He’s not just toast, he’s the toast which fell off the table and, as always, lands buttered side down.

As the Republican presidential primary field was shaping up, I got on the bandwagon early for Governor Rick Perry (R-TX). He had everything: he had a 11 years experience as Governor of Texas, Texas was leading the nation in job creation, he had strong conservative credentials, yet had previously been a conservative Democrat, and had reached across the aisle to Democrats in the Lone Star State. I think that he would make an excellent President, certainly a better one than our current Commander-in-Chief.

But before you can prove yourself to be a good President, you have to be a good presidential candidate, and in that regard, Governor Perry is not doing well. He had a well publicized brain-freeze in last nights Republican candidate debate:

Ouch! Nate Silver asked, Is Perry Toast?, but pointed out:

I know it looks bad for Mr. Perry — but he still has some things working in his favor, like money, a good team of advisers and his impressive jobs credentials down in Texas. Assuming that the gaffe causes some further slippage in his polling, might there be time for him to come back as well?

Here is the problem for Mr. Perry: there is not all that much time left. Iowa will vote less than two months from today, with New Hampshire and South Carolina following on its heels. This is about the point in time at which voters, donors and party officials need to think tactically, betting on a horse they think can win. Thus, Mr. Perry’s demise could be a self-fulfilling prophecy: If everyone thinks he is going to lose, he almost certainly will.

Is Governor Perry toast, as Mr Silver asked? At this point, I’m inclined to believe that he’s not just toast, he’s the toast which fell off the table and, as always, lands buttered side down.¹

Phineas noted:

I’m sure most of you have heard about Governor Perry’s brain-freeze in last night’s debate. I only heard about it secondhand and still felt terrible for the guy. I’ve performed on stage and had that very thing happen to me — it’s one of the worst feelings one can have.

Yup, sure is! But even though the skills that make someone a good debater and a good candidate don’t mean that he will make a good President — and President Obama is living proof of that — we can’t know how good a President a man will be until he is actually in the job, and we wind up judging the candidates by how well they perform as debaters and candidates.

At any rate, the Perry campaign was out with damage control:

Rick Perry for President
Friend & Supporter,

We’ve all had human moments. President Obama is still trying to find all 57 states. Ronald Reagan got lost somewhere on the Pacific Highway in an answer to a debate question. Gerald Ford ate a tamale without removing the husk. And tonight Rick Perry forgot the third agency he wants to eliminate. Just goes to show there are too damn many federal agencies.

The governor said it best afterwards: “I’m glad I had my boots on, because I sure stepped in it tonight.”

While the media froths over this all too human moment, we thought we would take this opportunity to ask your help in doing something much more constructive: write us to let us know what federal agency you would most like to forget.

Is it the EPA and its job-killing zealots? The NLRB and its czar-like dictates? The edu-crats at the Department of Education who aim to control your local curriculum?

Send your answer to forgetmenot@rickperry.org, and if you are on twitter join us in using a new twitter hashtag: #forgetmenot. And, if you could, throw in a $5 contribution for every agency you would like to forget. We hope you have a long list. And we promise we will write down every last idea. So we don’t forget.

Still standing in our Boots,

Team Perry

Paid for by RickPerry.org, inc.

That came in an e-mail for campaign supporters; I had signed up for e-mail updates almost as soon as Governor Perry announced his candidacy.

As damage control, it’s actually a pretty good attempt; I just don’t know if it will do any good. I’d like to think that Mr Perry will have a chance to recover, but the calendar does not favor him
__________________________
¹ – Those are the words I used to describe Herman Cain as well. He’s in the sad position of having to prove a negative, that he didn’t harass those women.

14 Comments

  1. Oddly, I’m somewhat more pro-Perry on this than the average person seems to be.

    Brain farts can happen to everyone. I’ve had them, everyone I’ve known for any length of time has had them. Even while sober. So it’s not fair to hold the brain fart, per se, against him.

    What’s telling about this is that it’s harder to have a brain fart about something you know a lot about and care deeply about. What this demonstrates to me is that Perry isn’t a policy wonk and hasn’t spent years studying the federal government … which makes me wonder what he’s basing his opposition to these departments on. It’s not Ron Paul’s the-government-should-not-be-doing-anything ideology, so what is it?

