I figured everybody and their brother was blogging about the big name keynote speakers at CPAC so I wanted to watch the CPAC speech (need free registration) given by a neighbor to the north, Freshman Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD). I have heard a little about her before, and I took time to visit her website before watching.
I think we have a rising star on our hands. She wasn’t flashy giving her speech, but she was down to earth and I believe we need more people like that in Congress. She talked about growing up in South Dakota on her family’s farm. Her dad whom she identified as a Cowboy was killed at the age of 49 in an accident on their farm. She came from college to help take manager their operation. She said that they were hit hard by the estate tax. They had to choose as many farmers do in that circumstance to sell land or take out a loan. She said her Dad always said that you never sell land. She went on to say, “I don’t know if anyone has ever told you, but they aren’t making any more land.”
She said her service was sparked by something her dad had said, “you can’t just complain about something that is happening, you need to do something about it.” She said her experiences on her family farm, and the hardships they faced (she said it took 1o years to pay off the loan for the estate tax) led her to service. She ran for the South Dakota House and won in 2006. For the last two years she has been the Assistant Majority Leader in the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Not complaining, but doing let this farming and ranching mom of three to run for Congress. She only announced a year ago she was running and now she joins a freshman class of 87 Republican Representatives. She noted 37 of which has never held public office. She said to much applause describing her decision to run, “maybe we need common, everyday, ordinary people serving.” She received even greater applause when she said, “a lot of us freshman don’t have a lot of knowledge about the way Washington operates and frankly we don’t really care.”
She said her class wants to be historic not just in numbers, but in delivering results for the American people.
I hope they succeed.
Update: I blogged more in depth on her remarks about education over at Get Conservative.