Perry’s gaffe: Romney’s gain, Obama’s loss

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.

As if…

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.

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18 Responses to “Perry’s gaffe: Romney’s gain, Obama’s loss”

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  1. Peter Hahn says:

    Perry was toast already.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  2. Paul says:

    “The truth is the Democrats have no interest in seeing Cain wounded.”

    I thought the prevailing theory was that another GOP candidate might have had something to do with “helping” these accusations surface? Did someone make a serious suggestion that it was the Obama campaign?

    “Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has already been preparing to face Romney in the general election.”

    I don’t dispute this but, how so? By raising money?

    This is a candidate that Obama will have real trouble with. He has experience, he shares some of the philosophies of the president on some issues. He is viewed by many as a person that can go in and resurrect a lost cause. That is what many Americans, democrats included, think the country needs right now.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  3. dbw says:

    My own sense is that Romney is the front runner in name only. Romney is having a tough time closing the sale with Republicans, especially with the Tea Party supporters. His ceiling has been around 25% support for months. His flip flops make him increasingly appear to be an unprincipled pol who will say anything to get elected. Meantime, in state polls he is looking anything like a front runner. In Fla. Cain still leads Romney with Newt surging into third with 19% of support. In Ohio Cain lead, Newt has 20% and Romney 19%. Before April 1 the Republican primaries will divide up the delegates proportionately, not winner take all. To win the general election Republicans will need someone to bridge the divide between the Republican and Tea Party factions. So far they haven’t found that candidate.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. verplanck says:

    Paul,

    Much of Cain’s response to the charges (and those from his supporters online) is that the Liberal Media is afraid of Cain getting in the general. Rather delusional, but par for the course at this point.

    Obama has been preparing for Romney, I recall a web ad being released by him knocking on Romney (I think it was for his response to him hiring undocumented workers: “you think I would do that? I’m running for office for cripes sakes!”). Pretty limited, but still unusual.

    Brian – you forgot to tally another “gain”, for the American people. Can you imagine a President Perry performing like this on the international stage, representing you, me and every other American? I thought that W was bad enough…

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  5. Ben Hamelin says:

    Ok, with LESS THAN a year to go, I am finally ready to devote some time to these proceedings – I saw Huntsman on MTP last Sunday – how is he not competing better? He seems like a legitimate candidate – is he not crazy enough? I especially liked his acknowledgement of the climate change issues this planet faces, while most others are too timid to scare their base.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Paul says:

    verplank, I agree with your comments on Cain. I was asking who are the democrats that are supposedly behind this that was alluded to in the post (or I should say who made the suggestion even?).

    Tea Party types will do everything they can to see Obama unseated. If that means they have to vote for Romney and wait another day for their ideal candidate than so be it. There is a good chance that liberals unhappy with the president may sit out the general election. I doubt you will see that with the tea party.

    Like they say “democrats fall in love and republicans fall in line”!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. Pete Klein says:

    Except for the much beloved folks in the media, anyone can forgive someone who forgets something. I do, you do, we all do.
    When it comes to Cain, all we have are allegations and anyone can allege anything.
    When it comes to Romney, his biggest problem is being a Mormon.
    And here we are back where I started. The much beloved folks in the media who get up in the morning and go to bed at night singing, “Kick ‘em when they are up. Kick ‘em when they are down. We love dirty laundry.”

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  8. JDM says:

    I think Obama thinks he has the best chance against Romney, and no chance against a candidate who potentially might take away some of the black vote.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  9. hermit thrush says:

    I think Obama thinks he has the best chance against Romney, and no chance against a candidate who potentially might take away some of the black vote.

    i think the opposite of that, and i’d bet my entire savings that obama thinks the opposite of that too.

    obama would completely destroy cain. romney is the only one i fear.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. JDM says:

    “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.”

    Ummm. The current Commander-in-Chief said there were 57 states, and can’t say corpsman correctly.

    If Perry is “not that bright” because of his gaffe, then Obama is not that bright, and making policy for us all.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  11. jeff says:

    Performing like this on the national stage? Is that why the president uses a teleprompter continually? I have heard his stammering when searching for a thought. Excuse ‘em for being human.

    This is a bit like the goofy pictures of candidates or other famous people who are photographed continuously Hillary Clinton for instance and the picture put in the press or used on Colbert is the least appealing.

    Look for substance and if it is the substance that suits you then act accordingly.

    That Romney mormon thing is about as irritating as using the president’s middle name derisively.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  12. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The Perry thing has been blown way out of proportion. Even I sort of like him more for it.

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  13. Mervel says:

    I don’t know we all forget things, I have done that, basically frozen up in a discussion on some points.

    The problem is this is for the president of the United States, this is a national debate of major significance, it has got to be game on for these guys and he still looked unprepared and unqualified for the job. We don’t need an average guy in the white house we need our best in the white house, regardless of political views. Republicans I think have simply had enough of these guys who sound like C+ frat boys, from the local community college.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  14. Pete Klein says:

    Because of the media, there is absolutely no chance we will ever have “our best in the White House.”
    The best are smart enough to stay away from that job. About the only good thing you can say for that job is that it gets your name in the history books. Other than that, you lose all sense of privacy and a normal life. You will find your self undergoing an autopsy even before you are dead and running for the job isn’t much better.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  15. PNElba says:

    “When it comes to Cain, all we have are allegations and anyone can allege anything.”

    We have a bit more than allegations. We have corporate investigations with resulting “payoffs” in at least two cases.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  16. JDM says:

    PNElba: It’s a sign of the times. It is “cheaper” for companies to settle for $50,000 than to lawyer-up for $250,000.

    Also, the settlement wasn’t for sexual admittance. It was a employee separation agreement.

    Apparently, back then, the ladies were more interested in the money than in “coming forth to warn others”, because they certainly could have done that then.

    Not sure if the facts are going to influence your thinking, however. Enjoy the media Koolaid.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  17. PNElba says:

    JDM, ok you are right. It was a “separation agreement”. Had nothing to do with Cain’s alleged sexual harrassment. Those darn women are always costing companies money. It’s just a sign of the times.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  18. “Herman Cain has moved ahead of Mitt Romney. Can you believe that? Political analysts say this is because Americans don’t understand Mormonism but they do understand pizza.” –Conan O’Brien

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