The day the GOP lost the election

Today, Aug. 13, 2011.  Rick Perry enters the race, having artfully played the waiting game to swell expectations while avoiding scrutiny and debates.  He will be the darling of the Tea Party and the evangelical right (the real start to his campaign was his recent prayer meeting in Houston), and he will be palatable to fiscal hawks and corporate America.   In all likelihood, he will be seen by primary voters as saving the party from Romney.

But the thing is, Perry will be chewed up by Barak Obama and his swarm of media supporters.  For Barak Obama, the key to victory is a GOP candidate who makes independents nervous and causes them to either return to the Obama fold or stay home.

Rick Perry is just the guy Obama had in mind.


Addendum: Perry definitely makes the race more interesting now.  I think it quickly becomes a three person race between Bachmann, Perry and Romney, with Paul hanging around for entertainment.  Who does Perry go after the hardest—Bachmann, because she appeals to the same people he does and will drain off his votes, or Romney, because there is more of a contrast for him to highlight?

I did like this Perry line: “I will work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your lives as I can.”

6 thoughts on “The day the GOP lost the election

  1. Exactly! In my opinion, the White House was terrified of Huntsman, scared of Romney, and uneasy of Pawlenty. If they lose to anyone else (say due to a double dip), they would have lost to carrot top. It will be interesting to see if the current economic malaise and a Perry primary win get Bloomberg into the race.

  2. I disagree. I think Perry is by far the strongest candidate on the GOP side. Nearly 20 percent of the right AND 20 percent of the left say they wouldn’t vote or a Mormon for pres. That’s a huge liability. Then there’s Romney’s ridiculous flip-flopping on everything from health-care reform to abortion and gay rights. The Obama team would chew him up and spit him out. (Imagine the ads showing clips of him supporting all of those liberal positions, and then him repudiating all of them. Devastating.) And that’s assuming he’d get that far, which he wouldn’t: I just don’t think he can win the nomination, given how far out of step he is with the GOP base. And that means that without Perry, the nomination might go to a very weak candidate: Bachmann and Palin on the crazy side or Pawlenty on the dreadfully drab side. None of those options would make the Obama camp very nervous.

    But Perry has a long consistent track record as governor of Texas that places him in the GOP sweet spot: economically libertarian, evangelical Christian, culturally Red state. Assuming the economy remains awful, Obama will be very weak, and Perry will be a formidable opponent. I’d even predict at this early date that he’s more likely than not to be president on January 21, 2013.

    1. I think you dismiss Pawlenty far too quickly (though he’s gone now). Drab, he may be, but I don’t think all those disaffected Obama voters in the center are looking for charisma. They tried that. In a general election, I think Pawlenty would win easily, especially given how weakened Obama is. We’ve had successful drab Presidents before–Truman, Carter, both Bushes. Eisenhower was a hero, but drab as drab can be. Huntsman would also make a strong general election candidate, though his candidacy has always been a longshot, and he doesn’t appear to actually be campaigning.

      Also, I would bet that 98% of those people on the left who said they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon also wouldn’t vote for Perry or anyone who wears their religion on their sleeve as he does. And I think that most of the anti-Mormon right would gladly hold their noses and vote for almost anyone against Obama, especially since all but a few of the evangelical leaders would swing their support behind Romney. I believe the sentiment expressed in those polls is real, but I just don’t think the “I would never vote for…” statements mean that much when they are taken out of the abstract world of labels and voters have to decide between two actual people–one of whom is a president they can’t stand.

      And, while it is true that the Dems could play the flip-flopper card against against Romney, they could play the religious extremist nut card against Perry. They are going to make him indistinguishable from Bachmann. As the election goes on, Perry is going to sound more and more like the callous Texas redneck that he is (we did that already, remember). And I don’t think his playing the religious card so blatantly is going to help him with moderates. He is Elmer Gantry incarnate.

  3. This is my first comment on this site. I am a Swede living in France, but I follow the American debate with interest.
    First of all, as I understand it, this is a site based on classical liberal principles. According to such principles, all issues need to be approached as trade-offs.

    Rick Perry happens to be a “conservative” in the US sense. From his politics, he is the closest to an electable classical liberal one can find, apart possibly from Michelle Bachman who takes von Mises with her to the beach.

    Who cares if Perry, or Bachman, are deeply religious Christians as long as they stick to classical liberal principles? With regard to abortion and homosexual marriage, in the first instance, as an agnostics, I still have serious doubts. In the second instance, if marriage means “the legal kit that allows for the adoption of children” or for artificial insemination, I am dead opposed because of what we know about the well-being of the children from evolutionary psychology.

    Secondly, Obama will not cruise to victory in 2012. In particular, not if he is faced with someone with a bit of a backbone. His record is abominable and Perry or Bachman will damage him badly in a debate without teleprompters to read from. McCain was far too polite and did not probe hard enough where it would have hurt.

    They say that Perry is a hard man. My gut feeling is that when chosing between a (half?)socilist wimp and a hard man, Americans will pick the latter in the current climate.

  4. “Perry is going to sound more and more like the callous Texas redneck that he is (we did that already, remember).”

    Yes, and that will resonate very well with more than half of the electorate. He is the un-Obama. Where he hails from, is the Un-California and the un-Massachusetts and most of all, the un-DC. His views on taxes, spending and federalism are most un-Democrat of any of the Republican candidates(other than Ron Paul). I submit that he is the only candidate who can beat Obama.

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