Posts Tagged ‘Debates’

Rick Perry’s Nightmare Debate

November 10, 2011 4 comments

I’m going to have nightmares about this, I just know it. I’m standing on a stage bathed in hot television lights with 2 million people watching me when all of a sudden, the words just stop coming out. People start giggling. Next thing I know I’m standing in my underwear. I wake up in a cold sweat.

Oh, thank God, I’m just some anonymous journalist guy, not a politician who just watched his entire political career flash before his eyes. Oh Rick. Rick, Rick, Rick.

In case you missed it last night or haven’t seen it yet on YouTube, here’s the Washington Post’s take on The Gaffe:

In easily the most painful moment of an already uneven set of debate performances, the Texas governor on Wednesday night fumbled badly when describing how he would cut government in the CNBC Republican debate.

Perry’s lack of knowledge about his own political platform was awkward on the stage and immediately raised eyebrows in the Twitterverse, and could possibly be a pivot point in his campaign with longer-lasting implications for the race.

It went down like this. Perry began by saying “ I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the — what’s the third one there? Let’s see.”

After struggling for a while, Mitt Romney attempted to throw Perry a bone and volunteered “EPA” — the Environmental Protection Agency. But it wasn’t the EPA, so Perry struggled on to hit on the right answer.

“The third agency of government I would — I would do away with, Education, the…,” Perry continued to try and find his answer.

“Commerce,” an unknown voice volunteered, according to the debate transcript.

“Commerce and, let’s see,” Perry answered. “I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”

The next time he was asked a question, Perry said the Department of Energy was the third agency he would eliminate.

The audience applauded politely.

Hey, I’ve done it. I’ve lost my train of thought before. I’ve seen the train careen off the tracks and tumble six times down a ravine before coming to rest in a fiery explosion. It’s happened once or twice. I think I was tired. Or maybe a little tipsy.

I’m going to say it just once. When a presidential candidate forgets one of the three government agencies he wants to abolish; forgets which set of 30,000 federal workers he’s going to lay off; forgets it’s the Department of Energy, which you’d think might be the agency most top of mind to the Governor of oil-rich Texas- it’s not a good thing.

Even Rick Perry’s supporters were sending out dispirited and demoralized tweets. “The campaign just ended,” said one of them. The folks who put odds on these things downgraded Perry’s chances of getting the nomination by about 30% by the time the debate came to an end.

For those Republicans concerned with winning the general election, all they saw last night in that one mortifying minute of debate history was the debate 10 months from now with President Barack Obama behind one lectern and a deer standing at the other. With bright headlights shining into its eyes.

One could go on but what’s the use?

I will say this- in all sincerity- about Rick Perry. In the spin room afterward, where representatives of the presidential hopefuls show up to tout their candidates fabulous night, Perry did the right and honorable thing. He came out to face the reporters himself.

He said he was grateful he was wearing boots, because he had really stepped in it. Kind of like an NFL quarterback who’s just lost the game after 5 interceptions and still goes out to the press room to face the music. I rather admire the character and humility he displayed with that move in the spin room. It may have been the most honest thing said there the whole night.

I think I now actually really like Rick Perry. I certainly feel for him. Unfortunately for his presidential aspirations, this was the sort of gaffe that goes down in political and television history and is open-and-shut unrecoverable. But I like how he manned up with the reporters afterward.

I’d like to have a drink with the guy. And if it turns out we have a couple too many, we’ll help finish up each others sentences.

Like I said, I’ve been there.

GOP Debate- Who Had the Best Hair?

September 8, 2011 1 comment

The conventional wisdom is that the fight for the Republican nomination is really down to two: Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And damn, they have great hair. I can see either one in the pantheon of Presidents.

John Huntsman, who, based on the Washington Post’s instant blogging last night, is the one Republican Democrats would most want to vote for, should not be ignored. He was also nicely quaffed.

Michele Bachmann, however, had a very bad hair night. The hairdo was inexplicably gigantic. Big hair. Huge hair. Helmet-like, even. Most analysts seem to have reached consensus that she failed to stand out from the pack and then fell into the second tier of candidates. I think it is possible her standing has fallen, but she absolutely stood out from the pack. Same week Ed Rollins steps down from his role as her campaign manager she has the rotten luck of having a bad hair night. Coincidence?

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul both sport the grizzled, veteran, white-hair look. Perhaps coincidentally, they both seem a little grumpy to me. Newt’s greatest applause lines come after his hyperbolic attacks on the given debate moderator of the evening. I like that whole scary, white-haired, angry Uncle thing. It works for him.

Ron Paul, we learned, wants to cut off air conditioning for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan- but not to be mean. As I understood it, this would make the entire U.S. military intolerably hot, and they would just pack their bags and go home. I could go with that. Leave it to the crazy white-haired Uncle to find a formula for world peace.

I like Herman Cain. I like his 9-9-9 plan. He hardly has any hair, like me, which is another reason I like him. I can’t recall the details of the 9-9-9 plan, but I do like the symmetry of it and I have always been partial to the number 9. And if it fails for some reason, he can always go to the back-up 9-1-1 plan, in which people come rescue you.

And that leaves Rick Santorum who also has a very nice head of very dark hair, though not quite as spectacular as the Romney/Perry combo, which takes the competition hands-down for the impressive thickness and body. And these guys are no spring chickens either.

Tonight, it’s President Obama’s turn in the national spotlight. He’s got a great smile, if unfortunately, not much to use it for these days. But the hair situation with Obama is getting increasingly predictable and, frankly, a little boring. Grey. More and more grey.
I’m with the critics who are urging the President to come out big and bold tonight. Just For Men. And an earring. Blow their socks off, Mr. President.