Thanks, I Needed A Laugh

Rick Perry (the Ricker) is a serious about making another run for the White House.  The writers for Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel are rejoicing. This is going nowhere frankly.

Ricker had his chance in 2012 and he blew it.  When he entered the race in August 2011 Perry was an instant contender.  In reality this had little to do with him and everything to do with the GOP’s unease with Mitt Romney.  In 2016, Republican voters don’t have unease about their choices so Perry won’t have that to benefit from.  Don’t look for Perry to last long and he’ll be lucky to get beyond Iowa.


Look Out Granite State Here Comes the Ricker!

The Ricker, Texas Governor Rick Perry to you and me, is ready to test the waters again.  He’s going up to New Hampshire for a few visits.  This trip is meant to see if there is any interest in the Ricker running for the White House.  I can’t see there being much but, let’s be honest, Perry is stupid enough to think there is and get into the race for at least a little while.

Since he won’t be governor of Texas anymore and his poll numbers will start off low it’s going to be very hard for him to raise money early on.  Oh what a change from summer 2011.

Classic Ricker with a Side of Awesome Sauce

Maybe it’s the glasses or the fact that whatever he does is performing well over expectation but Rick Perry feels like he is on a roll.  And baby there is no reason to slow the Ricker down now.

Here he certainly seemed different from the bumbling Ricker of 2011-12.  Can he keep it going?  He is definitely going to have to adopt the pace of a marathon runner and not a sprinter if he’s going to be successful in 2016.

The first thing he’ll have to do is avoid the mistakes of last time and gain people’s confidence.  The best way to do that is to keep being awesome.  Second, he will have to pick a fight with someone who is polling better than him.  My guess is it will be Rand Paul or Chris Christie.  We’ve seen some of that and I anticipate he’ll see a whole lot more coming up from the Ricker.



Prayer and Loathing In Iowa

Over the weekend Christian conservatives in Iowa were treated to pandering to 5 potential GOP candidates.  The audience got to hear Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal.  It seems Ted Cruz got many of the biggest applause lines, it helped that he told the crowd that they were actually winning.

Interestingly many speakers took shots at Rand Paul, who was not in there that day.   Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats said  U.S. Rep. Steve King doesn’t run from conversations — a reference to King arguing with young Latina who crossed the border illegally as a child while Paul grabbed his beer and hit the bricks.  In addition, conservative author Joel Rosenberg said people in both parties “are turning against Israel.”

I am guessing that unanimous approval of increased funding Israel doesn’t count.

Going after Paul shows two things.  First, people see him as a threat to the nomination.  Second, they know he is vulnerable to attack on issues involving Israel and his inability to take criticism.

It’s early but storm clouds are already starting to brew.

Ricker Going After RandPaul

With new hipster glasses in place, the Ricker is going to test the foreign policy waters.  In the Washington Post he went after Rand Paul over the problems in Iraq.  He said Paul:

“suggest that our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq. The main problem with this argument is that it means ignoring the profound threat that the group now calling itself the Islamic State poses to the United States and the world.”

Perry also attempted to link himself to President Reagan while putting Paul with President Obama.

This piece says a great deal and most of it has nothing to do with foreign policy.  First, by attacking Paul Perry is admitting that the Kentucky Senator is a leader in the 2016 GOP race (did anyone ever attack RonPaul this early in the 08 or 12 contests?) and that the Ricker is not.   Perry is a second-tier (at best) candidate who needs to make a name for himself by attacking someone with a much a bigger status right now.  This is not an uncommon tactic.

Second, and connected to Paul’s status is that Perrry (like most others) recognizes there is a real value to being the not-Paul candidate.  Like Chris Christie last summer, Perry figures if he can get in a fight with Paul it will help to rally the large segments of the GOP who are not with Paul’s libertarian views or think he’s electoral poison.   If Paul does gain real momentum the Bush Republicans will be looking for someone to get behind and it could be any port in a storm.

The problem for Perry is that he had his chance in 2012 and oops, he blew it.  But for someone with a more legitimate chance this is a tactic that could be very helpful.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Pence or Ted Cruz takes this up as we get closer to the Iowa Caucuses.

Third, Paul knows he has a target on his back and that instead of being the hunter he is going to be the hunted.  In particular, his response shows Paul knows questions about his foreign policy stances are going to be a major factor in his 2016 run.  There are many Republicans who said about hid dad “I love him on economics but can’t vote for him because of foreign policy*” and Paul Jr. wants to take away that barrier to them supporting him.  The interesting long-term question is how far will he go to do that?




* I guess this means they embrace economic policies that calls Social Security a ponzi-scheme, would eliminate the Food and Drug Administration, and opposes NAFTA.  

Deep Divisions Will Spill Over

As the GOP meets for its annual retreat the subject of immigration reform is coming up.  Not surprisingly, the very deep divisions in the party are starting to come out.  Make no mistake about it, this is going to be a nasty fight in the GOP.  It really puts the different wings of the party at each other’s threats.  In many ways it is a wedge issue for the GOP the way busing and affirmative action used to be for Democrats.

This fight will carry over into 2016.  You can ask Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich how being supportive of the DREAM ACT or a path to citizenship plays with the party’s conservative base.  Is it possible to survive the issue?  Sure, McCain did it gets harder if the party’s anti-immigration wing can unite behind one candidate this time.