Friday night political randomness: Palin, Weiner, and Perry
Sorry, I've been so busy all evening wading through Palin's e-mails. Such a glorious treasure of wonderment. (No, not really. There are people who can be bothered to read through, or even to skim through, the 24,000 pages. I'm not one of them.)
So Weiner had online contact with a 17-year-old girl. Not good -- not good at all. A spokesman says that the contact was "neither explicit nor indecent," but I'm not sure it matters. Well, sure, it does, but his reputation, rightly or wrongly, has already been destroyed, and he's pretty much on his own now, with little to no support from his own party.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before it came out that he had contact with a minor. He acted like an idiot and did idiotic things, especially for a public figure. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with having contact of an innocent nature with a near-adult, but given that he was using the Internet to chase women, the fact that his contacts included a minor only makes it all seem so much worse. Even if he wasn't sexual with this girl, the speculation that he might have been with some other minor is unavoidable.
I don't see how he escapes this. Pressure is mounting on him to resign. He says he won't, and his constituents apparently want him to stay, but he can't take much more. His thread is unravelling.
The train wreck that is the Gingrich campaign (and that is The Newt himself) leaves an opening for Perry to jump into the Republican presidential race, as some of those ex-Gingrich staffers are close to the Texas governor. And it looks like Perry is very likely to run.
Given the weakness of the field, Perry could very well emerge as one of the frontrunners, perhaps even the favourite if he manages to bridge the divide between the establishment and the far right. Pawlenty looks to be that bridge right now, but Perry could easily surpass him. Republicans, after all, are looking for a savior. Why not Perry? Pawlenty hasn't been able to get much traction, others on the right, like Bachmann (and Palin), are far too crazy/extreme, and the Tea Party and the social conservative base will never approve someone like Romney or Giuliani.
Just keep in mind that Perry isn't exactly a sensible, moderate, old-school Republican, or even the sort of conservative with broad-based appeal. Check out ThinkProgress's "Top 10 Things Texas Gov. Rick Perry Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him."
Oh, there was some good news today: The Obama Administration has extended Medicaid protections for same-sex couples.