Diary

Perry Pays Price.

Rick Perry was all over TV the day after a mind freeze that threatened to put his campaign on ice.

The trip across network and cable channels included a comic kow-tow on the Letterman show. Letterman is of course a great friend of the right. Not. I’m sure Letterman was delighted.

I like everyone watching winced when the governor had his oops moment. It lasted 53 seconds, but seemed much longer. It was excruciating.

Thank goodness it didn’t happen in a debate with 44. That’s the very good news. Perry admits he’s a lousy debater, and has amply demonstrated he is indeed.

Perry is a conservative. Yes. He has experience. Yes. He, according to all I read, has been a good governor. Yes. Is he fast on his feet? No. And in the 21st century that’s a big time disability.

I grew very weary of George Bush’s verbal fumbling. On many occasions when he could have and should have leveled a liberal argument or criticism he just couldn’t get it done. Conservatism needs as many articulate spokesmen/women as possible. If the GOP wins the WH next year the party and we who support it will be far better off if the new president can take full advantage of the bully pulpit. In fact if our nominee doesn’t have a facility with words, a grasp of issues and a quick wit our chances to win are diminished. Make that greatly diminished.

Rick Perry’s debate outings have caused his poll numbers to plummet. He appears inept. I am sure that in a great many ways he is very competent. That doesn’t matter just now because most Republicans are seeing him for the first time. You only get one chance to make a first impression. For better or worse the so-called debates, glorified news conferences really, are how candidates introduce themselves. And with all their flaws these events give voters an idea of the various candidates campaigning abilities.

And no candidate has done nearly as badly as Gov. Perry. If he did get the nomination Obama would immediately ask for as many debates as possible. Perry couldn’t duck. It’s possible he might improve, but he needs to improve a lot-a real lot. That’s unlikely based on what we all saw Wednesday night. The governor and his acolytes knew he had to do well. For awhile he was better. Then he stumbled. And he didn’t stumble because of a tough question. His wound was completely and inexplicably self inflicted. As he started to tick off the departments he would guillotine you got the feeling he had been waiting for just this opportunity. Dept of Education. Great! Bang! Dept of Commerce. Yippee! Bang. And…and…and…a blank. A nightmarish blank that included Perry counting his fingers, gaping at the podium and finally admitting he couldn’t came up with number three.

My wife Connie and I looked at each other in disbelief, a scene that I am certain was repeated in every house tuned to CNBC. I actually had to get up and walk around. I felt great sympathy for Gov. Perry. It had to be a very difficult minute. But I thought then and upon reflection still think that based on this and previous poor outings Rick Perry is not a good choice to win an election that will most certainly include debates.