    It’s very easy for me to conclude that membership on the list is driven by Perry’s prejudices rather than his research and analysis. Which, I suppose, is perfectly normal … but is troubling in a Presidential candidate.

  2. Actually it was refreshing to see Perry laugh at himself. I do tire of the robots with the set answer no matter what question is asked. Actually, going on Letterman and doing the top 10 made him human. We’ve had three years now of a polished turd that still knows nothing.

  3. Aphrael wrote:

    So it’s not fair to hold the brain fart, per se, against him.

    And when have politics ever been fair?

    We get debates judged not on content but good zingers and obvious flubs, we get candidates judged on their looks, and candidacies derailed for small things and unproved allegations. The candidates know this, and choose to live with it.

  4. Although I agree with the premise that Governor Perry is Texas Toast…and probably was Texas Toast weeks before his hellish moment of forgetfulness, I credit him with doing a heckuva rehabilitative job–at least when it comes to restoring his dignity–in the days following that on-live-TV nightmare. In fact, during the first hour (which is all I was able to watch on TV in my area because CBS switched over to an entertainment show), Governor Perry gave his personal best debate performance to date.

    I am especially proud of Perry’s fellow condenders for the GOP nomination. They did not pile on, in spite of being urged to do so by most in the media.

  5. I saw a clip of the debate last night. The moderator brought up the subject and Perry came back with you remembered, and got a good laugh out of it. Also, SNL opened with that debate last night too.

  6. In my opinion, (coming from a Democrat), the only two worthwhile candidates are Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. The rest are either too radical or unprepared, Rick Perry being an example of being unprepared, and maybe too radical too, like threatening to secede from the Union. One would think that by now Perry would have learned his lesson, having now a history of gaffs in the debates to date. Herman Cain is also unprepared, as evident in last night’s debates on foreign policy.

    Mitt Romney’s main problem is his flip-flopping, therefore, where is his core?

    Newt stands out from the rest because he is well informed, intellectual and experienced. But this is not enough, because he also is undisciplined, undiplomatic, and has a lot of baggage, thus a loser.

    Jon Huntsman is your best candidate. Why aren’t you people paying closer attention to this man?

    And then there are Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, and Tim Pawlenty, all of whom have opted out, each of whom are interesting Republicans. Too bad these three did not get a closer look, or has your party moved too far to the right?

  7. While I don’t know what kind of a Democrat you are — moderate, liberal, whatever — to suggest that Messrs Romney and Huntsman are “the only two worthwhile candidates” is to pick the two candidates who would be the most acceptable to the Democrats, and to the Washington Republican establishment. They are also the two candidates which, while the conventional wisdom says would appeal most to independents, would such the energy out of the GOP, causing the most conservative Republicans to either vote third party or just stay home.

    Jon Huntsman is your best candidate. Why aren’t you people paying closer attention to this man?

    Mr Huntsman trashed the TEA Party, the very people who led the GOP to victory in the 2010 elections, hardly the way to mobilize Republican voters, and he’s cruising along at a whopping 1.0% in the polls, behind Ron Paul, behind Michele Bachmann, even behind Rick Santorum, in 8th place out of 8 candidates.

    It’s kind interesting that you, as a Democrat, said our best candidate is the one least popular among Republicans. I’d suggest that the way you measure the candidates is not very similar to how Republican voters do.

  8. There were a number of Democrats who were self-labeled, for the most part, Reagan Democrats. Many of those registered Democrats claimed they voted for Reagan not for ideological reasons, but because they believed that Jimmy Carter’s policies were destroying the economy and were actually endangering the country. Reportedly, the mishandling of the Iran Hostage Situation by President Carter was the final straw for those disenchanted Democrats.

    If the polls are to be believed, President Obama’s numbers are dismal, even among many Democrats and Independents–not to mention some Republicans who bought into the promises of “Hope and Change.” President Obama’s sometimes spineless catering to the whims and the demands of labor unions and environmental extremists has rendered him as ineffective and as potentially dangerous for the well-being of the country as Jimmy Carter once was.

    Has Wagonwheel, who asks if the Republican Party has moved “too far to the right,” come to grips with the perception of many that President Obama, who rarely misses an opportunity to appease the far left of the Democratic Party (most recently with his shelving the pipeline from Canada which would have provided an immediate 20K jobs in this Obama-conomy of high unemployment)moved too far to the left?

