The Corner

South Dakota Senate Candidate Reads ‘Cowboy Poetry’ at Sports Bar

The art of poetry may seem out of place in the rough-and-tumble blood sport that is U.S. politics. But on Wednesday night, South Dakota Senate hopeful Larry Pressler revealed his sensitive side. 

The independent candidate read a few poems — including one written by a “cowboy” — at the meeting of a local poetry club at a Sioux Falls sports bar. 

“In this campaign I’m engaged in, I’m judged by some of my friends,” he told the few dozen people in attendance. “If you’re a friend of Barack Obama, therefore you’re bad. But this is a cowboy writing about his friends. And some of his neighbors have a different stand of branding than he does, but he still is their friend.”

Earlier that day, Pressler told the Washington Times that “Barack Obama needs friends in the Senate. . . . I think Barack Obama has kind of gone astray, but if I get there I’m going to try to help him and work with him.”

The former Republican senator lost his 1996 reelection bid, but is taking another stab at elected office as an independent following Democrat Tim Johnson’s retirement. Pressler is polling at around 23 percent, behind Democrat Rick Weiland’s 28 percent and Republican Mike Rounds’ 38 percent. 

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