Rick Perry has left Texas in ruins. He has planned for a while now to visit the same destruction on the entire country, and those plans are coming to fruition. Newsmax was excited to pass along word on Friday that,
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will spend his last month in office meeting with more than 500 major GOP bundlers and donors in December as he takes the first steps toward building a foundation for a 2016 presidential campaign, kicking off the first of the small-group sessions next week in Austin, organizers have confirmed.
Assuming, that is, he can stay ahead of federal prosecutors and not end up like some Texas desperado, on the run from the long arm of the law.
But that’s a problem endemic to Republican governors these days so we’ll just leave that one be and look at some of his other problems.
Because as Politico explained on Friday,
Perry’s intensive month of foundation-building comes as other prospective Republican presidential candidates – notably former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – are engaging with the wealthy Texans who for years have been among the GOP’s most significant sources of cash. As the heir to a political dynasty with deep Texas ties, Bush in particular could seriously cut into Perry’s financial base. Bush over the last few months has met with major Texas donors.
While Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson may or may not have claimed Ted Cruz is “too right wing,” Perry might do well to worry more about a lack of support from Fox News, which has taken him to task as recently as this summer for sending troops to the border.
As Jason Easley wrote here in July,
Fox News is the gatekeeper for the Republican nomination. The way they treat potential 2016 candidates reveals a great deal about who they believe is viable. Fox became the Mitt Romney network in 2012, and they have been so protective of Chris Christie that they won’t discuss the various scandals that are ruining the New Jersey Republican’s presidential dreams.
Ted Cruz told Jewish donors, “I sort of take it as a backhanded compliment that they’ve invented a new caricature for me – crazy,” but Perry certainly seems determined to compete with Cruz as the “crazy” presidential contender.
Not every Republican gets cut-off mid-word by ABC news due to insane Obama conspiracy rants. Perry has.
I’m not certain the American people are ready to elect to the highest office in the land somebody who thinks “gay-ness” is like alcoholism and can be treated, or can’t remember what state he is in. Or who thinks Turkey, an important ally, is our enemy.
These things matter when you are president. You have to make sense, you have to remember where you are, and you have to know which countries not to invade or shoot missiles at. After all, Perry might accidentally drop bombs on Solyndra.
And then where would we all be?
Perry has said he is not afraid to talk religion, but maybe he should be afraid of talking period. About anything. If he kept his mouth shut he wouldn’t have gotten the date of the 2012 election wrong.
As Politico says, “Perry had entered the race to much fanfare as the most formidable GOP foe to Romney. But his debate performances induced cringes…”
Politico is certainly being overly kind when they say,
While some in the party wonder if his star dimmed even further this summer when he was indicted on public corruption charges, Perry has nonetheless tried to remake his public image over the past year. In a series of high-profile interviews, the governor, sporting trendy new glasses that give him a more studious look, has admitted that he bungled 2012.
Bungled. Yes, we could say he “bungled.”
Politico goes on to cite Henry Barbour, “a Republican national committeeman who is helping plan for a Perry 2016 campaign and organizing next week’s donor sessions.” According to Barbour, “If Gov. Perry is going to run, he’s going to be better prepared, and he’s going to have the resources necessary to compete.”
I suspect the problem goes deeper than mere preparation, but only the next debate will tell the tale. Let’s face it: we have a man here who thinks he can pray away drought. While this may enthuse the Religious Right, it’s not going to gain him a lot of followers outside that particular tent.
In the end, what we learned about Rick Perry in 2011 applies equally to 2014, 15, or even 16, and that is that he is shallow and uninspiring, a crony capitalist, a George W. Bush redux in an election cycle that might boast George W. Bush’s brother, and a religious extremist to boot, in a campaign that is sure to feature religious extremists.
Any candidate needs something, anything, to lift them above the herd when it comes time to call for votes, and Rick Perry has absolutely zero going for him in that department. In an election that will almost certainly call for each Republican to try to outdo the other in terms of extremism, only a relatively sane-sounding Republican is likely to get noticed.
And even if Perry manages to get Fox News in his corner, he still potentially faces that insurmountable task any Republican chosen will have to face: Hillary Clinton.
Perry, like his fellow Republicans, can go through the motions for 2016, but if Hillary decides to run, that is all any of them are doing.