In recent weeks I have been ridiculed, derided, mocked, and I believe even spit upon--though I was very near Wall Street at the time and it might have been rain-drops--for my prediction this past summer that Rick Perry would win the GOP nomination and beat President Obama in 2012.
Last night I swear I thought my pet hound was mocking me too.
Which is fine!
Political predictions sometimes are dead on--as I was in my 2006 prediction of Obama taking it all--and sometimes not so much.
So it was with special interest I caught some of the press tour Governor Perry did across the morning shows this today. With great humility, he was engaging, able to laugh at his own gaffe, and in all sincerity he came across as likable.
When I made the prediction this summer I didn't personally realize his extremely limited experience in the debate world, I wasn't even aware that he'd only participated in four debates in the last decade. He doubled that number within less than a month of being on the trail.
But being President isn't about debates, it's about discretion, discernment, and decisions.
The five reasons I asserted that Governor Perry would have the best shot at beating Obama were simple ones: He decisively created more jobs than Obama. He greatly respects and tries to encourage small businesses. He has a clear understanding of federalism and what states shouldn't be forced into. He has solid core convictions that replicate most of America. And he could unite the core conservative democrat, republican and independent across the nation on economic, social, and defense policy.
All five of those reasons, remain--even now--solidly relevant and valid.
However, he's certainly no where near where I thought he'd be by now. But before all the pundits completely write him off, let me proffer the four things he's got to do to get back in the game.
4. Remain humble, human, and likable: Self deprecating humor worked amazingly well for President Bush. Everyone watching politics at present (which is very few compared to the votes to be cast next year) already dislikes the fact that Mitt Romney is stiff and unflinching. Americans also don't mind a candidate being flawed. Hey... the nation elected Bill Clinton, twice!
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