I emailed a couple of my colleagues last week as the Republican debate was in progress and asked if they saw what I was seeing – a Rick Perry disaster. I only heard back from one of them – and he said he had only just started watching. A Politico.com article with the above headline opens with this:
The conservative commentariat spoke with near-unanimity Friday on Rick Perry’s debate performance: The Texas governor didn’t just lose, he bombed.
There was no election-ending gaffe or singularly disqualifying remark. But his second consecutive weak outing set off alarms on the right, where too many cringeworthy moments raised questions about Perry’s durability, his seriousness and ability to compete on a stage with President Barack Obama. Worse, after a near-flawless August rollout fueled his rise in the polls and quieted critics who fretted about the quality of the GOP field, Perry’s nationally televised face-plant revived dormant talk — and hopes — about the possibility of new candidates entering the race.
With almost no one willing to defend a performance marked by meandering or inaccurate answers, botched canned lines and the damaging adoption of the left’s critique of conservatives on immigration, it’s hard to imagine how things could have gone much worse for Perry Thursday night.
Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor, summed it up with one word: “Yikes.”
Other articles of note:
From Michelle Malkin: Video: Perry’s cringe-worthiest debate moment
From Pajamas Media: At CPAC Rick Perry Uses Class Warfare Against Mitt Romney
National Review and the Weekly Standard also had analysis panning Perry’s debate performance. And then in the news today are these two articles:
Herman Cain upsets Rick Perry in Florida straw poll
Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll in stunning victory; Rick Perry in deep trouble
Can Perry recover? We’ll see.