Perry’s Very Telling Decision to Stay in the Race

Bookmark and Share    When it became clear that Rick Perry was going to come in fifth place in the Iowa Caucus, it seemed as though his hopes to recapture the lead that he once held in the G.O.P. nomination contest were dashed.  The only two good bits of news to come out of Iowa for Perry was the fact that he won two of the 99 counties, the only candidate to win any county aside from Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul, and that he did not have a totally embarrassing last place showing.  That distinction went to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, whose sixth place finish put her ahead of only Jon Huntsman, the one major candidate who did not do any campaigning in the Hawkeye State and who summed up his appreciation for Iowa by saying “who cares”.

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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Anita Perry Spearheads a “Strike Force” Designed at Winnning Iowa for Husband

Bookmark and Share    As Rick Perry tries to restore his image across the nation with a $1 million ad buy on Fox News Channel and a series of ads that offer a populist message to voters, he is also preparing to use the next 47 days to focus on a strong showing in Iowa.

In his latest effort, the campaign sent out an email from Perry’s wife Anita. It’s a request for volunteers to help coordinate and get out the vote in the Iowa caucuses .  The operation is all part of what of what the Perry team is calling their “Strike Force”

Dear Supporter,

Rick and I are honored by the outpouring of support we have received from across this country, and we are excited that so many share our vision to get America working again. As we enter the final fifty days leading into the first caucus, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support and to ask you to join our Strike Force effort in Iowa.

The Iowa Caucuses will take place on January 3 at 7:00 pm. With over 1700 caucuses convening that evening, we need volunteers from across this great nation to assist Rick and I in reaching as many Iowans as possible.

If you are interested in our Strike Force effort and would be willing to go to Iowa January 2 – 4, 2012, please contact our team by e-mailing strikeforce@rickperry.org. If you can come earlier, we are taking volunteers as early as December 27. Thank you again for all that you have done on our behalf. We hope to see you in Iowa soon!

Sincerely,

Anita Perry

Anita Perry

 
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“Lazy” by Perry Productions, the Campaign that Writes Good Scripts but Needs Better Performers

Bookmark and Share  Rick Perry has come out with his latest campaign ad, one of many new 30 seconds spots that are most likely being used to fill up the ad time he purchased on Iowa television and cable, not to mention on Fox News via cable throughout the nation. 

The new spot is entitled “Lazy” and it uses President Obama’s claim that American’s have become lazy, to argue that the real problem with America is not some perceived  laziness of  Americans, but rather the need to clean house of people like President Obama [see the ad below this post] .   The commercial than refers to several populist points from Perry’s recent multifaceted, reform proposal that seeks to change the way government does business by reforming both the government  process and the federal institutions overseeing those processes.

What strikes me most about this and all the others ads put out by Perry, is just how perfect he is in them. 

In them we see a man who we can relate to, and easily see the ability to warm up to.  In them we see a Rick Perry who is charming, strong, and seemingly confident and competent.  It is almost like we’re watching the Marlboro man perform before us.  

It demonstrates just how perfect a candidate Perry is when scripted and why there was so much enthusiasm for him before he actually took his show on the road and performed before a live audience.  Perhaps that is why Rick Perry’s campaign is putting out so many new 30 second spots this early.  You can note that the heightened proliferation of Perry television ads dates back to the day after he suffered a very severe and very public brain freeze siezure during one of the previous debates.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Perry needed to repair his image somehow, and evidently he was convinced that a closed set would serve him far better than another performance before a live, national, studio audience.

All of Perry’s new ad ‘s are actually quite good.  In addition to a candidate who can speak well,  the things his handlers have him saying are actually populist positions of common sense approaches to our problems.

Unfortunately though, the new reputation that Perry established for himself through a number of verbal songs and dances that ended up with his foot in his mouth, now proceeds him and these new ads.  So the question now is, can Rick Perry use these ads to rehabilitate his reputation, and at the same time, buy him the  time he needs to get his act together? 

That has yet to be seen but with the luxury of a well stocked campaign treasury, it is possible for Perry to comeback.    However any comeback for Perry must occur very early, like in Iowa.

A torrent of money initially flowed in to Perry’s campaign, but after he seemed to implode before our eyes, the torrent turned in to a relative trickle as donors and donations dried up for Perry.  And unless Perry can take his early gotten wealth and use it to buy him time and a new image before the Iowa Caucuses, the money flow will continue to dry up for him.  

