It’s an enormous mistake for Rick Perry to skip some of the upcoming GOP primary debates. The answer is not to hide from them, but to perform more impressively at them. It’s not a great mystery what the questions are going to be and the lines of attack his opponents are going to direct at him. So it’s all about preparation and practice.
If you’re not on stage, you’re admitting to voters that you don’t belong there, that you can’t cut it. That’s a fatal admission.
As Alex the Parrot would say, “Try better.”
What does it say about this country and this moment that Scott Olsen served two tours of duty in Iraq and emerged unscathed, but got his skull bashed in by the Oakland police while demonstrating peacefully?
Occupy Wall Street says, “We are all Scott Olsen.” This would be a much better country if that were true. Most of us are only pale shadows of Scott Olsen.
Presidential candidates are parental figures. They are supposed to make us believe they will protect us from all the scary things out there. Neither presidential candidates, nor parents, are supposed to be scary themselves. Or extremely weird.
But watch Herman Cain’s “Cigarette” ad or his “Yellow Flowers” ad and tell me your skin doesn’t crawl. These ads aren’t dumb like Carly Fiorina’s “Demon Sheep”” or Christine O’Donnell’s “I Am Not a Witch” or John Huntsman’s Zen guy on motorcycle in the desert. Cain’s ads are the weirdest I’ve ever seen and his smile at the end is the creepiest.
My initial response to Cain was that he was a Joker. Now I’m convinced that he’s not playing with a full deck.
In his article “The Romney Economy” for New York magazine, Benjamin Wallace-Wells offers quotes from Mitt Romney’s former Bain Capital colleagues that I found disturbing. “Mitt was always worried that things weren’t going to work out — he never took big risks. … I think Mitt has a tremendous amount of insecurity and fear of failure,” says one. “I never viewed Mitt as very decisive,” says another.
To be an effective commander in chief, you have to take risks, conquer your fear of failure, and be decisive. If Mitt were president now, I think bin Laden, Quadaffi, and al-Awlaki might well be alive, as well as many other terrorists whom President Obama has killed. My gut feeling about Mitt is that he lacks guts.
The article reinforces my sense that Mitt wouldn’t be any great shakes when it comes to the economy either, unless you’re part of his 1%. Mitt took over American Pad and Paper (Am Pad), a company that ended up going bankrupt. Maybe the company couldn’t have been saved. But what troubles me is that Mitt and his investors ruthlessly plundered over $100 million from Am Pad as it lay dying.
Capitalism is about creation and destruction. Steve Jobs created the iPad, Mitt Romney destroyed Am Pad. We need leaders like Jobs, not Mitt.
Rick Perry is hiring take-no-prisoners senior staffers, rolling out new policy designed to turn the conversation away from tuition breaks for illegals, and dipping into his $15 million stash for anti-Romney ads. Can he climb out of the Texas-sized hole he’s dug for himself? Yes, he can!
Much of Perry’s lost support went to Herman Cain. It’s not going to stay there, given that Cain is a moron, it has to go somewhere else. If those Perry-t0-Cain folks had liked Romney, they would have shown that already. So Perry has a good shot at winning them back.
Perry’s hope comes from a look back at the 2008 race. McCain was in more trouble in the summer of 2007 than Perry is now because, aside from his staff implosion, Johnny Mac had no money. Basically Mac was wandering around New Hampshire, just him and his garment bag.
How did Mac turn it around? Much of it was that people simply couldn’t stand Romney. That’s Perry’s ace, he’s lucky enough to be running against that same unloved guy. Sure, you can hide Mitt’s tie and put him in jeans, but you can’t give “casual Mitt” the personality transplant he needs.
John McCain was not a great candidate, Rick Perry is not a great candidate. The GOP may seek greatness, but it will surely settle for “not Mitt Romney.”
The Tea Party started with outrage about the bailouts. That outrage had three ways to go: blame the government for doing the bailouts, blame Wall Street for receiving the bailouts, or blame both.
The GOP skillfully channeled Tea Party anger into anti-government sentiment. They dangled shiny objects before the Tea Partiers, things like the debt ceiling and the EPA, which had nothing to do with our economic collapse, but successfully distracted the dumb asses with tea bags stapled to their tri-corner hats. The Koch Brothers and Dick Armey and Fox News successfully led the Tea Partiers into the anti-government sheep pen, closed the gate, and breathed a sigh of relief. They almost figured it out! Almost…
Now comes Occupy Wall Street to remind us that hey, we forgot to punish the bankers who stuck us with their gambling debts and blithely went back to the roulette wheel with a fresh pile of chips.
Occupy Wall Street is what the Tea Party could have been and should have been. I hope they keep their eye on the ball and away from shiny objects and that they successfully evade the sheep pen.
I hope they tell Wall Street, “Rien ne va plus.”
There is an inherent contradiction in the message of the GOP. They are all for individual freedom and government staying out of your life, except of course, for the stuff they believe the government should totally control. Stuff like whether or not you become and stay pregnant, whom you can marry, making sure that you have lots of exposure to Jesus in the public square and schools, etc.
When politicians miss threading this needle, you instantly see in their faces that they know they stepped in it, and furious scraping begins to get all traces off their foot.
But when Herman Cain said both that government should stay out of abortion and that abortion should be illegal, he didn’t understand that he was talking utter nonsense. He is embarrassingly and excruciatingly stupid.