Last night’s disastrous outing by Texas Governor Rick Perry cements a brilliant couple of weeks for Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney and delivers more tough news to President Barack Obama.
Perry and the third top-tier GOP challenger, Herman Cain, continue to struggle and that means Romney — who is running a masterful, keep-it-simple, no-mistakes campaign — is now the prohibitive favorite.
He’s not very popular among Republican rank-and-file voters, but Romney is now all but sure to be the last man standing.
To recap, Perry’s mental blackout during the debate solidified a popular notion that he’s not that bright and not that ready to be Commander in Chief.
After introducing the idea that he wanted to axe three Federal agencies, Perry could only name two. As he himself put it, “Oops.”
(It was particularly bizarre that the governor of oil-rich Texas blanked out on the Department of Energy…which Perry later said was the third agency he’d like to eliminate.)
Cain, meanwhile, has blamed everyone — the media, Rick Perry, and now Democrats — for the water torture trickle of women coming forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.
The truth is the Democrats have no interest in seeing Cain wounded.
On the contrary, as long as Romney faces serious opposition, and is forced to slog through a long bloody primary fight, Team Obama’s chances at a second term continue to rise.
If the Dems planned to trot out sexual harassment accusers, they would have waited until after the primary, right?
The muddle leaves Romney in a great position, where Job One is convincing Republicans that he’s not only a sure thing, but also a sure thing they can get excited about.
Polls show that conservative voters are already far more zealous about the 2012 election than liberals. Romney needs to lock in that enthusiasm, which he’s so far failed to do.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has already been preparing to face Romney in the general election. Now it looks like he may have to face a Republican challenger largely unbloodied by the primary season, with a large campaign chest, and fresh for the fight.