On paper, Rick Perry entered the race as arguably the strongest contender to get the GOP Presidential nomination.

• Governors do better than members of Congress in presidential politics, particularly in a year when Congress has record-low support. Perry was a long-serving Governor who had never worked in DC.

• Southerners tend do better than northerners in a Dixie–dominated GOP party. Perry was arguably the only southerner in the field. (I think Newt feels more DC to most.)

• Republicans are seemingly more obsessed than ever with the Reagan mystique. Perry’s swagger and look was arguably the most Reaganesque.

• The economy is the paramount issue in 2012. Perry had been running a state doing relatively well economically.

• Presidential campaigns require lots of money. The darling of the Texas corporate class and national political opportunists had more money than most in the field, both for his own campaign and for pro-Perry Super PACs.

• Republican activists are very intolerant of political compromise. Perry had governed in a state so conservative than he rarely had to compromise (unlike Romney and Pawlenty, for instance).

• Being a white male Protestant conservative is a key political asset in the Republican Party. Post-Pawlenty, Perry had that advantage to himself.

Because Perry was so strong on paper, I originally thought he would win the nomination, and had the best shot against Obama. He had the longest list of important political assets.

But at the end of the day, Presidents are not picked on paper. You have to execute, and Perry just was never able to execute on a communications level. Oops.

– Loveland

11 thoughts on “Oops

  1. Perry stepped into the arena from relative obscurity, and the media instantly granted him top-tier status. In the first debates he was granted center-stage position next to Mitt, so the cameras could frame the two together. I thought seriously about his Bilderberger connections. It looked like the masterminds at the top had crowned our next prez.

    But he turned out to be such an incompetent campaigner, such a boob, that NOT EVEN money could save his sorry behind. A great lesson in human fallibility.

    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      Haha PM. I’m just a pilot of a puddle jumper. Since when did making it far in politics have anything to do with brain power anyway? And what kind of “intelligence” are we discussing? If traditional IQ were the standard, I’m not sure much of Congress would make the cut. You are more apt to get elected if you are a good communicator, a good campaigner and can raise and/or have a lot of money. I’m amused that some are naive enough to think that brains have a lot to do with it. I’d say sales skills are more critical than “brains.”

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    Interesting that Gingrich is terrible on paper (e.g. DC-heavy, mega-infidelity, influence peddler record, lots of flip-flops, deep intra-party leader alienation, etc.), but a great communicator, while Perry is great on paper, but a terrible communicator.

    1. PM says:

      I do think that the one thing that is keeping Gingrich afloat right now is that the crowd in SC seems to love to hear him talk–particularly, to hear Gingrich push their hot buttons (attack the liberal biased media, attack food stamp recipients, attack the President, etc.). Gingrich gives them what they want–red meat, and lots of it. And boy, is he quick on his feet!

  3. People made a big deal of that fact that Perry was a winner because he’d never lost an election. But he barely won reelection a few short years ago to a young and extremely articulate and solid Houston city councilman, a Democrat, who probably would have defeated Perry had idiotic Kinky Friedman and an Demo woman who was secretary of state, who was a bit of a space cadet herself and ran like Kinky as an independent, had not siphoned off some yellow dog Texas Dem votes. Perry won with a total vote percentage that would have embarrassed and humbled him if he were at all capable of being embarrassed or humbled by anything whatsoever. Last election, he stomped the very able and popular Houston Mayor Bill White, who jumped in too late and had precious little name recognition outside Houston & the Gulf Coast. Plus, Perry always sat out debates and campaigned heavily in the fundamenentalist Christian circles, especiallyDeep East Texas, and raised kazillions with the same Republican strongholds like Plano just outside Dallas and The Woodlands just north of Houston, which both voted more than 70 percent for W both elections. He also rarely gave the Texas press the time of day, much less gave interviews, and of course all the aforementioned die hard Republicans actually loved him for giving “the librul news media” the “screw you” treatment. And of course he always hammered enemies in his own party like moderate Kay Baily Hutchinson, who the entire GOP treats like a floormat to this day because she’s for abortion and an actual friend of people like Hillary. Came as no surprise to a lot of Texans that Perry shriveled under the spotlight of international media attention and actual debates. Lord, deliver my beloved Texas from this man.

  4. Joe Loveland says:

    The Perry news was blown out of the water yesterday by the Gingrich “open marriage” allegation from his second (of three) wife. Not surprisingly, Jon Stewart is one happy guy right now:

    “Disturbing as the open marriage revelation is, the open marriage revelation is in keeping with Newt’s philosophy. He’s a free market man. Free of onerous regulation. He’s just encouraging competition. Creative destruction. Procreative destruction. He wants his hands to be invisible. Well, we could go on like this all day…”

    1. john sherman says:

      I notice that when Haley Barbour decided the idea of pardon might apply to people who had long since served their time, there was much less enthusiasm.

      In the Christian right, redemption like other good things is for me, but not for thee.

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