The Perry Campaign Gets a Life Line

Rick Perry’s debate gaffe last week will go in the annals of political history as one of the most embarrassing gaffes on a Presidential primary debate stage. His recovery the next day will be studied by future campaigns as the textbook example of damage control. His Saturday night debate performance in South Carolina gets him the complete redemption he needs.In South Carolina Saturday night the Rick Perry so many people have been hoping would come out to play, came out to win. He gave a sharp answer on dealing with Iran and Pakistan and captured the tea party zeitgeist by saying we should start each year at zero in our foreign aid budgets, including with Israel. He then went on to explain that those countries, like Israel, that are shown to be our friends would get money in the foreign aid budget.This then descended into a lecture on zero based budgeting, nearly getting him an amen from Newt Gingrich.The star moment for Perry, however, came when he took after Ron Paul over enhanced interrogation techniques. Everyone knows Ron Paul’s foreign policy is nuttier than a pecan grove at harvest, but no one until Rick Perry Saturday night has had the nerve to say so.On the opposite end of alternatives to Romney we want to do well, Herman Cain showed his foreign policy views are not yet ready for prime time. He fell back again and again on either not knowing the answer or wanting help from others. His campaign’s theme of drawing on the experts regardless of the candidate’s background is becoming more and more hollow considering the experts running his campaign were picked by Herman Cain.But there is good news for both Perry and Cain in the latest polling. 52% want Rick Perry to stay in the race and only 37% of Republicans think the recent allegations about Herman Cain should disqualify him from running. Mitt Romney remains frozen with only about a quarter of the Republican electorate wanting him.This race is still anybody’s to win or lose.




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