Friday, August 5, 2011

Everything you ever need to know about Rick...

Matthew Dowd who by all accounts doesn't know Rick very well but is well known for his Bush involvement wrote a thing I have seen called "everything you need to know about Rick Perry."

Okay so what is it he has to say (link). Excerpt follows...

Having observed and known the governor, both as a Democrat and as a Republican, through 13 election cycles, I offer a primer on Perry in five key points:
  1. He is an extremely astute politician with a keen sense of where voters are, and he has great instincts on message. Perry has ruthless discipline and communication. They say in politics, “Don’t let your boot off an opponent’s neck till Election Day.” Perry doesn’t take his boot off till a year after the votes have been counted and the opponent has faded into oblivion. He is actually a better campaigner than George W. Bush (Perry’s predecessor as Texas governor) was when he first entered the national scene.
  1. Perry has surrounded himself with a very loyal staff. His aides believe in him, and he in them. He is involved in campaign decisions, but he delegates well and doesn't stop being loyal because a mistake might be made. This is a huge advantage in the ebb and flow of presidential campaigns. 
  1. His statements related to possible Texas secession actually helped him in his recent race in 2010, and will help him in a national campaign in the Republican primaries and caucuses.  In an environment where Republican voters despise the federal government, anti-Washington rhetoric is music to their ears.   Conversely, this talk will hurt him in a general-election race. Moderate voters in the Midwest will see it as off-putting. 
  1. Although he has run many times for both district and statewide office in Texas, Perry has never been fully vetted by the media. He underwent some scrutiny in his races for governor, but he has never endured the full-court press that happens in a presidential race. What the media discovers will not be as important as how he and the campaign handle the intense spotlight for the first time. Perry and some of his staffers are known to have thin skins. They will need to grow calluses if they are to succeed in the show. 
  1. Perry has never lost a race. While many immediately list this as a positive (and it is laudable and suggests huge talent), losing at some point in your career makes you better when the inevitable problems hit. I have learned more from my losses in life and politics than from my victories. It’s the losses that really cause self-reflection and growth. President Obama and former Presidents Bush (father and son), Clinton, Reagan, and Nixon learned enormous amounts from setbacks in their political careers, and those losses eventually helped them win the White House. We know Perry can win. The real question is: Can he suffer defeat and rise to the next battle?

Umm... really? That is all we need to know about Rick?

I would say that some of these are sort of accurate but could apply to any candidate... and the one about Rick not being vetted? What planet is this guy on? I guess I understand the feeling that Rick will get ambushed on random trivia questions if and when he goes to Iowa or New Hampshire, but Rick is likely the most vetted of all the possible candidates including the current resident of the White House... he is constantly and often unfairly vetted... they make things up... they imagine scenarios... they exaggerate and sensationalize... they cover the same ground again and again... in his various campaigns every accusation has been lobbed at him you could think of... he has been vetted by opposition researchers affiliated with Kay, with Tony Sanchez, with Steve Mostyn, with Chris Bell... everyone has looked into every nook and cranny of Rick's life and finances... there aren't a lot of surprises.

If Dowd means that Rick hasn't faced the press conference gauntlet that is also pretty dubious... although maybe he can make the point that Rick must hone a new national message that he can stay on and not get tripped up... and clarify and tighten some of his 10th Amendment talk for example so he doesn't run into trouble with the pro life peeps and anti gay marriage peeps again... all while still enticing those libertarian kinds of peeps with the federalist argument. Right now some of that is a little unexplained and hard to follow...

As far as the thin skin argument goes I have not noticed that per se with most of them but definitely with some... but no more than any other staffer or consultant or advisor out there for any candidate... if anything Rick has pretty thick skin... especially compared to many of the opponents he has faced... he seems to be able to rattle his opponents more than they rattle him in other words...

One thing about the thin skin argument is that none of his peeps can fire back and say "no we don't" because that proves the point... so I will say it for them... it is not really a unique attribute of Rick or his peeps. Maybe Dowd means that they hold grudges and exact their revenge on peeps who cross them... and who knows maybe there is some of that but again no more than any other political operation out there, and I really don't understand the thin skin argument from my observations over the decades.

If someone set out to write "everything you need to know about Rick" I definitely don't think that would be the authoritative list no offense to Matt Dowd...

1 comment:

  1. I see over at the Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion blog that Rick's Texas A&M records where leaked to the Huff n' Puff recently.   The vetting begins!


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.