He ought to be doing better than he is. Policy-wise, Perry is a whole lot better than Herman Cain is; that’s unquestionable.
Perry can’t outdebate Gingrich, and that’s an issue. He also doesn’t have the baggage Gingrich has, either. Except for that business with the in-state tuition for illegal aliens, which is a problem not just for Perry but for the conservative movement – in that the hostile attitudes toward illegals rub off on Hispanics and drive them to the Democrats when there is no way in hell that should happen.
But that’s another post.
Anyway, Perry did 15 minutes on Hannity this afternoon, and he proved again that his problem is he can’t spew out his thoughts efficiently in a 30-second debate response – not that he doesn’t have the thoughts to spew. In fact, this guy – if he could ever recapture the GOP electorate’s attention (and if Gingrich melts under the media scrutiny he’s about to get Perry will have another shot at the anti-Romney vote) – really could be the transformational-type conservative president America has to have in order to recover from Obama.
Some proof of that is the stuff Perry was talking about in this clip – namely, that he’d like to put an 18-year term limit on Supreme Court justices and other federal judges, make Congress a part-time body (that goes back to the old Lamar Alexander cut-their-pay-and-send-them-home pitch, which was a decent campaign gimmick way back when but never really got anywhere – but in light of Peter Schweizer’s book about how completely corrupt Congress is with its insider trading, it’s not a bad political move to bring it back up now) and freeze federal salaries until the budget is balanced, and among other things also privatize Fannie and Freddie. All of that would constitute a major reform agenda, even though much of it would be really tough to pass unless he could get it to catch on in a general election and grow some coattails out of it.
But transformational, aggressive reform ideas are what the country wants. Which is why the GOP can’t nominate a guy like Romney, who at best would sand the edges, to run against Obama. Bold colors, not pale pastels. Perry offers that. The question is whether he can get some traction going.
Another brain freeze will kill him, though. He’s got to have a lot more witty moments like Saturday and a lot less “oopses.”
But that’s just my take. Listen to this and decide for yourself.