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Rick Perry's poll numbers are a wonder [Most commented]

September 13, 2011 |  1:58 pm

Rick Perry

Rick Perry's going to win the GOP nom. Why? Because unlike Mitt Romney, Perry's just so lifelike. That's Jonah Goldberg's take,  anyway. In his Tuesday column, he writes that Romney "has an authentic inauthenticity problem."

I have shaken Romney's hand a few times, and I can say he feels surprisingly lifelike. But politically he just seems fake, even though what you see is what he really is. Romney is a much better candidate than he was in 2008, but there's still something about the guy that makes people say, "There's just something about that guy." And given Romney's rich history of flip-flops, he just seems untrustworthy to the tea-fueled base of the GOP.

That's in contrast with Perry, who, Goldberg says…

doesn't have to worry about seeming lifelike enough. He needs to figure out just how much larger than life he can appear without becoming a caricature.

…because Republicans:

really want to like their nominee. Right now, Perry is in that sweet spot.

To read our discussion board, readers -- even the conservatives among them -- aren't charmed by Perry.

Perry needs a platform

While I think Rick Perry is capable of both getting elected and doing a better job of leading the country than President Obama, he does nonetheless have to come up with more of a platform than being against President Obama and the collective Washington mindset.


Perry needs polishing

I'd agree that Perry is in a good spot, but his lack of experience in a national debate setting shows. He walks onstage like a bumpkin, stands uncomfortably at his lectern, and each debate has featured some deer-in-the headlights moments to issues he should have been fully prepared for. He got shellacked twice yesterday, first by Romney who rope-a-doped him in classic fashion on the social security before Perry woke up and hit back (the book battles), and then by an impressive Bachmann, who hit him with a series of jabs, then clobbered him with a right cross on Merck. Given that Perry had written the book and, one hopes, knew it's contents, and given Merck was the sole drug company involved in the inoculation fiasco, Perry's handlers should have anticipated these lines of questioning and prepped him better. Either issue is problematic for him and could become a swift-boating if he is not careful.

And I may be imagining things, but I could swear he looked bored at certain points. The body language was of someone going through a process because they have to, not because they want to.

Right now, Romney and Bachmann look the best, and that's coming from someone who could never shake that "he's slick" feel about Romney. And I am glad Newt is in the debates. Always a pleasure to hear from real policy wonks. Perry is imminently electable, but ne needs plenty of polishing.


Perry's poll numbers are unexplainable

Rick Perry is the real barbarian at the gates.  No Democrat likes him.  No establishment Republican likes him.

He's got long odds to win. Yet everywhere he goes, he ends up getting the majority of the votes.

It's pretty unexplainable at this point.

--Pasquino Marforio

Perry doesn't actually say anything

I don't get where Perry comes off as authentic.  He comes across as a fake cowboy who studied Ronald Reagan's mannerisms and thinks the electorate in 2012 will somehow once again elect an empty suit who runs on platitudes.  Romney isn't inauthentic, he's who he is, a business guy and he comes across as one -- he is direct, he watches and listens to the other candidates, he's fact-based.  Perry is the king of nonsensical one-liners (my favorite was when he said Romney was doing fine until he started with the poker -- the problem of course being the Romney played the better hand.)  I don't care much what Pawlenty has to say, that's why he's out.  I may care more about what Gingrich says when he drops out, as he is clearly the smartest guy up there.  But I'd like to care about what Rick Perry says, he just doesn't really say anything. 


Perry should stay in Texas

We don't need another Texan as President who's skeptical on global warming, "open-minded" on evolution, lacking foreign policy experience or even curiosity, a poor student in college, etc. etc. etc. Haven't we learned our lesson?



The problem with Perry

Live coverage: GOP debate, round two

Morrison: Perry and Galileo -- pardners in science

GOP debate's winner, loser, survivor and comeback

Perry's 'hard facts' about Social Security vs. actual facts

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Texas Gov. Rick Perry during the Republican presidential debate Monday in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Mike Carlson / Associated Press

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