Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Fox Nation links to this post from the right-wing blog Freedom's Lighthouse:

Rick Perry Responds to Attack by Mitt Romney: “Give Him My Love (Blows Kiss)” – Video 8/15/11

...Here is video of Texas Gov. Rick Perry being asked about criticism from Mitt Romney today that Romney has experience creating jobs in business while Perry does not. Perry blew Romney a kiss and said, “Give him my love” several times....

See, this is why I think Perry might underperform. One of the comments to my last post about Perry was "Strong and wrong, baby" -- an allusion, of course, to Bill Clinton's famous remark, made after the Democrats lost seats in the 2002 midterms: "When people feel uncertain, they'd rather have somebody who's strong and wrong than somebody who's week and right."

But to me this feels different from "strong and wrong." It feels different from the style of the guy a lot of people understandably think of as Perry's doppelganger, George W. Bush -- or at least from the Bush who led the GOP to electoral victories in 2002 and 2004.

That guy had a lot of people convinced that he wasn't just a smirking frat boy, that he thought seriously about serious matters. I don't know if Perry can do serious. Perry, in this, comes off as a grown-up version of the Brad Pitt character in Thelma and Louise. At the height of his success, Bush was mostly able to suppress that.

Perry comes off as unable to resist the temptation to try to jab opponents in the ribs -- a style I associate with now-departed, ultimately ineffectual Democrats like Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner. I know very few of you agree with me on this, but I've always felt that Grayson and Weiner misunderstood what makes assertive, unapologetic Republicans so successful. It isn't loudness or brattiness, it's faux-sobriety. It's the ability to cloak partisan sophistry in tones of sorrowfully for the Republic, our liberal counterparts seek to destroy America in the following ways.... People you think of as verbal bomb-throwers -- Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Chris Christie -- routinely adopt this tone for most of their attacks. They don't smirk. They really don't yell all that much. If you agree with them, they can actually seem like the adults in the room.

Perry doesn't get that. He doesn't even try to fake gravitas. And I think it just might limit him on the national stage.

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