Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rick Perry: worst candidate of 2012

I didn't do so good, did I?

Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post made up his own award to "honor" the worst candidate of 2012. And although there were many worthy recipients, Mitt Romney among them if you ask me, I agree with Cillizza that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the worst. In fairness, the main criterion has to be the candidate who created the highest expectations upon announcing his or her candidacy and then failed miserably to live up to advanced billing.

Do you remember how much of a buzz Perry created as he was preparing to launch his bid for the GOP presidential nomination and how quickly he turned out to be a complete fool?

As Cillizza writes:

Remember back to the late summer of 2011. Perry entered the race with what looked like a straight path to frontrunner status. He was a conservative's conservative with a proven record of doing what he said in Texas. He was a fundraising powerhouse. He had a charisma that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney lacked. It was all there for the taking.

Until it became clear that the idea of Rick Perry running for president was very different than the reality of Rick Perry running for president. While Perry began strong with a much-touted appearance in Waterloo, Iowa, that single event wound up being the best moment of a campaign whose trajectory was almost entirely downward.

And then there was that "oops" moment in the debates when he couldn't remember the third federal agency he would abolish if he were to become president, but things were already over for him by then:

He finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses, sixth (with ONE percent) in the New Hampshire primaries and then dropped out of the race before the South Carolina primary. (In a final coup de grace of bad political judgment, Perry endorsed the presidential candidacy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.)

It's not like the guy was unheard of and had no track record, it was just that when he got on the really big stage, he made a really big ass of himself.

The lesson should be that the idea of any given candidate is very often a lot more impressive then the reality of said candidate once they have to get out there in front real people and cameras and microphones day after day. Ann Romney was right about one thing: running for president is hard.

Loser candidate of the year was Rick Perry, hands down.

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