What's Next Mike?

That is the $64,000 question that keeps popping up. Dave Kranz from Governor Rounds’ favorite newspaper has an article from a few days back discussing the beginning of campaign season. Eventually Kranz gets around to pulling out his crystal ball and looks towards 2008 and talks about the possibility of Rounds running against Tim Johnson for the Senate.

It is not surprising that some Republican operatives are jumping a couple of squares forward, wanting Rounds to challenge Democrat Sen. Tim Johnson in 2008. Rounds is still riding a popularity wave, but Johnson’s approval rating is higher than Rounds, and that makes it a risky proposition for the governor.

On the plus side, if Rounds wins, he is senator and he gets his likely choice, Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, to succeed him in the governor’s office. And if he loses to Johnson, he’s still governor.

I myself and others have wondered this same question aloud for several months but Governor Rounds, other than saying that at this point he has no plans to seek that office, has been non-committal and when Kranz posed that question to Rounds his response was as cryptic as usual.

“I want to be governor,” he said.

Then he quoted the late Gov. George Mickelson.

“It’s the best job in the world.”

Maybe I should adjust the Governors poll to include Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard as a vote for Rounds in November could include 2 years of Daugaard leadership at worst and at best at least 3 or 4 months of his attention being taken up by a Senate campaign instead of focusing on state business.

Could it be that he is waiting for the legislature to address this question for him as that seems to be his way of making the tough decisions because we all know how difficult a yes or no answer can be…

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