Yeah, yeah – now that the hicks in Iowa have taken to Rick Santorum and appear to be embracing the guy the Romney campaign loves even more than Ron Paul, it’s looking less and less like Perry has a path to the nomination (he won’t be out, but he’s going to have to establish a beachhead in either South Carolina or Florida or else he’s in danger of getting completely written off).
But that’s a shame. Because the one thing Perry has is sand. And he’s also a guy who fits the times. People hate the Washington Establishment and want to take a hatchet to it? You know that’s the case; why do you think Ron Paul has as much momentum as he has when most people know putting that nutty old man in charge of foreign policy is akin to national suicide?
Fine. Perry, unlike Santorum, is a legitimate outside-the-Beltway guy. Not only that, he hates the Beltway as much as the electorate does.
POLITICO is about as Beltway an operation as you can get. Just check out the way Perry big-boys that outfit in this interview following a hit piece they did on his campaign using the typical unnamed source…
There is some truth to POLITICO’s story about how Perry’s initial team bungled his campaign and the newer folks have been bailing water ever since. But the timing of it – the piece ran on New Year’s Eve – is about as suspect as one can imagine. Wouldn’t it have been a lot more responsible to hold the piece until after the Iowa caucuses tomorrow to see whether Perry’s actual performance comported with a narrative of a failed campaign? One would think so, unless of course you’re trying to affect that performance with bad press.
Which is what lots of people think POLITICO has been doing. Nobody else has been so aggressive in attacking conservative presidential campaigns this cycle – whether Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann. They’ve wielded the axe on every one of the media assaults as the Non-Romneys have risen in the polls.
Perry might be going down, but at least he’s going down swinging. He challenged Allen to produce a source for that story, and demonstrated that Allen was either too craven to produce one or didn’t have one to begin with. Someone from Perry’s campaign probably did talk to Johnathan Martin and Maggie Haberman, who wrote the story, but the chances are it was somebody (1) not high up on the totem pole and (2) not in a position to judge whether the narrative of a broken campaign is a true one historically speaking. Four years ago, after all, John McCain’s campaign had been completely run aground by John Weaver, who is now in charge of John Huntsman’s disastrous White House bid, and he had run out of money as well. McCain had to completely retool, and ended up winning.
Maybe Perry will do that, or maybe he doesn’t even need to. Or maybe it’s over.
The point being, conservatives don’t need POLITICO telling them who to vote for; that outfit’s qualifications are as suspect as its Perry’s-campaign-is-busted narrative is.