Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Representative Stephanie Herseth (D-SD)

At the Rockefeller Center, we have started a New Voices in Washington series. One of my biggest disappointments with the Presidential conventions last summer was how little they seemed to showcase and cultivate younger members of the two parties, whom we might look to for leadership in the years to come. So we are actively seeking out new voices to bring to campus.

We inaugurated the series last evening with a visit from Representative Stephanie Herseth (D-SD). You can find her Congressional website here and her campaign website here. She's a centrist--she has to be to represent South Dakota--and she had full command of a range of issues, which mainly focused on domestic policy in her lecture. There are several issues on which she and I disagree (as many to the left as to the right), but it is also safe to say that if the Democratic leadership in Washington held her views, I would vote Democratic.

Here's a new test of the skills of those at the helm of the Democratic Party: can they find a way to make her a vice presidential candidate in '08, '12, or '16?

Read other coverage in The Dartmouth and at Joe's Dartblog.

Other blogs commenting on this post


brian said...

Ms. Herseth seems to be a nice fellow and a hard-working Congresswoman, but I do not see what she has done that qualifiers her to become a VP nominee.

Andrew Samwick said...

Fair enough. I don't think she would suggest that she yet merits such a nomination. When asked what she had in mind for her career, she thoughtfully replied that in the near term, she wanted only to build up some seniority in the House on behalf of South Dakota.

But in '04, I saw the Democrats nominate Senator Edwards for VP, without any more substantive experience than Herseth will have in '08 and with, in my opinion, less well formulated ideas. We also hear Senator Clinton actively discussed at the top of the Democratic ticket in '08. If eight years in the Senate puts her in the top spot, it's hard for me to see why four or eight years in the House wouldn't be fine for the second spot.

Brian said...

I'm actually a different Brian than the one who posted above, just to be clear.

While we're on the subject of Democrats nominating (or wanting to nominate) fairly inexperienced politicians, let's not forget Barack Obama, who was the most popular speaker at the Democratic convention despite being an Illinois State Senator at the time. He'll have less experience in 2008 than Edwards had in 2004, yet will be a popular pick for VP.

Of course, as John Kerry can attest to, there's something to be said for not having a long paper trail of votes following you around every time you try to run for higher office.

Robert Schwartz said...

I think she is too cute to be a congresscreature. Not a babe, but cute.