Watching Mouths

Rick Perry’s biggest problem to getting the Republican nomination and winning a general election is Rick Perry. He is going to have to overcome attacks both from Karl Rove acolytes helping Mitt Romney and also from Democrats painting him as the second coming of George W. Bush. He will have to appeal to swing, independent voters, women, and people who are still a bit tired of the last Christian/military pilot/Texas Governor.But all the people saying Rick Perry’s comments on Ben Bernanke hurt him have some serious Beltway-itis.Dude got the President of the United States to respond personally and directly to him — not to the field, not to the generic Republican, but to Rick Perry.

Even more importantly, Barack Obama’s comments were on how Rick Perry, in effect, needed to do his job. Imagine that, the man who has killed more jobs than saved wants to lecture an opponent on how to do his job.More so, Ben Bernanke is not exactly Mr. Popular.In 24 hours, Perry managed to get Karl Rove to attack him and Barack Obama to attack him. About the only down side is that most Americans are probably getting their kids back to school this week and did not notice.It was an attention getting moment for Rick Perry from the President of the United States that the other candidates might wish they had gotten.I would, however, say one thing to Perry supporters who deliciously say all this is because “they fear Rick Perry.” They don’t fear Rick Perry. They are hoping Rick Perry might actually have a shot. They had the same hope of Reagan in 1980, but also of Goldwater in 1964. This has nothing to do with fear. It has everything to do with hate. They hate Rick Perry. They hate his values. They hate his accent. They hate his boots. They hate his state. And their calculus will be that America hates him as much as they do. Put another way, the Democrats will play Perry for Goldwater. Perry will need to be Reagan.And for reasons I’ll get into later, it is still Mitt Romney’s race to lose, so go take a cold shower, Perry fans.