The gist of the piece is that Perry ignored what presidential candidates are supposed to do – participate in the Iowa straw poll, for example – and stiffed Iowa (not to mention his home state press) by planning to announce his candidacy in South Carolina on the day of the poll, and then proceed on to New Hampshire.
Dear Time: Welcome to our world. This is what Perry has always done – exactly what he wants to do. Since he will not officially be a candidate on the day of the poll (depending upon when he announces), and because he had no chance to win the poll, he just bypassed Iowa altogether. As Time’s Amy Sullivan described it, Perry threw the media into a tizzy because they didn’t know whether to stay in Iowa or go to South Carolina. The Republican field is about to learn another thing about Perry. When he does something outrageous, like “The Response,” injecting, by his very presence, politics into a religious event, it won’t stick. He broke the rules and got away with it. Perry is Teflon. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. He just is. Nothing sticks to him. I think “The Response” was terrible. It was classic Perry: a divider, not a uniter. Perry exploited religion in the most pandering way. And he got away with it, even though one aspect of the event was a failure: He invited all of his fellow governors and not one showed up. He is going to drive the rest of the wannabes crazy, just as he drove Hutchison and Bill White crazy. Everybody is waiting for the national media to go after Perry. You watch: he’ll drive them crazy too.
Perry was smart to skip Iowa. His absence effectively renders the straw poll meaningless–not that it wasn’t meaningless already. (Bachmann is the heavy favorite). He has six months to build an organization there. There may be something of a backlash against him for not showing up at the straw poll, but the western side of the state is evangelical country. He can mine it for votes.
Perry’s next major event is a speech at the National Conference of State Legislatures in San Antonio on Friday.