Who can kill a puppy? The macabre confession of a candidate for Trump’s vice president | USA Elections

Who can kill a puppy? The macabre confession of a candidate for Trump’s vice president | USA Elections
Who can kill a puppy? The macabre confession of a candidate for Trump’s vice president | USA Elections

Kristi Noem, governor of South Dakota, has always been obsessed with making it clear that she is a strong woman in a universe of men like that of the Republican Party, and that is why she decided to tell the world in her memoirs, recently published in the United States. , that time she wielded one and killed one of her puppies, a 14-month-old dog named Cricket.

“He was a German Wirehaired Pointer,” Noem writes, “and he had come to us from a home that had to deal with his aggression.” That day he had guests at his ranch and they went hunting. Cricket He spent the morning running ahead of the party, “scare[ing]away the birds” and obeying no one. On the way back, they stopped at a neighbors’ farm, and the dog ran away and killed a few chickens. Noem, who first defines her as “indomitable,” then goes on to call her a “trained killer.” The animal tried to bite her owner when she managed to catch it.

“I hated her,” she recalls in the book. That’s when she decided that she “had to sacrifice it,” and that she had to do it with her own hands. “I stopped the truck in the middle of the road, took out my gun, grabbed the strap and took it to a pile of gravel.” With a use of ellipsis that the reader appreciates, the author makes a point and writes: “It was not a pretty task, but it had to be done.”

The thing doesn’t stop there. Another “unfinished business” comes to Noem’s mind when she sees an unneutered, “disgusting and evil” goat that “had been a problem” for the family for years and gave off an “unpleasant, acrid and rancid odor.” After telling how she kills him, to the surprise of a group of workers who watch the scene in astonishment, the governor notes: “Leading is not always fun (…). The world is full of charlatans and evaders [de sus responsabilidades]. “We need people to act.”

The macabre confession – which comes towards the middle of the book and without a break between the story of a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and the exposition of the flabby “Noem doctrine” in matters of international politics – has earned him the governor a monumental scandal that seems to have destroyed her chances, high, according to the pools, of being the vice presidential candidate with Donald Trump. At the end of the controversial episode, the author acknowledges: “I guess if I were a better politician I wouldn’t have told the story here.” And there she did get it right. If he had been, he surely would not have overlooked what the polls indicate: among the few things that unite Americans in this fractured time is the love, bordering on idolatry among the wealthy urban classes, for pets.

From his memoirs, titled Not Going Back (No turning back), talk actually began weeks before its arrival 10 days ago in bookstores, when a journalist from Guardian He got a copy, read it and, against all odds, came across news of international reach inside one of those boring volumes signed by politicians that abound so much in the United States. They form a rather unspeakable genre, which comes from mixing the autobiography with a moral, the presentation of credentials to make the leap to national politics and the summary of the author’s ideology.

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Donald Trump and Kristi Noem at a rally in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 2018. Susan Walsh (AP/LaPresse)

From reading those 260 pages, the most interesting part of which is, frankly, the one that has given rise to the controversy ―Ron Charles, literary critic of The Washington Post, sarcastically defines Noem’s role in that passage as that of “a character of [la escritora sureña] Flannery O’Connor, a fan of tax cuts”―, the impression remains that her conviction when it came to writing was to demonstrate that she is a tough and determined woman. Without those two attributes, she perhaps would not have become the first female governor in the history of South Dakota. Much less, she is a reference of the wild and very masculine MAGA universe (Trumpist acronym that corresponds to “Let’s return her greatness to the United States”). In the latter he is also helped by his outbursts in line with the leader: the last of them has led this week to the prohibition of his entry into the territory of seven of the tribes of his State after repeated accusations without evidence that his leaders benefit from “cartel drug trafficking.”

In No Way Back He is also not afraid to say what he thinks, and that includes attacks on some party colleagues, whom he dismisses as “losers”; an anecdote, which has been proven false, involving North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un when she was a congresswoman; or the confession that she sees common ground (!) between her three-year-old granddaughter Miss Addie and Trump.

“Amazing self-destruction”

Noem has been at least consistent: she has rejected repentance since the controversy broke out, and she has defended her decisions both on her social networks and on weekend talk shows with politicians, while attacks, jokes from comedians and also the friendly fire of, for example, the veteran Republican strategist Karl Rove. Rove defined in Wall Street Journalize the episode as an act of “astonishing self-destruction.”

And Trump? Until this week, in which the book debuted in ninth place on the best-seller list, the former president had not commented on the plight of one of his staunchest admirers within the party. He finally did it in New York, during a private fundraising event for his campaign and in the presence of several of the unofficial candidates to accompany him as vice president. “I’m very curious about the dog,” he said in an amused tone, according to the story of those present, who observed more sympathy than criticism in his words. “[Noem] “It has been there for us for a long time,” he added. “She’s loyal, she’s great.”

Lyndon Johnson, with his two beagle dogs, ‘Him’ and ‘Her’, in 1964, in an image that caused controversy due to the way the president pulled their ears.Bettmann (Bettmann Archive)

Trump is perfectly capable of opposing everyone and ending up choosing her as his companion on the ballot. After all, he is known to value loyalty in his collaborators above almost any other virtue. Furthermore, he hates dogs, and in that he was also an atypical tenant of the White House. The history of the pets of American presidents would be enough for a book (if it were not for the fact that it already exists: it is titled All American Dogs): from Falathe Scottish terrier immortalized in bronze in the statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, a Bo, the Obamas’ poodle, or the beagles that Lyndon Johnson held by the ears in a photo that also caused controversy (unlike Noem, Johnson never killed any of them, although the male was killed by the House limousine. White).

Joe Biden also has his dog side. The family’s latest pet is a troublesome German shepherd named Commander. Last October he was taken from the presidential residence after at least a dozen attacks on White House staff. In his book, Noem does not overlook that fact. “A dog that bites is dangerous and unpredictable (are you listening, Joe Biden?),” the governor writes. She picks up the argument later in the last chapter, when she fantasizes about the first thing she would do if she were president: “Make sure Biden’s dog isn’t loose out there. Commandersay hi to Cricket from my part”.

‘Commander’, the Bidens’ German shepherd, at the White House, in September 2023.KEN CEDENO (REUTERS)

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