Meanwhile the ads keep coming and for Rick Perry and his campaign, hopes springs eternal.  Unfortunately for though, the Iowa caucuses are held in the Winter.  If they were held in the Spring, he would have a better shot at coming back.

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Perry Tries To Reclaim Ground in Iowa with New Television Ad Buy

  Bookmark and Share  It may not be a good thing but there is no denying that there two critical elements in winning an election——–money and organization.  So far Rick Perry campaign’s has not demonstrated any great organizational skills but he has proven to be a prolific fundraiser and now we are seeing that money go to work. [see the ad below]

While there have been web ads produced and released, few campaigns have actually put those ads on television.  While web ads cost practically nothing to run on the internet, airing those ads on television can become expensive.  But in an attempt to regain some ground and establish momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry has become one of the first G.O.P. candidates to run ads on network TV in Iowa.  Fred Karger was actually the first.

In the thirty second spot, Perry promises to create 2.5 million jobs Rick Perry promises to create at least 2.5 million new jobs.  He punctuates his promise by saying “I know something about that,”  “In Texas we’ve created over 1 million new jobs while the rest of the nation lost over 2 million.”

The commercial spot also taps in to the vote rich issue of domestic energy production as Perry states;

“I’ll eliminate President Obama’s regulations that hurt other sources of domestic energy, like coal and natural gas,” Perry says in the ad. “That will create jobs and reduce our reliance on oil from countries that hate America.”

The spot is a good one and if played enough times and seen by enough receptive Iowa voters, it can help to boost Perry’s image and at least establish a more positive subconscious impression of him in the mind of voters.  What will be interesting to see is if the new Perry television commercial goes unanswered by any or all of his G.O.P. presidential rivals.  Will one of them question Perry’s claims about his record on job creation in Texas, or will they allow his ad to allow Perry to reclaim the strongest argument he had going for him as America’s jobs Governor?

With 10 weeks to go before the Iowa Caucuses are held, the strategies that each campaign hopes to employ in Iowa have to go in to action pretty soon.  Especially since the week to week and a half prior to the Caucus, most voters will be more focussed on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan or what was painted on a rock nestled somewhere in the property owned by Perry’s family.

So running relatively early ads in Iowa could be quite important and in Perry’s case it is probably the prudent thing to do.  With his numbers in  Iowa anywhere between 6 and 9 percent, he is currently far back in the field holding on to fourth place, behind Newt Gingrich.   That means Perry has to start to somehow bring his numbers back up so that he has at the chance for a top spot in the Iowa Caucus results.

One thing that I will note here is that Rick Perry is a much better candidate when he is scripted.  In this particular ad, Perry is confident, convincing and sharp.  That is in total contrast to his live, on the stump, off the cuff appearances in which he often speaks in ways that are choppy and halting and cast an impression of awkwardness on unpreparedness on Perry.  Such is the case in his past debate performances and during other occasions where a teleprompter is not available to him.   In other words, good scripted commercials may be the best way for Perry to go.

And that brings us back to the two elements that are critical to any victorious campaign, money and organization.

Perry has the money but he needs to spend it wisely.  That means his campaign needs to determine whether he wants to make a real run for Iowa where if he pulls off a win, will have some momentum going into South Carolina.  Or does he want to just let Iowa fall where it may and focus on winning South Carolina and Florida?

Another alternative is to invest just enough money in Iowa to force his opponents to deplete their own resources in Iowa and avoid an embarrassing showing there, while maintaining a concentrated investment of time and money into South Carolina?

Whatever Perry’s strategy will be, it will have to go in to effect rather quickly.  With 10 weeks to go and only about 8 and half or 9 weeks to really utilize, time is running out.

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Perry’s Cut, Cap and Balance Flat Tax Plan is a Winner But Will it Make Him a Winner?

  Bookmark and Share  In advance of his announcement of a flat tax proposal that would be the most dramatic tax reform in the nation’s history, Governor Rick Perry penned a summary of his proposal in this mornings Wall Street Journal .

Calling his proposal “Cut, Balance and Grow”, Perry hopes to balance the federal budget by 2020 and explains that his plan will abolish the death tax and give taxpayers the option to pay their current income tax rate or a new 20% flat tax that “preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and  increase the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.”   In addition to a 20% personal income tax, the Perry plan will also adopt a lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% and encourage the swift repatriation of nearly $1.4 trillionthat are currently hidden overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%.  The third part of his flat tax proposal includes what he calls a transition to a “territorial tax system”, that will only tax income earned in the United States.

