What a Dumb Thing to Do, Senator Heitkamp

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, right, with her brother Joel Heitkamp.

Today Senator Heidi Heitkamp went on her brother’s radio show and called me a “snowflake.” I’m assuming the audio will be available on the podcast at some point.

I laughed when I heard about it. And I was more than a little surprised too.

I won’t lie. As a blogger, columnist, and talk radio host it’s not at all bad for business to be in a feud with a sitting U.S. Senator. If Heitkamp wants to pick a fight with me, I’m up for it. I’d rather she just respond to my requests for comment and interviews, but that’s outside of my control.

What surprised me is that Heitkamp would do something this politically stupid.

What surprised me is that Heitkamp would do something this politically stupid.

For years now I’ve consistently said that Heitkamp is one of the most astute politicians in North Dakota. Setting policy and ideology aside, she’s just good at the game.

But now here she is punching down at me – as I mentioned in my print column yesterday her campaign communications director came after me as well with an angry storm of Twitter posts – and to what end? When Heitkamp is already under fire for avoiding critics like me, opting instead for interviews with people like her brother who aren’t inclined to put her on the spot with tough questions, why highlight the avoidance?

Maybe I’ve been giving Heitkamp too much credit for her political acumen.

I’m not doing myself any favors by saying this, because attention from a political figure like Heitkamp is good for someone in the business I’m in, but what a stupid move.

Also, snowflake? That’s the pejorative she chooses as she herself goes out of her way to avoid putting herself in a situation where she might get a tough questioning?

Every Monday I send Senator Heitkamp’s office a request for interview, making any time during my daily two hour radio broadcast available for the Senator. If she came on with me I think Heitkamp would find that I’d be tough but fair, just as I have been with her fellow Democrats like U.S. House candidate Mac Schneider and Secretary of State candidate Josh Boschee.

But this thing where she’s going to avoid me? While simultaneously attacking me? I don’t think that’s going to serve the Senator well.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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