Guns of the Southwest
TAMPA, FL — Former presidential candidate and Governor of Texas Rick Perry is quite possibly carrying a weapon on the streets of Tampa as he attends the Republican National Convention. We spotted Mr. Perry a few moments ago walking into the CNN Grill, which the cable network set up to provide politicians and journalists a place to mingle and unwind during the RNC festivities. Since he has a well-documented “long love affair” with firearms Politicker asked Mr. Perry whether he was “packing” at the RNC.
“You never know, that’s why they call it a concealed weapon,” Mr. Perry said with a chuckle and a pat on his hip as he made his way into the Grill.
The Future Is Now
Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry sat down for a video interview with National Review Online last week and he discussed his reasons for opposing gay marriage. Mr. Perry addressed the topic when he was asked about voters who admired his economic policies, but wished he would “just back off on the social issues.” He answered by explaining that he thinks, though society may be becoming gay friendly, God’s stance on same-sex marriage is quite clear.
“The issue of traditional marriage is one that continues to bubble forward and I happen to believe that, if you’re going to have a society that is successful economically or otherwise, you’re going to have to have values that you attach that society to. For 2,000 years we have had marriage between a man and a woman,” said Mr. Perry. “I suspect that issue’s not going to go away, but just because you share a different view or you are flexible on the issue does not mean that God has changed his mind about it.”
You've Got Mail
Not long ago, the political and media cognoscenti maintained a strict code of conduct: never—except in the privacy of a late night bar stool, after all the recorders have been turned off and the stories filed—should the next presidential election be speculated upon before the current one concludes. Eventually, after the last of the ballots were counted, some poor pundit would find himself on cable news, and with the newly completed campaign season no longer able to stomach more blather, he would gamely look ahead to the campaign four years hence.
And the world, it seemed would emit a loud groan. Too soon! We are politics-sick! No more horse-race frivolity!
Not so in 2012.
Texas Governor Rick Perry finished in sixth place in New Hampshire tonight, scoring last among the main candidates for the GOP nomination. As the rest of the field is making their concession speeches on television, the Perry campaign phoned it in, so to speak, by conceding electronically.
“Tonight’s results in New Hampshire show the race for ‘conservative alternative’ to Mitt Romney remains wide open,” the statement read. “I skipped New Hampshire and aimed my campaign right at conservative South Carolina, where we’ve been campaigning hard and receiving an enthusiastic welcome.”
At the time of this writing, the results of the New Hampshire primary and the Republican nominating contest are officially in doubt. At the time of this writing, the results of the Republican nominating contest, and to a lesser degree, the New Hampshire primary, couldn’t be more certain.
They weren’t decided Tuesday night; they weren’t decided in Iowa, and they won’t be decided in South Carolina in two weeks. The great secret of presidential campaigns is that despite two years of a carnivalesque drama, fluctuating poll numbers and maybe even a primary-night victory or two, it is pretty easy to tell who the winner will be once the field is set.
Did you really think Howard Dean would carry the Democratic line in 2004, even as he led all polls for most of the run-up to the voting? Did you really think Rudy Giuliani would be the Republican candidate in 2008, even as he opened up double-digit leads in state and national polls? Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are anomalies; on the Republican side, the exceptions are nonexistent. The also-rans—the ones whose turn it isn’t—run for one of two reasons: either they hope to finish in second place, in order to the next guy in line the next time around, or they are running To Prove a Point—that America is about to be taken over by Mexicans, or that moral decay is imminent. Or, this time around at least, they run to raise their profile, make some money off of book sales, get a gig on Fox News. (Has Herman Cain ever made a business move that paid off as much as his aborted attempt to become the Leader of the Free World?)
But gamely they soldier on.
Moderator George Stephanopoulos ended tonight’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire by asking the candidate’s what they’d be doing tonight if they “weren’t here running for president.” Rick Perry didn’t hesitate before giving his answer.
“I’d probably be at the shooting range,” Mr. Perry said.
Mr. Perry spent some time last Friday at an Austin-area shooting range “relaxing” ahead of the debate.
The other candidates also discussed what they’d be doing this evening if they weren’t on the campaign trail.
Millionaire and former Republican candidate Steve Forbes thinks a vote for Ron Paul or Rick Santorum in Iowa is really a vote for Mitt Romney–and he doesn’t like that one bit. Mr. Forbes sent an email on behalf of Rick Perry’s campaign today imploring voters to unite behind the Texas governor to defeat the Romney menace. “Let me be blunt, facing Paul and/or Santorum would be a dream come true for the Romney high command,” Mr. Forbes wrote.
In the final day of campaigning before the Iowa Caucus tomorrow, Mitt Romney compared President Barack Obama to the Kardashians, Michele Bachmann invoked Margaret Thatcher, Newt Gingrich lamented his fall from the front of the pack and Ron Paul plotted a path to the White House. Mr. Romney is currently leading in the latest Iowa polls followed by Mr. Paul. Mr. Santorum is ever so slightly ahead of Mr. Gingrich in third place.
Governor Cuomo’s trip to the North Country included coffee runs and a Price Chopper shopping spree.
Former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich predicts an Obama/Clinton ticket in ’12.
Protesters are setting up camp outside Mayor Bloomberg’s house (again).
At the Fox News presidential primary debate tonight, Texas Governor Rick Perry revealed he wants to take a page from the playbook of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and turn his campaign into an underdog success story.
“There are a lot of people out there–I understand it, you know, there are a lot of folks that said Tim Tebow wasn’t going to be a very good NFL quarterback,” Governor Perry said. “Let me tell you, I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.”