“I’m sure he underestimated me” Kristi Noem’s Memoir “No Going Back” Sparks Controversy

 “I’m sure he underestimated me” Kristi Noem’s Memoir “No Going Back” Sparks Controversy

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s memoir “No Going Back” was released to the public on Tuesday, immediately drawing mixed reviews due to its controversial content. The book, which features Noem’s recollections of killing her family dog Cricket and a billy goat, also contains a bold claim about facing down North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

In the memoir, Noem writes about shooting her 14-month-old wire-haired pointer, Cricket, in a gravel pit. She describes the dog as being problematic and recounts taking extreme measures to end its life. Additionally, she shares the story of shooting a “nasty and mean” billy goat because “it smelled bad and butted my kids.” Furthermore, she claims to have confronted Kim Jong Un, although the specifics of this encounter remain vague.

“I remember when I met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un,” according to the book snippet. “I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants (I’d been a children’s pastor, after all). Dealing with foreign leaders takes resolve, preparation, and determination.”

The public response was swift, and reviews on Amazon ranged from glowing praise to sharp criticism. Susan, a verified Amazon reviewer, gave “No Going Back” five stars, describing Noem as an “honest, strong woman.” She wrote, “She relates stories from her past and from the heart in an honest fashion. It’s refreshing to read something that is honest, true, and heartfelt.”

However, positive reviews like Susan’s were the exception. The majority of feedback was critical, focusing on Noem’s descriptions of animal cruelty and perceived exaggerations. One reviewer, writing under the handle “Momcat,” gave the book a single star, calling it full of “lies, inaccuracies, and pure fantasy.” She elaborated, “Writes in the book that she took her puppy Cricket to a gravel pit and shot him in the face, then continued on to brutally shoot and eventually kill (after two tries) her un-neutered male goat because ‘it smelled bad and butted my kids.'”

Another one-star review came from Jason Fulmer, who criticized Noem for using the book as a political ploy. “Political grift for VP at its best,” he wrote. “Gross! Save a tree, don’t buy this book.” Another reviewer, “RitaNYC,” left a one-star review consisting only of a series of poo emojis, which nearly 300 people marked as “helpful.”

In the book, Noem also portrays herself as a staunch defender of conservative values while recounting her upbringing on a South Dakota ranch. She highlights her rise in politics and emphasizes her loyalty to former President Donald Trump, often echoing his “America First” rhetoric. Noem is widely considered a contender for higher office and a potential running mate should Trump secure the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

Despite her popularity among MAGA Republicans, “No Going Back” has brought attention to Noem’s more controversial qualities. Critics have seized on her stories of animal cruelty and her bold claims about international confrontations. The memoir has sparked heated debate, with some arguing that it shows Noem’s strength and resilience while others view it as a reflection of poor judgment and an attempt to position herself for higher office.

No Going Back” touches on themes of family, faith, and leadership. Still, the divisive content ensures that it will remain a lightning rod for public opinion, particularly as Noem continues to build her national profile in Republican politics. Whether this memoir will enhance her prospects or hinder her ambitions remains to be seen, but it has undeniably stirred emotions across the political spectrum.

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