Kristi Noem, the Republican governor of South Dakota, got a flamethrower for Christmas – and was quick to show it off.
In a video shared on Twitter, the Mount Rushmore State governor took her new toy for a spin, testing it on cardboard boxes piled up in the snow. The video was a “scoop” from Real Clear Politics reporter Philip Wegmann, who said the flamethrower was “a Christmas gift from her staff.”
Decked out in camo snow gear and a trucking company hat, she says “Perfect” as she sprays the boxes with fire and strikes a pose. In another picture, she poses with her husband, Byron, with a tractor and barn visible behind.
Noem’s chief of communications, Ian Fury, said the “best part of the flamethrower” was a plate attached to it bearing the South Dakota state motto: “Under God, The People Rule.”
“@KristiNoem takes the state motto to heart!” he wrote.
According to Wegmann, the gift was a callback to a picture he posted around Christmas 2020 showing Noem with a flamethrower.
“Two years ago, @KristiNoem fired off a flamethrower, joking is it ‘too late to add something to my Christmas list?’” he wrote. “Her staff pulled together and bought her one this year.”
Noem has been the first female governor of South Dakota since 2019 and was reelected in this year’s midterm. Endorsed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018, she is widely seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, but has not announced a campaign.
Recently, she made her state one of several to ban the Chinese-owned TikTok social media app on state devices. She also sued President Joe Biden’s administration over a canceled Fourth of July fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.
In June, she published a book, “Not My First Rodeo: Lessons from the Heartland,” which describes her journey from “a farm in the vastness of rural America” to “the marbled halls of Congress, to the national spotlight amid a global pandemic,” according to the Amazon description.