  9. A good part of the Reagan Democrats — and Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat himself — were conservative Democrats, like the Southern Democrats who kept the South in Democratic hands for a good long while even as they were politically very different from the national Democratic Party. Mr Reagan said that he hadn’t left the Democratic Party, but that the Democratic Party left him.

    If you took John Kennedy’s platform from 1960 — tough on crime, strong on containment (to the point that he was running to the right of Vice President Nixon on Qemoy and Matsu and the alleged “missile gap”), and cutting taxes to spur growth — you’d have something any Republican candidate could run on today.

  10. You are correct about many of the Reagan Democrats. In fact, the description of Reagan Democrats would fit most of the registered Democrats in my southwestern state, with the notable addition of Right-to-Life, which is supported by the majority of Democrats, as well as Republicans, in my state today. Therefore, I guess by the description you gave for Reagan Democrats, most registered Democrats in my state are conservative Democrats. In spite of an almost two-to-one Democratic registration in my state, not a single county voted for Obama. For that matter, only two counties voted for Gore and Kerry, like Obama, did not carry a single county in my state.

    I believe that President Obama’s catering to the far left–including labor unions and militant environmentalists–and his open support for class warfare, combined with his antipathy for private sector businesses, will drive many of his one-time supporters in most parts of the country away. The question is: Will those disenchanted one-time Obama supporters vote for the GOP candidate or will they simply ignore the 2012 election? The challenge for Republicans is to inspire those disillusioned voters to support the GOP candidate who can best heal the ailing economy and the dearth of confidence in the current leadership. Ronald Reagan succeeded in doing exactly that.

  11. You could say that Jon Huntsman “trashed” the TEA Party, but with good reason. Mr Huntsman is a pragmatic politician who believes that in order to govern one must be willing to compromise, which is exactly what the TEA Party admits they are unwilling to do. Thus, this is an indicator of how far to the right the Republican Party has moved, especially since 2001.

    Were the TEA Party to prevail again in 2012, more broadly than in 2010, honestly, what kind of governance do you think we would get? Since they stand for austerity without revenue increases and have no job creation proposals, since they favor attacking Iran, and since they do not compromise, I see a dictatorial regime which will further destabilize the Middle East, accelerate our economic decline, and continue to move more of our wealth into the hands of the 1%. This is unsustainable because it will produce chaos on our streets nationwide.

    Jon Huntsman understands this TEA Party outcome, but you folks are in no mood to listen. The good news is that I do not expect that your ideology will prevail in 2012, even with Mitt Romney as your choice.

  12. Actually, if the polls are to be believed, President Obama’s favorable numbers are increasing, likely due to the poor performance in the debates of the Republican candidates, everyone of whom has exhibited obvious and serious flaws.

    Moreover, the “whims and demands” of the labor unions have ignited a push-back, first in WI, and more recently in OH, a push-back which appears to be growing.

    Regarding the pipeline from Canada, there are legitimate environmental concerns, especially in Nebraska, which need to be addressed. Also, the total CO2 emissions will be 70% higher extracting and processing crude oil derived from tar sands compared to crude oil pumped from underground and processed. That is not “appeasing the far left”, rather, it is using good common sense. Instead, we ought to be focusing more investment dollars into renewables.

  13. “The challenge for Republicans is to inspire those disillusioned voters to support the GOP candidate who can best heal the ailing economy and the dearth of confidence in the current leadership. Ronald Reagan succeeded in doing exactly that.”

    Ronald Reagan also was willing to raise taxes when needed. Back in those times, Republicans and Democrats worked across the aisle. My have times changed, driven by the uncompromising Right of the current Republican Party!

  14. Wagonwheel wrote:

    Regarding the pipeline from Canada, there are legitimate environmental concerns, especially in Nebraska, which need to be addressed. Also, the total CO2 emissions will be 70% higher extracting and processing crude oil derived from tar sands compared to crude oil pumped from underground and processed. That is not “appeasing the far left”, rather, it is using good common sense. Instead, we ought to be focusing more investment dollars into renewables.

    Does that mean that our 44th President, the one who says that we must create jobs, should throw away postpone the creation of thousands and thousands of jobs (most of which would be union jobs), and that we should send more and more of our dollars overseas to buy oil?

    Well, at least there’s one good thing: by postponing the decision until 2013, he’s given the decision to a Republican president.

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