So What’s Up (or Down) With Governor Perry’s Campaign?
Republicans are desperately searching for a nominee who will win in November 2012. They do not want a replay of Sharron Angle in Nevada or Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. President Obama cannot win reelection by himself, even if he raises a billion dollars. But the Republicans can reelect him with the wrong nominee.
The nominee must come across as a leader, as one who is comfortable in his or her skin.
The media, and many Republicans, are dissatisfied with the existing slate of candidates, but why conservatives should follow the lead of the media remains a mystery.
Five different candidates win five different, otherwise meaningless, straw polls.
All have risen in the polls, and all have fallen, with the exception of Governor Romney, who holds steady in the 15-25% band.
Republicans are carefully scrutinizing the candidates, but none emerge from the pack, hence the waiting for Godot, the searching for Superman. The pressure to find an alternative unleases a media frenzy. Anticipation builds, euphoria sets in, as it did with Governor Christie. The siren call can be seductive to an ambitious politician, as almost all politicians are.
Governor Perry’s entry into the race sucked the oxygen out of the political air for a few days.
And then a strong blast of cold reality sets in.
Governor Perry had not heeded the lessons from every four years. First, the media builds you up, and then it brings you down, and then repeat the process to prolong the race. The media, which had heralded the new arrival, now turns and dumps on him or her.
And dump on Governor Perry they have, aided by a few Republicans who do not heed President Reagan’s 11th Commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”
No candidate is perfect; we are all humans. The longer a politician is in office, the longer his record, unless he continually votes “present.”
Governor Perry has been Governor of Texas for 10 years, an eternity in politics, creating a book of actions that call for scrutiny.
Here to date are the attacks on the Governor:
1) He referred to social security as “a Ponzi scheme.”
2) Texas leads the nation in capital punishment;
3) He had low grades in college;
4) Too many recent Presidents come from Texas, especially as governors; Perry seems the second coming of Bush;
5) The Governor is overtly religious; he wears his religion on his sleeve;
6) He mandated young women receive the HPV vaccine;
7) He doesn’t want Fed Governor Ben Bernanke to visit Texas;
8) He favors in-state tuition for illegal immigrants;
9) He performed poorly in three debates, in essence, phoning it in; and
10) The New York Times and Washington Post last Monday ran front page articles saying his dad leased a hunting camp in 1983. The entrance rock to the land said “Niggerhead,” a once common, but now unacceptable word, in the South.
We all know social security is an underfunded, government sponsored Ponzi scheme. Even the liberal economist/columnist for the New York Times, Paul Krugman, has called social security a Ponzi scheme.Telling the truth about social security is not a failing, but failing to propose a solution loses votes. He has ideas.
243 executions to date during his governorship. Most Americans favor capital punishment. That will not cost him votes.
The Perry and Bush camps do not like each other. President Bush has degrees from Yale and Harvard. Governor Perry is an Aggie – that says it all.
Governor Perry was not meant to be a science major in college. Organic Chemistry, the bane of pre-meds, was especially challenging to him; hence, the occasional aspersions about his intellectual abilities. Let us remember the saga of Senator John Kerry, supposedly smarter than President Bush. The Senator had lower grades at Yale than the President, indeed 4 D’s, including Geology, Political Science, and 2 in History, as well as another D in his sophomore year. Vice President Gore was also brilliant compared to President Bush, until you asked about his Vanderbilt grades, not to mention his D in Natural Science (Man’s Role in Nature). The Vice President also received a C- in Economics. That’s appropriate! How ironic! President Bush had but one D in 4 years. Vice President Biden graduated 76th in a class of 85, after having been readmitted for being expelled for plagiarism.
When asked by a reporter in Iowa about his views on the Federal Reserve, Governor Perry responded
“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.” He also stated that printing more money at this time is almost treasonous.
Governor Perry’s first two debates were underwhelming, but the third gave rise to substantial doubts about his electability. He questioned Governor Romney’s inconsistencies, but seemed robotic, not himself, in these comments.
The Governor appeared uncomfortable in this exchange, demonstrating no leadership presence,
Then came the critical immigration question. Texas has granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants for 10 years, roughly the length of his governorship.
He strongly supports this position. Governor Perry, like President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, recognize that the Republican Party cannot survive by being anti-Hispanic. The Hispanic immigrants must be embraced by the GOP, else the Grand Old Party will fade the way of the Know-Nothings 1½ centuries ago.
He should have defended the policy by simply saying that “I want the sons and daughters of our Hispanic immigrants to become doctors, lawyers, and engineers rather than gang-bangers.”
Instead, he echoed Democratic talking points by stating “If you oppose it, I don’t think you have a heart.” That statement is an insult to all, perhaps the majority of Americans, who oppose in-state tuition for those illegally in the country. Debatable issues, in which reasonable minds can differ, should never be personalized. His opponents, especially Governor Romney and Senator Santorum, immediately dumped on him on the illegal immigrant issue.
His position will hurt him in the Republican primaries, but help in the general election.
The Republican electorate is flexible right now. The Governor can easily come back with a strong performance in the upcoming debates. The base is looking for the viable alternative to Governor Romney.
Governor Perry has an advantage most of the contestants lack – a steady supply of campaign funds. He raised over $17 million the past seven weeks. Most of the candidates are campaigning on a shoe string.
The governor is a brash, plain speaking Texan. He says what many of us think. That will appeal to many voters this election cycle.
Whichever candidates who survive the early caucus and primary season will also have a second life. Florida has advanced the primary season to the first two months of 2012. The Iowa Caucus is now tentatively scheduled for January 3.
The media never likes the race decided too quickly. They must keep the suspense going. Thus, they will revive the candidacy of a once moribund campaign to prolong the campaign.
If Governor Perry wants it enough, if he has the fire in his belly, he will step up in tonight's debate.
It’s still most likely to come down to Governors Perry and Romney.