Perry nips at Romney’s heels

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar North
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    says:

    A texas governor with a “reputation for working with Dems in Texas” and a record of executing more people than any governor before him. That is verbatim right out of 2000. Surely the country isn’t insane enough to consider a Bush redux, hell they haven’t even gotten over blaming the last Bush for our current troubles.

    I think Perry is another Fred Thompson. Lots of hat but no cattle.Report

  2. Avatar RTod
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    says:

    I’ve said this in Jaybird’s prediction post, and I’ll say it again here:

    Rick Perry will be the Fred Thompson of this election cycle.Report

    • Avatar RTod in reply to RTod
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      says:

      And now, only after posting this of course, I see that North has just said the exact same thing.Report

      • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to RTod
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        says:

        I disagree with you both. Perry is charming where Thompson was sort of lazy. Perry has the network built up to raise lots of cash, and he has lots of publicity already. He fills a void that Thompson didn’t fill. Whether he can beat Romney…I can’t say. I doubt he can.Report

        • Avatar RTod in reply to E.D. Kain
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          says:

          I should qualify. When I say the next Fred Thompson, I mean:

          Rick Perry will keep everyone on pins and needles, and in that time everyone in the GOP tent will become convinced that he is the the person that thinks exactly like they do, and he will wear the mantle of the Perfect Candidate.

          Then he will jump in, people will actually look at him as a person and not an abstract idea, and the over-promise under-delivery will crush him quickly.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to RTod
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            says:

            If Perry was smart he’d wait until 2016, when he’s not running against Obama but some generic Democrat. Obama still has huge support from self-identified Dems and pretty good support from indies. Plus, he’s a brilliant campaigner. The only way Perry enters this is if he takes the whispers in his ear too seriously.Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
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              says:

              If a debt deal gets done before Monday, Obama’s got nothin’. His approval is bad, but his issues are abysmal.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz
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                says:

                I don’t follow. If Obama doesn’t have a debt issue then I don’t see the downside for him. He gets points for participating in averting a crisis. He gets points for being centrist. He’s already got points for successfully playing the adult in the conversation. His opponents have made themselves look bad and all Obama’s done is backed down on stuff which his base is pretty much used to by now.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North
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                says:

                Check the link. If there’s a debt crisis, there’s a chance that everything goes out the window and a substantial number of Americans reevaluate their political loyalties. For the President or any other politician this can work to their benefit or their detriment.

                Without a debt crisis we’re in status quo ante. And in the status quo, the President loses reelection.Report

              • Avatar Ryan B in reply to Koz
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                says:

                This is an incredibly bizarre reading of the status quo.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Ryan B
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                says:

                Not really. It’s all there in charts and numbers. Check the link.Report

              • Avatar Ryan B in reply to Ryan B
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                says:

                You have to make an argument that this election will be about Obama’s favorables, and I don’t think you’ve done that. Head-to-head polls show him consistently beating every Republican (except sometimes Romney) because the Republicans are spectacularly unpopular. Saying “Obama isn’t super popular” doesn’t work unless I’m willing to believe the election will be Obama vs. Rorschach Blot, and I’m not.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Stillwater
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              says:

              I disagree. I don’t think that Perry will ever have a better opportunity than he does right now. His chances of winning a general are lower than they probably would be in 2016, but the current GOP primary is begging for a consensus candidate like him (it would be Mark Sanford’s for the taking, but for one thing…).

              And even if he does lose, having run in 2012 would bolster his chances in 2016, so long as he makes a good showing. Republicans generally like familiarity in their nominees.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman
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                says:

                The they are begging for a consensus candidate is one reason I think a real candidate, with a legitimate chance to unify conservatives, and compete on the national stage, ought to wait. Or at least wait until the stench of desperation leaves the party. The conservative side is split right now, with lots of traditional GOPers looking at the Teaparty antics with horror. That, it seems to me, is a very real reason to wait until things shake out a bit.

                Plus, for all of Koz’s suggestions to the contrary, Obama remains tremendously popular for a President this far into his first term.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                If by “popular” you mean “notably less unpopular than the other party.”

                I’d place better-than-even odds on Obama winning re-election, but he’s certainly not where you want to be as an incumbent. The main thing he has going for him is his opposition.

                I understand you as seeing that as a reason for Perry not to run, but I disagree. He rode the wave of the Tea Party to re-election and national attention. If they collapse, he collapses with them.

