Argus Leader on Senator Johnson's Return

There's kind of an interesting story in the Argus today on Senator Johnson's anticipated return to the US Senate where the Senator's own press person is disputing the predictions of Senator Harry Reid who was generally positive about a return date:
Hupke said many people pray for Johnson, following a biblical mandate to pray for government leaders, but they need to hear from the senator himself if positive reports on his health are to be trusted.

A gap in understanding rises from the optimism of Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said Thursday that Johnson has regained 90 percent of his speech and probably will return to the Senate by September. Neither detail is necessarily true, said Johnson's communications director, Julianne Fisher.

"Harry Reid is incredibly enthusiastic, very supportive, and we certainly appreciate that, but doctors have to come first, and doctors are saying 'no timeline,' " Fisher said.

Reid, who's from Nevada, gave a promising report on Johnson after the Dec. 13 hemorrhage and more than once predicted Johnson would be back in the Capitol this spring. It's possible Reid will be correct about a September return, though "sometimes his crystal ball has not been reliable," Fisher said.


"The uncertainty and anxiousness of waiting - that's when our fears can become very noisy, like the father waiting up at night for a call from his daughter," said Daniel Leininger, a therapist and counselor in Sioux Falls. "Without hearing anything, that just makes people more anxious."

Bryan Carey, 22, a loss-prevention worker at Best Buy, said the silence has lasted long enough. "It's a big issue to be able to know what he's thinking," he said.

Others say leave him alone.

Read it all here.

This article is kind of a turn of policy for the A.L., who I think has taken some heat on the issue of not asking such questions regarding when the Senator is going to return. Of course, the immediate opinion is that they wouldn't give any Republican a free pass.

Of course, there are people out there who are already crying foul at this kind of examination.

I think everyone is between a rock and a hard place on this issue. There are the partisan forces which will always be there to some degree simply over wanting to possess the seat for "their team." That's just the uber competitive nature of politics. That mindset is always lurking in the background.

Then there are the forces of just plain human concern for a family member, a friend, or a well-liked public figure. No one bears the Senator any ill will. We want him to get better, and to enjoy life. We all wish him well. Express a concern that it's taking too long? Well, that's just not South Dakota, where we care for the welfare of our family and friends.

Then there's a third force of wanting to ensure that one of the largest voices our state has in the Federal Government is heard. To citizens, staff members doing constituent service work isn't necessarily going to cut it. We need our voice.

The longer the Senator's recovery takes, the more these forces will battle back and forth. Some will be genuine and sincere. Some will be grossly partisan - and that's on both sides of the issue.

I think the main thing that needs to be considered is that the family sees all of this stuff. So, choose your words wisely. They're in a weird place on this as well. They're trying to allow someone very much in the public eye who was stricken with a brain injury to convalesce.


Anonymous said…
what this proves is that HARRY REID IS A LIAR.

He is so desperate to hang on to his power as Senate leader that he'll lie about Johnson's condition, because he knows of Johnson can't serve the Senate goes back to 50-50!

Anonymous said…
This does seem like a big scam perpetrated by the Senate Democrats, led by Reid. They constantly say Johnson will be "back soon" because they don't a debate to start over the legitimacy of the Democratic majority in the Senate, which could be fraudulent. That's why Harry Reid and Daschle came out of the hospital room right after Johnson's hemorhage and said "Tim looks great!" People, can we just admit that Reid and Daschle were lying, as anon says?
Anonymous said…
Shame on you, you two-faced, cold hearted Repubs. The brothahs write songs about people like you:
"why do you build me up, buttercup, baby
just to let me down... and mess me around?

and then worst of all, you never call, baby
when you say you will but i love you still

i need you more than anyone, darlin'
you know that I have from the start

so build me up buttercup, don't break my heart"


Shame, shame, shame. You elected the man. God knows there weren't enough of us Dems to do it.
Stand tough, for better or worse, Tim's your man.

He'd do the same for you.
Haggs said…
I agree that Sen. Reid was too enthusiastic with his comments. But if a friend of mine was in the same situation that Sen. Johnson was in, I just might do the same thing.

So I really can't fault Reid. He was just looking out for his friend.
Anonymous said…
Don't forget Daschle is as guilty as Reid because he pulled the same lies on everyone

also, many don't think that Johnson actually "won" the last election. he "won" like people do in Nigeria
Anonymous said…
What happened to Randall Beck's indignation on the issue? What a jackass (the only term that I think adequately describes this hypocritical non-journalist, so leave it up, PP).
Anonymous said…
4:16, Oh please! Don't embarass yourself.
For a Dem to get even close to defeating a Republican in this state totally disproves your point. I can't believe how some of you people persist in this. Your own party is embarassed
when you do that.

Here's a napkin.

Do us all a favor and wipe off the drool.
Anonymous said…
This is all about power. The Democrats in the Senate under Daschle's boy Reid are DESPERATE to retain to control so that they can run investigations and issue subpeonas. They HAVE to maintain the fiction that Johnson will "return soon." That the media has let them carry this lie this far just shows how corrupt the media is.
Anonymous said…
another indication how the Democrats have to cling to power by exploiting the suffering of Tim Johnson. They have no shame.
Anonymous said…
The problem with this story is that the reporter needed to be able to talk to people off the record. Many people I talk to have a huge amount to say about this JOhnson farce. But they are respectable people and don't want to be seen as insensitive and get trashed by the liberals. The only way to really write this story and report what people are thinking to allow confidentiality for the people being interviewed.
Anonymous said…
Just remember it will soon be 7 months!
I feel safe to say that South Dakotans wish him health!

Never the less I do feel it is okay to have a Republican in the running for the seat!

It does not matter on the R side of things or in the political sceme of things.

Yes, it would be nice to see him, and hear him. Yes, his speech is not there so how about some footage of him chatting and walking.

I feel most of the time politcals are captured on TV news crew footage coming and going from a clinic or hospital setting.
So what is the problem?

I think most know he is not 100%. Could it be that people are taking it further negative by not seeing and knowing. There i feel is the question in the minds of many and yes, even in the Dem side of SD voters.

The thing is Johnson can still fundraise as he is through other people and up his bank roll.

He can run or not run he can lose or he can win and then decide to resign. That puts another twist in the events. Just remember the Senate is not a special race the Governor picks replacement.

Let's see was prior to the last election when Johnson stated that he might not run because he wanted to spend time with his family and grandkids? Was this just to get "news coverage" or was it a possibility.
Maybe his heart is in it maybe it isn't, maybe it is a ploy, maybe it is not on his mind. Only he knows the truth. One thing I think we all can agree on is that he wants to get better as much as possible...that may be 100% or it could be less than 100%.

I say put a Republican candidate in there! Go for the "R" campaign 100% as if nothing ever happened!
Anonymous said…
11:02 That would be the sane thing to do, run on your merits. Like in the old days.
Anonymous said…
How many of you have ever thought of this;
with all the candidates that have run, or where going to run or have now retired or started pacs, or thought about running for one office to end up running for another office.
HOW much MONEY do you think is sitting in banks in POLTICIAL CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTS!

So do you suppose we could run the county on this amount for a year or 2, maybe one. Just toss the thought around in your mind.

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