get by.

Now what does this have to do with Rounds and flip flopping. Well, nothing really but don't ever challenge me because I don't ever lie.
Will said…
Anon wrote:
"You're doing a brilliant job of obfuscation for your boy Rounds."

Obfuscation? My boy? Are you joking?

I've been nothing but critical of him on this issue. Are you suggesting I'm being disingenuous?

Well, I'm not. But I can appreciate the irony of someone named "anonymous" suggesting that I'm being disingenuous.

You wrote:
"His evasive non-answers up to this point seem to suggest that he isn't running for another office."

That's true, but his "suggestion" certainly doesn't rise to the level of a pledge or a commitment.

I love how PP never answers the hard questions. He said that Dems were after Rounds because his pledge wasn't lemony enough. I asked him what pledge, what commitment, what promise Rounds had made. No response. No surprise, either.
Anonymous said…
My apologies there Will, I got my wires crossed.

PP seems to be real good at throwing headlines out as if they are reality.

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