…or else he would not have pulled the plug on the Governor’s Mansion addition. Perry has gotten himself out on a limb with all the bragging about Texas, and it may come back to haunt. Add up the boasts about how he balanced the budget (no mention of those stimulus funds, of course), the “What recession?” crack of last fall, and his support for the Mansion addition, and it’s pretty easy to envision a TV spot about his being out of touch with the average Texas family.
Perry is a great candidate in friendly circumstances—appearances before lobby groups that habitually support incumbents; tea party rallies; fundraisers, chamber of commerce speeches. But when the stakes were high and he had to react under pressure, as was the case during the debate, he could not hide his distaste for the whole thing: the questions from the media, the criticism from those two wimmin, the knowledge that reporters and editorial writers and bloggers all across the state were putting him under the microscope and preparing to write about his facial expressions and his body language, then he does not do well. Perry TV spots are uniformly excellent, but Perry answering questions on live TV is not. He becomes defensive; he becomes boastful. As long as he is in control, he is very disciplined. But when he isn’t in control, he can be off his game, sometimes way off. Hutchison and Medina got to him, and it was obvious.