This is the EXACT moment Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions for 2012 ended.
816pm CST 11/09/2011
5 reasons this is so fatal to Rick Perry’s campaign:
1. It discredits the concept of eliminating whole Cabinet departments (which needs to be done for the country to survive). The Left will say, “How can you eliminate a whole department if you can’t even remember which ones you want to eliminate?”. And, sadly, many Americans will agree with that because eliminating whole departments is bold and aggressive, and people won’t be comfortable moving ahead with that under Perry’s leadership now.
2. This is the sort of thing that George W. Bush was lampooned for doing — making honest mistakes the media then played over and over again — that a large portion of the public got sick of during the 8 years of the Bush presidency. It’s true that Barack Obama says stupid things all the time, but the agenda-driven media never reports on any of it. They will run this clip of Perry fumbling and bumbling over and over again…and it will drive voters away in droves because they will not want to go through another 4 years of this stuff. Like it or not (and I am in the column that thinks this is horrible and unfair) but it’s true.
3. Similar to the above, there’s a lot of Texas fatigue in this country after George W. Bush. Barack Obama’s favorite thing in the world to do is to blame Bush. He’s had to cut back on that for a while now, but Perry’s bumbling tonight allows the agenda-driven media to roll things back a bit and recycle these old attacks against Bush to use against Perry. People don’t want to go through this again. They don’t want to put up a nominee that Obama can so easily compare to Bush. And whether you like that or not (and once again I don’t), the agenda-driven media and the Left it enables are EXPERT at creating the narrative they want using ammunition like this, which Perry provided so generously.
4. It’s not so much that he forgot, it’s how he handled himself with this stumbling and bumbling. A better campaigner — someone like Ronald Reagan — would have found something witty to say in the moments it took him to remember the third agency. There are a lot of ways he could have handled this. Personally, with Ron Paul standing right there, if I lost track of the third name, I would have said something like, “And for the third one…well, heck, look who’s right next to me, Dr. Paul, he wants to get rid of all the agencies, so maybe that’s a good answer, or a question to ask him about”. Ron Paul loves to talk and would have said at least a few sentences that would have given Perry enough time to recover. Dr. Paul is also a good man, and I bet he would have saved Perry and allowed him this recovery time. Perry was not strategic and quick on his feet enough to do this…and that’s scary to many people (including me), since Perry would need to be a lot better at this to beat the Left, the agenda-driven media, and the Obama campaign in the general election.
5. This video makes people embarrassed to say they are Perry supporters. It would make people apprehensive to go door to door to campaign for him in Iowa — in the bitter cold — because they will dread knocking on doors and having to listen to people go on about this clip. TRUST ME on this. It was incredibly demoralizing for me to canvass door to door in Iowa in 2008 and hear house after house tell me about how they thought Hillary Clinton should have divorced her husband or how they believed she killed Vince Vaughn (and I swear, they thought it was Vince VAUGHN not FOSTER that Hillary Clinton supposedly murdered). It’s exhausting to be confronted with something like this over and over again. It’s not going to go away. People are going to say, “That Rick Perry couldn’t even remember the agencies he wants to get rid of…he sure is dumb”. Trying to convince people in Iowa this is not true could prove impossible if not just daunting.
I don’t see a way for Rick Perry to recover from this.
That’s sad, because I have several friends who say they know Perry personally and he is a wonderful man who would have made a great president. All of Perry’s errors have been 100% unforced. He’s fumbled and bumbled in these debates, and there’s no excuse for that. This is the big leagues, not tee-ball.
And unfortunately, Rick Perry really struck himself out tonight.
© 2011, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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