It's now or never for Perry
Mon October 3, 2011 11:57 pm

The next Republican debate, presented by the Washington Post and Bloomberg News, will be held on October 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Charlie Rose will be the moderator. Here is the official statement by the sponsors:

The Washington Post-Bloomberg debate will focus on the issues voters say they care about most: jobs, deficit, taxes and the economy. The debate will be the first of the 2012 Presidential campaign devoted to the single subject of the U.S. economy. Three years after the most severe downturn in the economy since the Great Depression, the candidates will debate over federal spending, deficits and debt, Social Security, Medicare, financial regulatory reform, taxes and the top issue in national polls: jobs.

This is Perry's best chance to regain the momentum in the presidential race. He won't face a lot of questions about social issues, which has been trouble for him in previous debates. But there will be a lot of pressure on him. The expectation is that he should do well in this subject area. Jobs and the economy are his strong points. If he flubs it, I don't think he can recover. It really is now or never.

If I were coaching Perry, the first thing I would tell him is to get some rest. He has been wearing down in recent debates. The second thing I would tell him is that he has to come across as presidential. He has to stop relying on conservative boilerplate and talking points and articulate how he would lead the country.

This debate is exactly what he needs at the exact time that he needs it. He and Romney are going to be going head-to-head. Perry doesn't have to win this debate, but he does have to hold his own. If he doesn't, he's in big trouble.

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