President 2012: Will Rick Perry Flop Against Obama in the General Election?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes as he addresses the Western Conservative Summit in Denver on Friday, July 29, 2011
To a sizable slice of the Republican base, Rick Perry looks like the conservative, charismatic presidential candidate they have been waiting for in the 2012 campaign.
To many GOP elites, however, the Texan looks more like a general election flop in the making.
Few Republicans will say as much in public, for fear of offending the conservative grassroots or antagonizing Perry, a powerful official who’s known to hold a grudge. But in private, in some quarters of the party a sense of apprehension has set in about the prospect of another Texas governor’s candidacy.
Even operatives who believe Perry would bring significant assets to the 2012 campaign – his job-creation record among them – acknowledge that there are real doubts about whether a brash, Southern hard-liner like Perry can win votes in the crucial swing states needed to capture the White House.
“I think there’s Texas fatigue in Ohio,” said former Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett, a longtime party leader who sits on the Republican National Committee.
“I’ve mentioned Rick Perry to a bunch of people and he comes up, frankly, a blank,” Bennett said. “From a grassroots standpoint in Ohio, I don’t see much. I don’t see much support and I don’t see much excitement about it.”
Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason explained that Perry has a “ways to go” when it comes to introducing himself to a national audience – “especially the independents and more moderate Republicans.”
“Texas is really far from Pennsylvania, not just geographically. We don’t relate at all,” said Gleason, who urged Perry to “come and tell the people of Pennsylvania how he plans to create economic opportunity.”
I think if Mitt Romney can get past the early debates in fairly decent shape, then a Rick Perry candidacy can fizzle.
Perry will split votes with Michele Bachmann, unless Sarah Palin either runs or endorses him.
Having to run against Mitt Romney and Karl Rove looks like it will be an especially BRUTAL exercise – as this story amply demonstrates.
But, Perry will be OK against President Obama, who by April of next year may very well be toast.
The GOP, “Dewey-Reckefeller wing of the party would love to see R.I.N.O. Romney as the nominee. But are they certain that the south is going to go along? There is a feeling that Romney would be another McCain, a Republican who is really a moderate Democrat. It is easy enough to get that impression! Sarah Palin might throw everyone a monkey wrench and run as a third party candidate. Donald Trump might even run! This is about control of the Republican party. The “meat” of the new GOP is made up of members who never voted for Gerald Ford. They were either too young or were Democrats at that time. Rick Perry will capture the voters Romney is the weakest with: Tea Partiers, Evangelicals, “Regan Democrats” and Hispanics. It is easy to think that Pennsylvania might not break for Perry. The state is trending “red” to be sure. But George W. Bush didn’t carry the Keystone state. Ohio has no reason to vote for Obama. I believe that both Pennsylvania and Michigan might break for Perry once his jobs record becomes common knowledge. In short, the establishment GOP is shrinking. They will soon be a nothing more than a “splinter” of the party with wanning influence. Perry can return this country to real free market, 10th amendment “savvy.” He will get some flack. But if you want to talk about something ermbarrassing, just wait until Evangelicals begin seeing 527 adds explaining the fact that Romney believes that “Jesus was the brother of Lucifer.” It might fly in Massachusetts. But it will be a difficult sell in Georgia.
If it walks like a Dubya, talks like a Dubya, then it’s another Dubya! God help us if he gets elected.