Perry’s plan also calls for the elimination of the tax on Social Security benefits, a change that will supposedly boost the income of 17 million current Social Security recipients.

Governor Perry argues that without significant changes, our nations will go the way of Europe and be mired in a longterm debt crisis that will only get worse than the one we are currently experiencing and to help avoid that in addition to his new flat tax reform he attempts to cut, cap and balance federal spending habits by capping federal spending at 18% of our gross domestic product, banning earmarks and future bailouts, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Additionally he will freeze federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced and enact an immediate moratorium on pending federal regulations while also mandating  a full audit of all regulations passed since 2008 to determine their need, impact and effect on job creation.

In what is a direct nod to his need to shore up those voters who are fearful about Perry’s past remarks about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme and as such, something which he would seek to eliminate, Perry’s plan touches entitle reforms, an issue which needs to be addressed and which Perry’s plan does not address enough. His proposal merely declares that he will preserve benefits for current and near-term Social Security beneficiaries, by permanently prohibiting “politicians from raiding” the Social Security trust fund.

That part of his plan is the most politically shallow aspect of his proposal.  While he addresses that issue under the category of entitlements, he does not really address all of the entitlement reforms that are burdening the budget now and will bust it in the future.  It is also worth mentioning that it is nearly, if not totally impossible for a President to vouch for the permanent inability of Congress to “raid” any fund.  President’s come and go.  The mentality that relies on political expediency among Congress lasts forever.

In general, Perry’s Cut, Cap, and Balance plan is one of the most comprehensive and promising plans to come down the pike in decades.  One of the most, but the not only one.  Others have proposed similiar flat tax based plans and one of the major differences between those other plans and Perry’s plan is that at 20%, Rick Perry sets his flat tax at a rate significanlty higher than most all others.  That high 20% rate is probably the least attractive aspect of Perry’s plan.

Insofar as reform goes, it is much more solid than the light on detail, 9-9-9, hybridized flat tax proposal of Herman Cain and when it comes to the issue of reform, Perry’s proposal outshines even Ronald Reagan’s, Jack Kemp inspired, lower taxation, supply side economics plan of the 80’s.  That plan simply adjusted the existing tax code and while it was in no way insignificant, Perry’s plan admits that the tax code is not worth tinkering with and needs to be scrapped and replaced by something that will allow America to be competitive in the modern global economy.

In a previous post I indicated that if Perry proposes a good flat tax plan and can market it properly and exploit the promise that exists in a flat tax from a politically strategic point of view, than he can reestablish himself as a frontrunner, or at least within reasonable striking distance of such a status.  Now that the relative details of his plan are out, I can honestly say that despite my belief that his 20% rate is too high,  if he can build his campaign around this plan and make it a focal point of the overall Republican nomination contest, than Rick Perry will have many fruitful themes to touch upon and run on.  Now is just a matter of developing an effective campaign strategy and organization that can force the other candidates to run around his promising, conservative based economic plan and reforms. Bookmark and Share

How Others Have Tried To Make the Case Against Rick Perry

   Bookmark and Share  Rick Perry is currently the longest serving Governor in the nation.  He is also the only person to have ever been elected Governor of Texas three times. Such distinguishing accomplishments are not achieved by luck.  He has to be doing something right.  At the same time you can’t spend over a quarter of a decade in politics and half of that time as the Governor of a state, without making some enemies and some mistakes and no enemies.  However in Perry’s case, it is quite obvious that he still has more friends than enemies in Texas .

When George W. Bush stepped down as Governor to assume the presidency of the United States, Lt. Governor Rick Perry took his place and in 2002 he ran for Governor in his own right. Perry proceeded to handily beat millionaire South Texas businessman Tony Sanchez by a margin of 58% to 40% and that was even after Sanchez spent $75 million of his own money in the race.

By 2006,  Perry was plagued by budget woes, embroiled in battles over school financing reform, and on the receiving end of a controversial and contentious redistricting battle. His approval rating had dropped to 38% during the latter part of the 2005 legislative session and by September of 2006 it had improved but still found Perry in the red with 44% of Texans approving of him compared to 51% disapproving of him.

In that election, Democrat Chris Bell ran an aggressive campaign that relied on uniting Democrats into a coalition that would win a plurality by seeing a divided Republican vote splinter itself among Perry, the G.O.P. nominee and several Independent candidates who were mounting strong campaigns.  One of which included the  State Comptroller of Public Accounts, Republican Carole Keeton Strayhorn.  The strategy did not work.  In the end Perry won but with only less than 40% of the total vote.  A result that made Rick Perry the first person elected to the Lone Star state’s executive office with less than 40% since 1861.

