Rich Galen

As I have told you before, Perry was like the backup quarterback whom the stadium crowd believed was better than the starting QB and clamored for him to be put into the game.

Once he got his chance, he couldn't hit a receiver and couldn't move the team. The cheers turned to boos and the clamor was for the original starter to be put back in.

Perry came riding into the race on his snow-white Palomino and is going to return to Austin sitting on the back of a chuck wagon.

Mitt Romney appears to be unstoppable at this point. But before you bet the house on Romney remember at this point four years ago Rudy Giuliani was sitting atop the GOP polls with about 30 percent; Fred Thompson and John McCain were about tied at about 16 percent; Mitt Romney was on their heels with 12 percent; with Mike Huckabee (8%) and Ron Paul (3%) rounding out the pack.

Perry does have some $14 million in the bank which means he doesn't have to go home tomorrow. Or in December. Or in January.

If I were advising Perry I would pull up stakes in Iowa and head to Florida where my cash advantage puts me on an even plane with Romney - the only other candidate with the cash-on-hand necessary to run a fully expressed campaign in Florida.

Speaking of advising campaigns, if Newt asked me I would tell him to head for South Carolina and try to stop Romney from running the table in the first three contests (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina) which would probably allow him to wrap up the contest on January 31 in the Sunshine State.

There reality for Perry is, it's over. Politico quoted me in an extremely rare two-word response yesterday:

Asked how damaging the Texan's gaffe was, longtime GOP strategist Rich Galen said: "deadly."

And Romney's stiffest competition?

"Obama," said Galen.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at