From the Rapid City Journal:
The man who masterminded Republican Sen. John Thune’s defeat of former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle told a West River Republican crowd of more than 300 Thursday night that they deserved the credit for Thune’s "historic" win.
Dick Wadhams, who managed Thune’s campaign, reflected on that election day a year ago this month during the South Dakota Republican Party state dinner in Rapid City at the Ramkota on Thursday night.
"We could tell that the Democratic counties East River were coming in for Daschle but not with the margins he should have," Wadhams said. "All I could think about was the Black Hills. … It was like a slingshot because of you folks. It was like a big cannon blowing through that Daschle lead."
Introduced by Thune’s wife, Kimberley, Wadhams said the 2004 contest between Thune and Daschle "was a campaign that pitted South Dakota values against their (the Democrats’) argument of clout."
Wadhams said he was asked by a reporter why he was working for "a former congressman who lost, who has no money or no staff, running against the Senate minority leader who has $4 million in the bank and a field staff of 50."
"I said, ‘I call it a fair fight,’" Wadhams said. "It was a fair fight because we had John Thune and they didn’t."
Republican Party state dinners were held in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Wadhams and Gov. Mike Rounds, who headlined both events, flew to Rapid City after appearing in Sioux Falls.
And as usual, David Kranz's version attempts to casue trouble for the conservatives:
Dick Wadhams returned to South Dakota for a hero's welcome Thursday, cheered by Republicans for steering Sen. John Thune's defeat of Sen. Tom Daschle.
The victory not only gave the Colorado political strategist a ranking of genius among his peers, he also inherited an expectation by the Washington, D.C., media as "the next Karl Rove."
Wadhams and Gov. Mike Rounds were featured speakers Friday at State Republican dinners in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
Wadhams returned the compliment to her, saying that when he first met her in the Thune family kitchen, "I was thinking we had the wrong candidate."
With Thune elected, Wadhams now has other political business on his mind, mainly helping get his new boss, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., re-elected and repositioned for a 2008 run for the presidency.
Those Wadhams connections with Thune and Allen created a predictable buzz with several Republicans here Thursday: An Allen presidential nomination could result in an Allen-Thune ticket.
It's not far-fetched to think about that scenario, said Randy Frederick, state Republican Party chairman.
"I would not put it out of the realm of possibility, a relatively nice match with the east and west regions married together," he said.
Wadhams said Friday that he didn't want to publicly speculate about that possibility.