Department of Duh inre: Perry

via Rick Perry’s Ben Bernanke slam–John Podhoretz –

It was a mistake because Perry made news when he didn’t intend to, which is not what a disciplined politician does. It was a mistake because he has people talking not about whether he’s a great guy or a good governor or a fine leader, but arguing over whether he advocated someone’s lynching.

So people who aren’t paying close attention — like independent voters, for example — are going to come away with the vague impression that he might be for lynching someone, and people generally don’t like that sort of thing.

No shit, Podhoretz. Otherwise, for a guy who is generally wrong, his column about Perry is was pretty much spot on.

Some conservatives, dismayed by what Perry said yesterday, complained he wasn’t showing the qualities of a “grown-up” (Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post) or not being “presidential” (Karl Rove).

There’s a much simpler problem here: Perry looked kind of like a jerk.

I’m still baffled by Perry’s bull rush to be the “crazier than your grandfather” candidate, but I do have to say that in the larger scheme of things it sort of makes sense. You can go nuts for a week to gain supporters, volunteers, and donors, then go moderate for the next 16 months and put the past easily behind you. He’s not going to put on the brakes anytime soon, but you get the point.

Whether people think he is crazy or not, it is undeniable that they are talking about him and are intrigued by him. Perry’s name recognition is going to shoot way up over this week and next (before he announced, it was supposedly at only 50% outside of Texas). Name recognition doesn’t always translate to votes, but it will translate to media attention, volunteers, and donors. And those do translate to (more) votes, although those vote gains may ultimately only be in the primary, not the general election, if he keeps up this sort of tactless heat.



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