Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well, this just confirms the obvious:

A new poll shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a double-digit lead nationally over the current 2012 frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The poll, which will be released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling (PPP), is not being detailed in advance, the New York Post reported. But PPP's Director Tom Jensen confirmed Perry's double-digit advantage to the Post....

A Rasmussen Reports national poll out Aug. 16 showed Perry leading Romney by 11 points, 29 percent to 18 percent....

Rick Perry is running for the Republican presidential nomination. Are Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman? I mean, we know Huntsman doesn't appear to be, or if he is, he's going about it in a peculiar way, namely by insulting the beliefs of the people who vote in Republican primaries and caucuses:

...he's now attacking fellow Republicans for, among other things, not embracing the science of global warming. "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Mr. Huntsman said on Twitter, a criticism of recent remarks by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Mr. Huntsman followed that up on Sunday on ABC, telling Jake Tapper that the GOP has a "serious problem" when it becomes "anti-science."

But what about Romney? Does he realize he actually has to win this nomination before he can compete against Obama in the general election? In other words, has it occurred to him that he actually has to beat Rick Perry first? Yesterday he confirmed yet again that he thinks he's already running against Obama:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said today he will unveil his jobs plan on Sept. 6th, the same week as President Obama unveils his plan -- possibly even the same day....

The timing of presenting a jobs plan, in particular, also allows them to bracket President Obama once again.

In June, Romney criticized President Obama at a shuttered steel plant in Allentown, PA, soaking up news coverage, on the same day the president attended a pair of fundraisers in Philadelphia. The Romney campaign also released a series of Web videos timed to the president's fundraising and travel schedules, including one highlighting Chicago's economic struggles under the current administration during President Obama's birthday visit to his home city. Last week, the campaign released a pair of videos hitting President Obama on the economy, set in stops along his Midwest bus tour route.

All of which is fine, except that he's in a world of hurt in this race, and Perry is hitting every wingnut pleasure center right now -- really, if you went to a lab and tried to build a candidate who hit every wingnut pleasure center, you'd come up with Rick Perry.

Oh, wait, I see -- Romney, according to The Atlantic, is letting the little people do his dirty work for him:

Romney is unlikely to engage the Texas governor much beyond drawing the contrast between their depth of experience in the private sector, at least for now. Romney's mission is to present himself as the strongest challenger to Obama. Sniping at Perry doesn't further that goal.

That strategy depends on the media and other presidential candidates doing the dirty work for him. And on this part, he's had some early success. Rick Santorum compared Perry to liberal Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) for his red-meat criticism of Bernanke. Jon Huntsman took Perry to task for suggesting that climate change and evolution aren't real. Both are exactly the kind of volatile issues that Romney would rather avoid in a GOP primary.

Um, Mitt? If your strategy depends on Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman to do your messaging, I think you need a new strategy.

Yeah, Romney can still fall back on electability -- PPP polling shows that he ties Obama, 45%-45%, while Perry loses to Obama 49%-43%. But that's the "I'll be a dependable mate" argument to Republican voters, and Perry is looking more and more like the guy who's making them fall head over heels in crazy love.

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