Kristi Noem isn’t playing coy with Donald Trump. The South Dakota governor wants to be the former president’s running mate and she’s sending almost daily thirst traps to catch his eye. Her latest attempt — cowgirl riding. In a move that will doubtless put Corey Lewandowski in heat, Noem dropped a video of herself Wednesday participating in her state’s annual Buffalo Roundup, where she helped round up over 15,000 bison for the state’s conservation efforts. A certified cowgirl in her chaps and wide-brimmed hat, Noem majestically rides the plains, her hair blowing in slow-motion behind her. If that doesn’t turn Trump’s head, Cockburn isn’t sure what will.
The Buffalo Roundup came on the heels of Noem’s “Freedom Works Here” ads which have been playing on Fox News and during the GOP debates. The promos encourage workers from out-of-state to move to South Dakota for jobs. In the most recent one, Noem cosplays as an electrician and tells the audience that South Dakota is the freest state in the country and the best place to raise a family.
“Let’s look on the bright side. South Dakota stayed open for business during the pandemic. Now we have got more jobs than people,” she says. “So I’m filling in until you get here.” The sparks are flying…
Trump plumps for Jordan
To the chagrin of the dozens of regular C-SPAN viewers, Donald Trump is taking himself out of contention to be the next House speaker, instead throwing his support behind Ohio’s Jim Jordan.
There are risks and rewards to Jordan’s Trump endorsement; in order to clinch the gavel, he’ll need to reassure moderate House Republicans that he can both raise oodles of money as Kevin McCarthy did, and that he won’t jeopardize their elections next fall. His main opponent, Steve Scalise, has been racking up support of his own — but Trump’s endorsement has moved a bunch of previous undecideds into Jordan’s column.
Complicating Scalise’s math, we’re told by someone closely tracking the speaker’s balloting, is that there are “at least ten people who will never, ever vote for Steve Scalise.” This group ranges from moderates to the more conservative members — and their frustrations stem from fierce loyalty to McCarthy to concerns that Scalise is too similar to the former speaker.
Disappointingly for Trump, the news of his endorsement was blasted to the world by Representative Troy Nehls, who posted on X that the former president is endorsing Jordan for the top House job. Nehls himself had previously nominated Trump for speaker, before switching his support to Trump’s guy.
An aide of a McCarthy ally told Cockburn that the idea of Trump “being speaker himself was a bigger joke than Nancy Mace, and we know he likes to be a kingmaker. There is a ton of early momentum for Jordan, even from moderates.” Going in Jordan’s favor is how Jordan “can keep a handle on the fringe members in a way Scalise can’t, which is why moderates are warming up to him. Not to mention, Scalise making calls before McCarthy was even finished left a bad taste with a lot of us. No one is at 218 yet, but Jordan has impressed.”
While Trump won’t run himself, the speaker’s race is still a spectacle — Fox News is trying to seize on it by attempting to host a candidate forum next week, which, in the time since this newsletter was sent out as an email, has already been canceled (you really do want it in your inbox first). Representative Carlos Gimenez, for example, called it a “horrible idea.”
We’ll see if Trump ends up making his much-anticipated return to DC next week.
Karine Jean-Pierre’s girl dinner
Cockburn is a social creature, who loves little more than settling in for a few drinks with his fellow DC degenerates. And according to Politico Playbook Thursday, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is of the same mind:
OUT AND ABOUT — Ashley Allison, Ashley Etienne, Stefanie Brown James and Adrienne Elrod hosted a dinner last night to celebrate White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. SPOTTED: Andrea Mitchell, Joy Reid, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Karen Finney, Tasia Jackson, Kasie Hunt, Maya Wiley, [MSNBC president] Rashida Jones, [ABC News president] Kim Godwin, Melanie Campbell, Maria Cardona, Shawna Thomas, Margaret Brennan, Stephanie Cutter, Susanna Quinn, Kelly Robinson, Caroline Wanga, Shavon Arline Bradley, Chanelle Hardy, Addie Whisenant, Anne McMillan and Nadine Duplessy Kearns.
What a cute group! So nice of the presidents of two major news networks to come for girl dinner to “celebrate” the press sec. Celebrating what, exactly, is unclear: KJP’s birthday was in August and her work anniversary was in May. The start of cuffing season perhaps? Anyway, Cockburn can’t help but be aghast at the lack of diversity: they invited top execs from JPMorgan Chase and Google, but not a single trans woman? It makes you sick…
Something for the weekend: a Matt Gaetz-style cocktail menu
In a July magazine profile, Cockburn’s colleagues dubbed Oklahoma senator Markwayne Mullin “the Senate’s stoic brawler.” This week, when asked about Matt Gaetz unseating Kevin McCarthy, Mullin slammed the brakes on the “stoic” and hit the gas on the “brawler.” “We had all seen the videos he was showing on the House floor,” Mullin told CNN, “of the girls that he had slept with. He’d brag about how he would crush ED medicine and chase it with an energy drink so he could go all night.”
Gaetz issued a vigorous denial — but it was too late. The cogs in Cockburn’s absinthe-addled mind were already cranking into gear, working up combinations for cocktails that, uh, keep Congress in session.
What about a Cialisius: a Celsius with Cialis, to keep the temperature up? A Bang with a Bang: another gas station favorite, paired with Hims for her pleasure. Or the Strong Like a Bull: Red Bull, Viagra, orgeat, blue Curacao and rum. The Extra Hard Seltzer: when enjoying the company of… less experienced drinkers, you’ll need a few seltzers around. For the adults in the room, take it up a notch with an extra shot of vodka, a few splashes of Mountain Dew Hard Baja Blast and the ED med du jour. Six Inches High and Rising: when you need your hair standing as straight as possible, this cocktail is the only choice. Take two bottles of 5-Hour Energy, one shot of light rum, one shot of spiced rum, four ounces of orange juice and a squeeze of lime. Stir and pour over ice in a Viagra-rimmed glass. Finally, Vacatorade: muddle Stendra in the bottom of a glass with a splash of Fruit Punch Gatorade. Top with a shot of vodka and the rest of the Gatorade. Because sometimes you really need to hydrate, but also keep the party going. Send any further suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org…