McFeely: 'Doug who?' Online reaction to Burgum's possible presidential run a touch tepid
North Dakota governor appears little known as Twitter users take shots at his state
FARGO — If North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and his team expected a booming reaction by leaking the news to national outlets he was going to run for president, well, they had to settle for something a little less enthusiastic.
Like "tepid." Or "snarky." Or "as flat as the farmland surrounding Arthur, North Dakota."
That's Burgum's hometown, located in rural Cass County. And while there was likely excitement there for the Republican trying to nudge his way onto the biggest stage in politics, the bigger world reacted with a shrug. Or worse.
Esquire writer Charles Pierce, an admitted lefty who took the angle that the CEOs of both Dakotas (Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota being the other) could square off in "a prairie death match" for the Republican nomination, seemed skeptical Burgum was MAGA enough to attract the base. He said Noem went all-in in denying COVID's seriousness, while "Burgum, on the other hand, tried to steer a sensible middle course through the pandemic. Which, for a substantial number of his constituents, was exactly the wrong thing to do. Burgum resisted announcing a mask mandate until the state's hospitals became swamped with COVID patients. Nevertheless, the Horse Paste Caucus remained in full cry."
The Horse Paste Caucus. That's pretty good.
"Burgum has money, but no profile which, in these days when the Supreme Court has sanctified influence peddling, is infinitely preferable to the reverse," Pierce concluded. "This is America, where every child can grow up to buy the presidency."
And that was some of the nicer reaction to the one-time Great Plains Software leader dipping his fashionable cowboy boot into the big-time. We won't grace this page with online comments from the subset of right-wing loons who are linking Burgum to Microsoft chief Bill Gates, a target of several conspiracy theories about several issues including COVID vaccines and farmland.
If we can summarize the feedback from Burgum's future announcement, it comes from political reporter Josh Kraushaar for Axios and Fox News Radio.
"Doug who?" Kraushaar wrote on Twitter.
Doug who? https://t.co/ZKoia01wqU— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) May 18, 2023
One might like to think snark like that was balanced by tweets in support of the governor, but it wasn't happening. There were a few praising Burgum's alleged political moderation, but most weighed heavily toward the "Doug who?" category.
There was a positive one from Robbie Lauf, saying, "Never bet against Doug Burgum." But Robbie is a Burgum fanboy and former employee of the governor.
Never bet against Doug Burgum. https://t.co/nseh5gWlku— Robbie Lauf (@RobertLauf) May 18, 2023
The rest of America, if Twitter is any judge (and in this case it probably is), was less than enthralled with Burgum's decision.
A sample, from big-time political analysts to average people:
"North Dakota GOP Governor to Run for President". Somehow @TheOnion got control of the CBS News site. That's it, right?https://t.co/hGl0uiPNzW— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) May 18, 2023
It’s amazing how many people deluded themselves into thinking they can win— Drogon (@drogon_dracarys) May 21, 2023
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is nearing a decision to launch a bid for the WH & has begun hiring political consultants who have advised previous GOP presidential campaigns https://t.co/KRrMABngfj
Trump, Haley, Ramaswamy, Hutchison. Next week: DeSantis, Pence, Scott, Christie, and most fearsomely of all, North Dakota juggernaut Doug Burgum.— Jeff Blehar is *BOX OFFICE POISON* (@EsotericCD) May 19, 2023
Nine candidates onstage for the first GOP primary debate, potentially. I've seen this movie before.
Congrats to the consultants getting their mitts on Doug’s fortune. Beach houses don’t buy themselves https://t.co/1UcerzTORx— Tim Miller (@Timodc) May 18, 2023
Youngkin is putting out aspirational videos, @tarapalmeri is cruisin' w/ @GovChrisSununu, and @DougBurgum is straight up acknowledging his interest in ’24. There’s blood in the water, and all the no-shots who are satisfied with coming in second realize DeSantis is vulnerable for… https://t.co/YcSVWgg4SK— Taylor Budowich (@TayFromCA) May 18, 2023
Tired: There are too many presidential candidates.— Seth Masket (@smotus) May 22, 2023
Wired: There are too many Dakotas. https://t.co/gifyWrr7Ed
What is happening in this country? Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, and now Chris Sununu too planning on announcing a presidential campaign soon. None of these people have any hope of winning. https://t.co/NIlInGhk1N— Drew Savicki (@DrewSav) May 19, 2023
I have no idea why Doug Burgum is considered running for President. If he does run for President that means he won't run for re-election for Governor of North Dakota in 2024. Interestingly enough he is a very rich guy so he does has the money to run but why? https://t.co/sNHy8E1Ljl— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) May 19, 2023
Doug Burgum thinking about running for president isn't a sign Ron DeSantis is bleeding in the water. It's a sign Doug Burgum is experiencing a midlife crisis or suffers from a previously undiagnosed psychological ailment. https://t.co/ybdyXlswiz— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) May 20, 2023
All of political Twitter when they read Gov. Doug Burgum is thinking about running for president pic.twitter.com/mBRrglm8mc— Julio Cerón (@jceron12) May 19, 2023
Woah! Doug Burgum. Governor of the second most populous Dakota. Man you thought politics was entertaining before, wait till Doug Burgum starts taking the country by storm. https://t.co/D82C5BfVs7— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) May 19, 2023
Who? Why? Their 3 electoral votes?— Corn Pop's Gun Moll (@jeannebodine) May 18, 2023
North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum likely to run for president https://t.co/wNMlL8bKJn via @CBSPolitics
Political Analysis | Is it time to practice saying President Doug Burgum?— Los Angeles Times Pitchbot (@LAHumanBot) May 19, 2023
My grandfather used to say “Doug Burgum” when he stubbed his toe or Greg Luzinski struck out.— East Passyunk Community Parking Lot (@east_lot) May 19, 2023