Why Kristi Noem’s damage-control tour is probably doomed — and it isn’t her dead dog’s fault.

Kristi Noem’s damage-control tour is in full swing. It seems destined for a similar destiny as her late canine Cricket: dead in a gravel pit someplace close to Pierre.

But at Mar-a-Lago, even earlier than the revelation about her canine, Noem had way back been solid apart as a possible operating mate, in response to six folks near former President Donald Trump who, whereas not discounting Noem totally, have for a lot of weeks stated she has virtually no likelihood of being on the ticket. The Cricket saga was simply the most recent in probably the most spectacularly botched vice presidential contender rollouts in trendy political historical past.

On Wednesday, days forward of the discharge of her political memoir initially designed to spice up her veepstakes marketing campaign, Noem took to Sean Hannity to try to reset the disastrous political narrative surrounding her: that penning the anecdote about capturing her canine for example of her skill to make tough selections had destroyed her vice presidential ambitions.

Noem will return to Trump’s turf in Palm Beach, Florida this weekend, addressing top-dollar donors with other prospective running mates at a luxury hotel. Two advisers to Noem, granted anonymity to talk freely, stated they count on a Sunday present look on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and extra excerpts from the e-book to additionally make information.

But it virtually actually received’t be sufficient to show the tide of public opinion or, extra importantly for Noem, the view of her inside Mar-a-Lago.

“She is of no use,” stated Scott Jennings, a former President George W. Bush political adviser, evaluating Noem to different operating mate contenders, together with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) who would “have utility” on the Trump ticket.

“What does she bring?” Jennings stated of Noem. “The possibility of weirdo drama. That’s it. She appeals to no constituency Trump doesn’t already have.”

For a number of years, Noem had appeared ascendant in Republican politics. She grew to become probably the most vocal governors towards Covid rules, was a daily on the conservative tv and convention circuit, hosted Trump for a 2020 Independence Day celebration and then gave him a miniature bust of Mount Rushmore together with his face included.

But then got here reports in conservative media of allegations that Noem was having an extramarital affair with former Trump marketing campaign supervisor Corey Lewandowski. Noem denied it, saying on the time that “these rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie.” Yet regardless of Noem being invited to fulfill with Trump at Mar-a-Lago as not too long ago as February, and campaigning for him in Iowa earlier this 12 months, inside Trump’s orbit, the rumors caught.

Not solely have Trump aides been involved concerning the stories, Trump himself expressed qualms about them, too. While entertaining guests at Mar-a-Lago earlier this 12 months, Trump made a joke about Noem’s “baggage,” in response to an individual with data of the remarks and granted anonymity to talk freely.

In current weeks — and in speedy succession — all the pieces else got here to knock down the negligible possibilities Noem had of getting tapped as operating mate.

She was broadly mocked after filming a weird infomercial-style video promoting for a Texas beauty dentistry that she stated had given her a brand new “smile,” a promotion that raised ethics questions and led to a lawsuit towards her.

Noem launched new tv ads that includes herself, spending thousands and thousands of state {dollars} to decorate up as a building employee and state trooper — after filming earlier spots pretending to be a plumber, dentist, electrician and welder — in an obvious bid to attract new residents to South Dakota.

Last weekend, Noem appeared on CNN, coming below fireplace after refusing to say whether or not abortion exceptions for rape and incest must be permitted, as an alternative replying that she doesn’t “believe a tragedy should perpetuate another tragedy.” In South Dakota, all abortions are outlawed besides to avoid wasting a girl’s life.

“Are suburban women going to come and flock to Donald Trump? Probably not,” stated David Urban, a former senior Trump marketing campaign adviser. “Does Kristi Noem help that fact? Western governor, kind of a tough cowgirl, tough image. Not sure she’s the one that brings suburban women to the ballot box.”

After the anecdote about 14-month-old Cricket got here out, Noem’s advisers confessed they had been greatly surprised that it garnered such intense backlash.

“I didn’t think that was going to be the headline,” an individual near Noem who had learn the e-book advised POLITICO. The individual was granted anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk on her behalf.

But information of Noem’s execution and disposal of her canine has continued to play out for greater than every week, with Noem making a number of feedback defending her choice, together with saying on Wednesday that the canine was “not a puppy,” however a risk to her household.

“I think Gov. Noem’s efforts have been sophomoric,” stated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally. “Running ads may have seemed clever, but to someone as sophisticated as Trump, her strategies have been a bit too obvious.”

“Killing the dog and then writing about it,” Gingrich added, “ended any possibility of her being picked as VP.”

Noem is set to seem on the Trump and Republican National Committee donor retreat happening this weekend in Palm Beach, the place Trump may also give remarks, joined by greater than a dozen different “special guests.”

Noem is scheduled to talk on Saturday morning in a “breakfast conversation” with Burgum that shall be moderated by RNC Chair Michael Whatley, in response to a replica of the agenda.

Quite a few different Republicans seen as Trump operating mate contenders, together with Rubio, Vance and Scott, are additionally anticipated to seem. The occasion is anticipated to attract round 400 main donors, in response to an individual conversant in the planning.

But injury already carried out could show irreversible.

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson, who on his present this week railed about Noem being a “psychopath,” advised POLITICO that sharing the canine anecdote confirmed “poor judgment on her part.”

“If she did that to impress Trump, she forgot he’s hurting himself in the suburbs where they tend not to murder dogs,” Erickson stated.

But even earlier than the Cricket fiasco, Noem “had too much baggage,” Erickson stated — although he speculated that, if picked for the ticket, it would have been “shrugged off” by conservatives.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, a Republican from the close by state of North Dakota, described the probability of Noem getting on the ticket like this: “It’s hard to imagine a universe where bragging about shooting your 14-month-old puppy increases your brand value.”

The MAGA motion, stated Steve Bannon, a former high Trump adviser, “is looking for a perfect compliment to President Trump,” which incorporates “someone who can help him win and help him govern.”

“But shooting an innocent puppy,” he stated, “may be a tad too ‘based’ for many.”

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