Today in Perry: Stumping Like a Populist But Polling Like a Boss

Yep, he’s still running for President. The latest news from the campaign trail.
Thu December 1, 2011 7:35 pm
Rita Quinn | Flickr

Yep, he’s still running for President. The latest news from the campaign trail.

HE IS THE TWO PERCENT
The same Rasmussen Reports poll that has Ron Paul placing third with likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters has reduced Governor Rick Perry to 7th place. Perry, with two percent of the vote, is ahead only of Rick Santorum.

This isn’t the first poll in which the governor’s numbers have looked grim: a Suffolk University/Boston 7News poll from last week posted similar results, prompting the alt-weekly Austin Chronicle to crack, “Perry is a margin of error.” (The margin of error in both polls was 4 percent).

OR THE 99 PERCENT?
When he wasn’t getting the voting age and election day wrong in New Hampshire Tuesday, Perry was mostly making appearances with tough-on-crime and anti-immigration Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who endorsed the governor.

But as Jay Root of the Texas Tribune reported on Wednesday, Perry moved on to another topic, striking a populist note with anti-Wall Street, anti-Washington comments that might have been equally at home at a Tea Party rally or Occupy mic check.

“We shouldn’t be awarding taxpayer funded bonuses to Wall Street executives who defrauded those very same taxpayers,” Perry said in front of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce. “We ought to be locking them up.”

THERE ARE NO SECOND ACTS IN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES
Snark-tongued blogging pioneer Ana Marie Cox is openly wishing for a Perry comeback, though she has no real reason to believe that it could happen other than “he’s got the least damning flaws.” Cox reminds us that four years ago Rudy Guiliani still posted a big lead ahead of other candidates, with Fred Thompson also neck-and-neck with John McCain.

ABC/NPR correspondent Cokie Roberts also isn’t counting Perry out. As Richard A. Marini of the San Antonio Express-News  reported on the Perry Presidential blog, Roberts thinks Gingrich could self-destruct, and Perry has the bucks to wait that out. But former ABC newsman Sam Donaldson, who, like Roberts, was in town for an MD Anderson fundraiser, was less sure. The El Paso native doesn’t think the governor’s swashbuckling style translates outside of the state. “I’m not being dismissive of Texas . . . but Texas is not like the rest of the country,” he said.

Writing about Gingrich from Iowa, Jason Embry of the Austin American-Statesman laid out the same scenario as Roberts. If Gingrich stumbles and the pro-Perry SuperPAC “Make Us Great Again” comes through with a new wave of cash, “it will take just a few seconds for the Perry-Romney slugfest to start again” for the Iowa caucuses.

COURTING THE DRUNK VOTE?
Washington Post humor blogger Alexandra Petri has a theory about Perry’s famous string of campaign gaffes—the rambling speech, the debate “oops,” the voting age mistake. He isn’t courting voters who are sober.

“The more you imbibe, the more appealing Rick Perry seems,” Petri wrote. “To drunk people, everyone else seems sharper, funnier and better at debating . . . He’s not even trying to appeal to those below the (drinking) age limit at this point.”

LENO LOOMS
And speaking of comedy, don’t forget: Perry is scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this evening.

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