                I think his window of opportunity is bigger now than it is ever going to be if he does not run. The only exception to that is if he runs, loses in the primary, and can come back four years later as the next in line. Republicans don’t hold primary losses against their candidates.Report

              • Avatar Ryan B in reply to Will Truman
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                says:

                I think Matt Yglesias’s advice on this has been pretty spot-on: run at the earliest time it makes sense. Four years is a long time. If Perry’s limelight fades – or another Republican beats Obama – then it’s all over, probably forever. Presidential politics means going big or more than likely going home.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Ryan B
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                says:

                Nixon and Reagan notwithstanding, of course.Report

              • Avatar Ryan B in reply to Ryan B
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                says:

                Nixon and Reagan both ran as early as possible. They just also ran again later.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman
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                says:

                Ahh. I see what you’re saying here. Insofar as Perry is inextricably linked to the Tea party, then you’re probably right that it’s now or never.

                If he runs, do you think it will be as a standard issue TPer, or as a more traditional GOPer?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                As a friend but not as a member of the Tea Party, I would guess. The smartest route, it seems to me, is to make himself acceptable to the Tea Party while trying to unite the rest of the party under his banner.Report

              • Avatar Barry in reply to Will Truman
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                says:

                “And even if he does lose, having run in 2012 would bolster his chances in 2016, so long as he makes a good showing. Republicans generally like familiarity in their nominees.”

                I disagree – having run for the nomination and lost (while the nominee goes on to get crushed) would be good, because he’d have been around the track before.

                But getting nominated and losing will simply put him in with the losers. Since Nixon, I can’t recall a losing presidential candidate being renominated.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to E.D. Kain
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          says:

          I don’t see his niche. Yes he’ll attract supporters who think Bachman is crazy but Romney is spongey but is that enough? If he waits too long it definitly won’t be. GOP establishment figures mostly place their support early on and Romney is the next in line.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North
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            says:

            His niche would be as the consensus candidate, acceptable to everybody. In most primary seasons, I would say that a darkhorse like Perry wouldn’t have a shot. But Romney isn’t your typical establishment figure. That’s not to say that Romney can’t win (McCain wasn’t your typical establishment figure, either), but a good candidate could oust him. Even a previously unfamiliar one. Last time around, had he won his senate re-election comfortably, I think George Allen could have (probably would have) taken the nomination. I think the same could be true of Perry this time.

            Word is that he’s going to announce in late August. If he’s lining up his ducks in the row between now and then, I don’t *think* that’s too late. Not with the level of discomfort surrounding the current frontrunner and his main rival.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to RTod
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        says:

        No worries Rtod, it’s good to be in good company.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Here’s a fun question: Will Obama be primaried?

    If he is primaried, this throws a wrench into the works.

    Because, if he ain’t, I’d say that the Republicans lose (but they’ll win in 2016… Christie, maybe).

    If he is, I’d say that Obama loses and Generic Republican (Romney) wins.Report

    • Avatar Ryan B in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Primaried at all? Or primaried by a serious candidate (like Ted Kennedy vs. Carter)? If the latter, my answer is no. If the former, it doesn’t matter.

      By 2016, no one will remember who Chris Christie even is.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      There is no one to primary him. Maybe (~maybe~) if he hadn’t had the wit to co-opt Clinton she might have considered it. But at the moment there is no one of any stature in the party to challenge him who would want to and people pretty keenly remember how bad primary challenges are for their own side. I don’t think any of Obama’s transgressions have been toxic enough to the Dems to make them poison their base in a close race.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North
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        says:

        Speaking frankly, who wants to be the guy to primary the first black president of the United States? Without a foundation for strong ideological opposition (not just disappointment – opposition), I don’t see why you would want to go that route. You’d lose, you’d probably never be able to win in the future, and you’d have the antipathy of one of the most active segments in the Democratic coalition.Report

  4. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    Here’s a fun question: Will Obama be primaried?

    No.Report

  5. Avatar wardsmith
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    says:

    The most interesting candidate on this list is actually Jon Huntsman. Not interesting in that you’ve even likely heard of him, but because he would make the best president of all. Interesting enough that the Democrat prognosticators made sure to take him out of the equation early on by making him ambassador to China. I’ve met him, got to speak Mandarin with him (he’s far more fluent than I) and was tremendously impressed with his actual intelligence and vision. And he wasn’t running for anything at the time, we were just socializing.Report

    • Avatar RTod in reply to wardsmith
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      says:

      “I’ve met him, got to speak Mandarin with him (he’s far more fluent than I)”

      I don’t know why this would make me consider wanting to support him.

      Yet oddly it kind of does.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to wardsmith
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      says:

      I was in a hotel room in Prague when I saw on the news ticker that Huntsman had been appointed ambassador to China. At that moment, I turned to my wife and said: “Obama is one Machiavellian mofo – he just exiled his toughest likely competitor in 2012 while making a wise choice for an important job in the process.” Or something to that effect.

      IIRC, at the time Huntsman was starting to get buzz as one of the (extremely) early favorites for the 2012 GOP nomination. That buzz died immediately upon that announcement.Report

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