Then the writing seemed to be on the wall when Governor Perry came out to address his supporters and told them that he was going back to Texas to reassess his campaign.
But a strange thing happened to Governor Perry on his way home. Between the time he decided to reevaluate his campaign and the time he woke up the following morning, an infusion of optimism compelled him to type a Twitter feed that read;
“And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State,” Perry tweeted, “Here we come South Carolina!!!
The electronic announcement came as a pleasant surprise to his campaign staff and stunned the political world. Few thought it possible for Perry to continue with his campaign after making an inference to how bad things were by stating the need to “reassess” his chances of winning the nomination. Most experts agree that given the poor showing and all the time and money that he invested in Iowa, no sincere evaluation of his campaign have possibly found any promising reason for Perry to stay in the race.
From my vantage point, I can only assume that Rick Perry believes that if doesn’t give up too early, the short history of this election which has created a new frontrunner every month, will repeat itself enough times to give him another opportunity to be in that position. Perry probably assumes that Rick Santorum will not be able to sustain the attacks he is undoubtedly about to face and will not have the money to respond to those attacks effectively. As a result, he is holding out hope for another opportunity to became the clear viable alternative to Romney.
But there may very well be another reason why Perry has found the strength to continue his fight.
Not long before the Governor tweeted his battle cry and aimed his campaign guns at South Carolina, it was revealed that a group of national evangelical leaders will gather in Texas for the second time in five months and determine who other Mitt Romney, they can all get behind.
Having a very good relationship with these religious and their associates, Perry may know something about what they are inclined to decide and it just might be responsible for his going from the need to take a close look at if and how his campaign could move beyond Iowa, to determining that he still has a chance to make a last stand in South Carolina.
No matter what was exactly responsible for Perry’s change of heart, it is mainly a leap of faith. Especially since Rick Santorum’s surprise strength in Iowa makes him the more likely candidate for movement conservatives to get behind.
Iowa Faith and Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats, a leading voice among evangelicals, had already issued a personal endorsement of Rick Santorum before the Iowa Caucus but now, in its wake, he called on Newt Gingrich to reassess his candidacy, in hopes of mobilizing conservatives to rally behind Santorum. Gingrich came in ahead of Perry but Vander Plaats’ plea to Gingrich came before Perry surprised everyone by his decision to stay in the race. Had it been known that he intended to remain in the race, Vander Plaats would have certainly requested the same of Perry that he requested of Newt Gingrich.
So it would be hard to imaging that evangelicals leaders would choose to get behind Perry instead of Santorum, but either way, it would seem that Rick Perry is counting on some kind of divine intervention to turn things around for him. And as for those evangelical leaders, I have a word of advice. It took God seven days to create the earth but with less time than that remaining before New Hampshire, if their main goal is stop to Mitt Romney, they better get moving fast.
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