Chances of Noem’s political survival equal to Cricket’s

Lee Pulaski
City Editor

There’s a saying out there that sometimes, when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, somebody throws you a shovel.

That expression springs to mind whenever I see the latest news on Kristi Noem, governor for South Dakota and someone aspiring to be Donald Trump’s running mate. She’s coming out with her memoir, “No Going Back,” and from what’s been coming out about her, I think it’s safe to say that her next book might be titled “No Going Forward.”

Prior to the memoir’s release, it came out that Noem dedicated a portion of the story to how she shot and killed her dog, Cricket, 20 years ago to protect her family. The dog was 14 months old, and Noem claimed the dog was “untrainable” and “less than worthless as a hunting dog” after it attacked another family’s chickens.

A dog that age is akin to a child around age 8 or 9. Most children that age get punished for poor behavior, but the last time I checked, parents couldn’t do summary executions on their children. Considering that Noem has pointed out in television interviews that she used to be a youth pastor in church, two questions spring to mind. First, are all of the children who were under supervision at that time accounted for? If they are, the second question is why was she able to handle rambunctious children, but not a dog that was still maturing?

Noem claims she hated the dog, which would seem to explain why she chose to end the crisis with a bullet instead of rehoming the dog, surrendering it to an animal shelter or sending it off for some obedience training. If she can make that kind of choice with an animal, it’s questionable what decisions she would recommend if she ever was allowed to step foot into the Oval Office.

There are rumors that Trump’s election team in no longer interested in considering her for vice president, but considering what passes for political candidates these days, we shouldn’t consider that to be fact until it can be confirmed. It takes more than a nonsensical rant at a rally, like what killed Howard Dean’s presidential aspirations in 2000, to drive a stake through a bloodthirsty politician’s heart in the modern era. Noem’s actions puts Dean’s tirade two decades ago on the same level as belching at a fancy dinner.

The revelation of Cricket’s mode of transportation to the rainbow bridge has actually brought Republicans and Democrats together in condemnation of such an action. What Noem doesn’t seem to realize is that most of us either have dogs or at least have come into contact with them at some point in life. Many dog owners consider their furry friends to be family, and it’s clear from the condemnation that many folks on Capitol Hill don’t want Noem to be within 100 miles of their four-legged family members.

President Joe Biden found a way to rehome his German Shepherd, Commander, after it bit Secret Service agents on two dozen confirmed occasions before removing it from the White House in October. Noem did not give Cricket such a chance.

Noem claimed she has another dog currently.

To her credit, it appears that Noem has found a way to bring the nation together, at least for a few minutes. However, considering it’s against her, she might want to take that shovel I mentioned earlier and use it to dig a grave for her political career.

If for some reason the Cricket matter isn’t enough to convince voters that Noem shouldn’t be in public office, there are other exhibits to come before the court of public opinion. The passage in the book about meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which turned out to be false, is an obvious one, but another issue that’s not getting as much buzz in national media is that Noem is banned from four Indigenous reservations — about 20% of South Dakota — for alleging that tribal leaders are “personally benefiting” from drug cartels.

Noem shouldn’t be put in a position where she’d be first in line as president of the United States. She shouldn’t even be considered to lead the United States Humane Society, considering her methods for animals are on the opposite end of humane.

Lee Pulaski is the city editor for NEW Media. Readers can contact him at