Yes, I'd like to order a "D"LT.

We should be hearing who Jack Billion is going to pick as his Lt. Governor choice pretty soon. Of course, in addition to other topics, the rumor mill is in full force on this one. And admittedly, it's a bit of fun speculation. Who will he pick?

Those in the know tell the rest of us it's going to shock us. I don't know. It's pretty hard to shock me, jaded as I am. It would have to be one to come out of left field - way out of left field - and I'm not sure that person exists.

So, as I eat a PBJ for dinner, I think to myself, "what type of person might they pick who many would consider a shocker?"
1. The Cross-over candidate - The Dems are reveling in having a couple of former R's (Heidepreim and Cradduck) running as D's this year. So, why not go for the whole enchilada and give the Lt. selection to a Republican? With a string of moderate Republicans who just took it in the shorts in the primary election, it's not outside of reason that they'd think to go after some of the people who just lost.

Not that they would do it, but scoring a Stan Adelstein or a Duane Sutton would be a bit of a coup for the Democrats and get them some attention for a race that some pundits are already calling for the current Governor when the fall campaign hasn't begun yet.

This past fall, the Democrat leadership spent an inordinate amount of time gushing over the Republicans who founded the group dedicated to being more like Democrats, so it's entirely possible they could make a Republican palatable to even the hard-core Dems who would normally bash anyone appearing Republican-like.

2. The Legacy Candidate - They could also go for someone who already has built in "political family name recognition." While I'd be doubtful that Congresswoman Herseth would take the step down, her father's name is certainly recognizeable.

That, and there are Tim Johnson progeny, Kneip kids, and a host of others who might bring back some nostalgia for Democrats for a time when they stood an even chance at taking the election.

3. The Celebrity - There has been more than one South Dakota celebrity with political leanings who has indicated an interest in statewide South Dakota politics. So, why not go for the built-in name ID?

You could pick a Tom Brokaw or a Pat O'Brien and instantly get access to out of state celebrity fundraising money, as well as a huge amount of national press. And since they're not typically located in South Dakota at any given moment, it would come as a suprise.

My only request - Dems, if you go this route, please pick Pat O'Brien. Pretty please?

4. Old School - This is the one I find the most likely. I think they're going to bring back someone that none of us thought would do it. Why not? They have nothing to lose, and it might jumpstart their statewide political career for 2010.

They might have put the pressure or sweet talking to a Jim Abbott or a Mel Olson and gotten them to give politics another go. You can't tell me a Linda Lea Viken has given up her electoral dreams.

Bringing back people from the past has been a bit of a theme this year in encougaring people to run for legislative seats. in a recent speech, Wollman said to look to the successes of the past, so why not put another tread on that old tire and give it a go?
In fact, it's probably natural that former Legislator Jack Billion look to the people he served in the legislature with. That's where Governor Rounds looked to pick Dennis Daugaard.

Any readers out there have any additional speculation or an inside track? Write it up under the comments and let's take it for a spin. We'll probably all be wrong.

But these are the things that make politics fun. The childlike anticipation of what's going to be around the next bend.


Not like it matters, but how about that Gal that was with him on the Hemingsen Show? If only I could remember the name!
PP said…
I missed that one.
Nicholas Nemec said…
That would be Kathy Piersol. Well respected Democrat lawyer. Her husband, Larry Piersol, is a Federal judge.
Anonymous said…
I have it on good authority that Jack Billion will choose a celebrity South Dakotan for lieutenant governor - Catherine (Daisy Duke) Bach.
Anonymous said…
Also, former Georgia Democratic congressman Ben Jones (Cooter) will be campaigning for Billion/ Daisy ticket. Bo & Luke couldn't make it - they can't leave Hazzard County.
Billion/Bach? Has a nice ring to it. BTW Nick, thanks for your help there. That said, does it really matter who he chooses as his #2. It won't help him get elected. Has the LG candidate ever made a difference? Not that I can recall!
a_big_liberal said…
I would love to see Stan be the runningmate. He's really left, but fiscally conservative, and would be a really good "I'm serious about bipartisanship" move on Billion's part.

Besides, it would make Billion considerably more attractive to straight-ticket voting Republicans who are sick of Rounds, but need a little push to vote for a big D.
Anonymous said…
We will all find out in the morning who Jack Billion's running mate is. He's announcing it from Rapid City Weds. morning.

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