Is Rick Perry imploding?

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Uh oh. The “shiny new toy” is losing some of its luster. Rick Perry exploded on the scene with high marks and high expectations when he announced he was running for President last month. Many – including me – wondered if he could sustain the early lead he enjoyed right out of the gate. It appears the answer is no.

After a couple of debates where he struggles to answer even Michele Bachmann’s questions, and a couple of dismal showings in straw polls, it would appear that Governor Perry has already peaked.

The LA Times noted that Perry struggled to “stay on target” during Florida’s debate. In fact, “the Texas governor seemed to fade as he neared the end of the contest, with a noticeable drop in energy,” they said. They continued:

“The most telling moment Thursday evening was a botched attack on top rival Mitt Romney for Romney’s move during his political career toward more conservative stances in a number of issues, an attack that obviously had been readied in advance. But Perry blew the delivery, offering instead a muddled stew of lines about Romney’s positions on abortion and healthcare, leaving the audience at the Fox News/Google debate in Orlando, Fla., and the audience at home unsure where Romney stood now or Romney stood then.”

The Washington Post said that “In the end, what Perry had was a jumbled mess that looked like a Saturday Night Live caricature of George W. Bush’s oratorical struggles.”

He even let Rick Santorum push him around on national security issues. Ouch. The National Journal points out that no one really knows what Perry’s foreign policy stand is – including Perry. His “rhetorical stumbles”, they say, “are also signs of a candidate who, as governor, has little experience discussing foreign policy. Although his campaign says his experience as an Air Force pilot and his stewardship of a border state give him the experience he needs in foreign poliicy, Perry rarely dealt with the kind of international issues that confront him on the campaign trail.”

To add insult to injury, Perry was trounced in the Florida straw poll – by Herman Cain. Perry was the only candidate who really worked that straw poll, courting delegates with robocalls and sponsoring an elaborate breakfast, while chief rival Mitt Romney, did not work it at all. Instead of trouncing Romney, Perry was trounced by Cain who doubled him up and then some, garnering 37% of the vote to Perry’s 15%. Romney got 14% without trying. The St Petersburg Times explains what happened the morning of the straw poll:

Throughout the Orange County Convention Center, formerly enthusiastic Perry supporters backed away, saying his debate performance left them uneasy about his ability to take on the president. While debates are dominated by talking points and rehearsed one-liners, they’ve also been drawing big ratings. And in Perry’s case, Thursday’s debate proved how they can make or break a campaign.

Finally, the latest in a string of insults is the Michigan straw poll held yesterday. Romney got over 50% of the votes while Perry got just under 17%.

But, I suppose his week wasn’t as bad as Michele Bachmann who is now mostly irrelevant on the POTUS trail…..

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3 Responses to “Is Rick Perry imploding?”

  1. salth2o Says:

    As a Texan I’m totally ok with Perry imploding. I’d like to keep Perry in Texas.

  2. Jesse Dominic Harris Says:

    Perry is the political equivalent of a late-90s dot-com company: he burns bright and fast before imploding on his own hype. I think the only candidates that plan on sticking it out to the very end are Romney (because he wants it that badly) and Paul (because he’s not running to keep in House seat as a contingency).

  3. markg91359 Says:

    If the GOP wants to nominate a guy who thinks social security is doomed that’s fine with me. They’d do much better with Mitt Romney.

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