This Wednesday we are going to watch the entire field of Republican presidential hopefuls come together in debate – well, minus Sarah Palin, who has done everything but announce her candidacy.
And the nation will take its measure of the present
governor, Rick Perry, the front runner if we are to believe the polls. I’ll be there, tuned in, expecting these people, representing a fractured party to claw each other into gory masses. Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment or not, the time has come to narrow the field. And I am hopeful that Rick Perry will come through the process with all flags flying. Texas
And why is that? Mainly because of all the people in the Republican field, except perhaps Michele Bachmann, I’d like to see Rick Perry emerge as the standard bearer of the Republican Party. I’d like to see him in a national debate with my president, Barack Obama.
A national debate that demands that Perry not speak with short glib zingers, but in long sentences that adds up to a paragraph.
Cal Jillson, a political science prof at SMU, and a longtime observer of the
governor, has said it correct. Jillson claims that Perry has “an attractive demeanor if he can hold the swagger in check a little bit. In this debate coming up, he'll do well because he's at his best in brief, bumper-sticker, red-meat answers” Texas
And these kinds of things appeal to unschooled Texans. But the country as a whole has different expectations of national leaders. So if Perry makes it past the summer convention and becomes the Republican nominee the country will be able to compare the President to the pretender. As Jillson has said, “there will come a day when he has to talk in paragraphs. And that's when people will take his measure.”