Like Cory Heidelberger, I was struck to learn that Gov. Dennis Daugaard is a big user of text messages to communicate with his family and staff.
That revelation was among the interesting things I included in my profile of Daugaard’s inner circle of advisers in Sunday’s paper.
The disclose came almost by accident. I was talking to the Governor’s Executive Committe (or “GECo” as they call it) members about the governor’s process for gathering information before making a decision.
Tony Venhuizen mentioned how if the governor is in Pierre, he’ll usually meet with him at least once or twice in person on any given day, sometimes much more. That caused Lt. Gov. Matt Michels to add his two cents.
"You say meet. Today, I shot him three emails and one text. Those had to deal with the National Guard," Michels said.
I stopped things there.
"We have a texting governor?" I asked
"Oh yeah," replied Deb Bowman.
The governor confirmed this story when I talked with him later, explaining that his kids helped get him into texting and that he still uses correct grammar, spelling and punctuation in his texts. (I do, too, in emails, texts and instant messages. Spending my teenage years heavily IMing in complete sentences probably did more than anything to develop my high-speed typing skills.)
Here’s the relevant section of the article:
The governor also peppers his advisers with requests throughout the day. Whether in his office or traveling, Daugaard always has his Android smartphone at hand to send emails and text messages back and forth with his staff.
Daugaard said his children introduced him to text messaging.
“Texting is really very helpful, especially when you’re in a noisy environment or you’re in a meeting and you can’t take a call but can take a sneak peak at a text — if you can do that politely.”
But even as a texting governor, Daugaard hasn’t bent to some of the conventions of the medium.
“I should learn the abbreviation lingo, but old habits die hard,” he said. “I still punctuate and capitalize.”