Then in 2010, Perry faced a significant challenge for the Republican gubernatorial nomination from incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.  Despite many powerful negatives to campaign against Perry with, Hutchison didn’t even leave much of mark on Perry and lost the primary with 30.03 % of the vote to Perry’s 51.1%.  He won the primary handily and went on to defeat his Democrat opponent, former Houston mayor Bill White.  But that race did not always look like it would be very easy for Perry.    At one point the highly respected Charlie Cook of the Cook Report moved the Texas governor’s race from the “leaning Republican” column and placed it in the “toss up” side of the ledger.  But Perry wound up besting White with 54.97% of the vote to White’s 42.28%.

So how did Perry do it?

Well in 2010, Perry successfully shut out Kay Bailey Hutchison with a, “if you think I’m bad, wait till you see her” strategy that painted Hutchison, a three term incumbent in the U.S. Senate, as the ultimate Washington insider.  And in the general election, Perry ran as the ultimate conservative in one of the most ultimately conservative states in the nation.  In his 2010 victory speech, Perry stated that Texans were tired of big government raising taxes and added  “I am genuinely optimistic that we’re one day closer to seeing fiscal conservative approaches applied at the national level as well,”  and then he told the audience who earlier that same evening saw nearly 80 new Republicans get elected to Congress that he wanted to “challenge those new faces in Washington to press for change sooner than later”.  He added “I want them to go in there and really go to work.”  Now, a year later, and Rick Perry is trying to go Washington to make sure that they do just that.

But the question still remains if he is the right person for the job.

While Rick Perry’s natural Texas swagger helps to emphasize his conservative language, there are plenty of potent arguments to challenge the authenticity of his conservatism.  They are questions which although they did not keep him  from getting elected in Texas, could help create quite a negative and damaging impression of Perry among conservatives in places like Iowa, South Carolina, Utah Montana, Wyoming, and Florida.

Here is just a brief look at how Rick Perry’s opponents shaped the case against Perry in the recent past.  We will see how effectively people like Cain, Romney, Bachmann and others may be able to do it in the near future.

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Rick Perry’s Attack Ad Ties Romney to Obama. But Does it Help Rick Perry Any?

Bookmark and Share   With some polls showing Rick Perry in fourth place behind Herman Cain and even the doomed candidacy of Ron Paul, the Governor, is at least for the moment, on the ropes.  His immediate strategy is to attack the man  who many polls currently have in first place, Mitt Romney.

The ad is produced by the same young, creative wiz kid that produced Tim Pawlenty’s ads and it ties Romney to President Obama through the  healthcare plans Romney created for Massachusetts and that Obama created for the nation.  The problem is, the ad may not work as well as Perry hopes.  First of all, the comparison between RomneyCare in Massachusetts and ObamaCare in the nation, is not new.  The secret about the similarities with the two plans is out.  Secondly, like Tim Pawlenty, the attack is probably not going to help Perry very much.  When he was running for President, Pawlenty was the one candidate who attacked Romney the most on the issue.  Who can forget the waves he made when he coined the phrase “ObamneyCare”

While Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan in Massachusetts certainly raises enough questions about Romney’s limited government credentials and is perhaps what is most responsible for making him a flawed candidate, it has not been enough to derail his candidacy and as we saw with Tim Pawlenty, it is not enough to help others move ahead of the pack.  Furthermore; Obama’s Massachusetts healthcare plan has nothing to do with Perry’s own precipitous drop in the polls.  On the flip-side, it is not likely to be the cause of an equal precipitous rise in the polls for Perry.

Going negative this early is a sign of desperation.  Perry’s slipping popularity apparently has him trying to find a rung on the ladder that he can grab on to and lift himself up.  But this approach to focus on Mitt Romney.  Besides, at the moment, Perry has to go through Ron Paul and Herman Cain before he can realistically challenge Romney.

In the meantime, Mitt Romney is essentially running a general election type of campaign and building his own candidacy up without having to tear down anyone elses candidacy.  All that the new Perry attack ad does is show that while Romney is gaining ground, Rick Perry is trying hard to compensate for ground he lost.  This is not the way for him to do that.  And by the way, despite all his opposition to “ObamneyCare”, who did Tim Pawlenty endorse for President?  It wasn’t Rick Perry.

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