It’s hard to overstate the importance of marketing in South Dakota.
At the confluence of the Midwest and West, and branched off by the Missouri River, the state has bet on tourism since the turn of the 20th century, when another ambitious governor, Peter Norbeck, relentlessly encouraged the development of a granite monument in the Black Hills. which could attract visitors to the area.
Ms Noem has shown a similar passion for making the state a destination, memorably blending tourism and politics by ensuring that fireworks can be displayed at Mount Rushmore to draw Mr Trump there year round. last. South Dakota is similarly cheating its pheasant hunting, walleye fishing, and even more blatant tourist stops, like Wall Drug and the Mitchell Corn Palace.
“We don’t have a lot of industry in South Dakota, and we don’t have a lot of natural resources pumped out of the ground or extracted, so when you have a state that’s primarily agriculture and ranching, you need to these resources. Said Ted Hustead, whose family owns Wall Drug, whose collection of western-themed stores and restaurants is a major tourist attraction.
It was this need that put Ms. Noem in a bind on transgender legislation.
She first said she would support the bill. But she turned the tide after facing a backlash from South Dakota’s influential business community, who feared the National Collegiate Athletic Association would bring lucrative basketball tournaments out of the state.
Ms Noem was pressed to change her mind by Tucker Carlson in a rare contradictory Fox News interview, and the shutter fueled suspicion among social conservatives.
“She says whatever she thinks she needs to say,” said Taffy Howard, a state lawmaker who urged Ms Noem to disclose details of the state money she used for the safety during frequent trips. “It was all aimed at satisfying its donors.”
The House overturned Ms Noem’s partial veto on the trans bill, but the state Senate refused to take action, condemning the legislation.