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    No Republican candidate should do this ever again

    No Republican candidate should do this ever again

    Rick Perry has been right to do the talk show circuit in the wake of Wednesday’s brain freeze, and he has been more impressive in the interviews I have seen in the last 24 hours than in any appearance since he announced in August.  Perhaps if Perry did the circuit two months ago his debates would have gone better.

    I blame Perry’s campaign team as much as Perry.  They have done to him what the McCain team did to Sarah Palin, cloister him so tightly that any slip up in a public appearance gets magnified.

    A lot of politicians go on Letterman.  But Letterman never does anything that makes a Republican look good.  He hates Republicans, and loathes conservatives.  He was one of the highest-profile Palin bashers who chose to single out her daughters.

    I’m sure Letterman was giddy to see Perry make himself look weak on Letterman’s own show.  I agree with commenter J.E. Burke, this was humiliating for Perry.

    Allowing yourself to be used as a prop by David Letterman never is the way to go.


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    Cassandra Lite | November 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    My guess is that what happened to Perry was that he all of a sudden was the presumptive nominee…without having made the prerequisite media appearances. So that national spotlight, having just just opened his eyes, was way too bright. Bad strategy.

    There is a clear line here. After looking like a dope in a serious setting at the debate, and already being in the single digits, it was not only the “right thing” for Perry to take the offensive and appear everywhere he could starting with the AM shows to embrace his error, kid himself about it, and put the best possible face on it. It was the ONLY thing to do. His cringe-inducing mistake was bound to be the leading political story for a day, at least, and by making the interview rounds, he could put himself directly into the news reports in as positive a way as possible. Millions of people would thus see and hear Perry’s “spin” at the same time as they heard about the flub.

    It is a big jump from that to appearing with a hostile comedian not just to poke some good-natured self-effacing fun at yourself, but to read jokes that highlight the goofiness that got you into the mess in the first place.

    There is a simple test about this: will viewers come away thinking that you seem to be a decent smart guy who made a mistake or that you seem to be a goofball.

    Even if Letterman was a good venue for Perry, he should have declined the Top Ten unless he could also sit for an interview. All in all, though, Letterman is not a good venue. Jay Leno would have been better, though still not productive in this context. The time to appear on entertainment shows is when you are up, not down.

    It may be that in show business “there is no such thing as bad publicity” but in politics, there certainly are good and bad opportunities for exposure.

    By the way, I have started to see Perry ads on Fox News via Cablevision in my deep blue New York suburb. No one pays to do that in Nkvember 2011 except to try to boost his national poll numbers.

    workingclass artist | November 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    @Cassandra Lite

    Perry shot up in the polls based on his record in Texas. It is certainly why Romney swings down and attacks him.

    When Perry entered the race he started to do what traditional campaigns do in terms of introducing himself to voters in other states.
    He didn’t do much national media until his plans were ready to publish & spent most of his time on the stump raising funds,meeting voters and engaging local media. He raised a whopping amount of money in 1/2 the time and began organizing in the early states which the rest of the field has done for months. This is typical of a late entry. There was a cluster of early debates on top of that. At some of these debates he just looked and sounded dog tired.

    His wife being on the trail with him has helped as has the addition of more seasoned national strategists. I think he will recover but like everyone else I guess time will tell.

    Voters in Texas connect to Perry as being one of us. A good example of that is the moment when on Greta when she asked him what his wife said to him after the debate…His face lit up when he said “She said I love you” It was so natural & spontaneous that it jumped out of the screen. Those kind of moments are golden.

    workingclass artist | November 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm


    Here’s what a liberal site wrote.
    “After flubbing Wednesday night’s debate with an instantly viral brain freeze, Rick Perry is winning plaudits from the political chattering class for his winking damage control. “The only thing to do in a situation like that is to stop making excuses and start laughing along,” writes Salon’s Steve Kornacki. He compares Perry’s appearance on The Late Show to BIll Clinton’s similarly self-deprecating interview with Johnny Carson after delivering a widely ridiculed speech at the DNC. After weeks of brutal media scrutiny, Perry is finally getting some positive coverage: “Honestly, this [Late Show segment] may have been the single smartest strategic move Perry has made since entering the race.”

    The comments said the same thing.

    Perry has also said the media has been fair to him…which will settle better with voters as an adult response to politics then the “Lamestream Media” rhetoric. It doesn’t matter if what Perry said about the media is true or not it matters how he handles it and he is handling it well. He’s taking his lumps and not whining about it.

      JEBurke in reply to workingclass artist. | November 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      I’m not sure why what a Salon pundit writes tells us much. Liberal Democrats can afford to say some nice or sympathetic things about Perry when he’s down in single digits and looks like a fool. It gives them something on the record to point to by way of being fair.

      Anyway, the Clinton-Carson example actually underscores my point because of the ways it was different:

      — Clinton was not (yet) running for President in 1988, so his problem was hardly the same.

      — Johnny Carson was in no way hostile to Democrats generally or Clinton in particular.

      — Clinton did not read copy written by someone else designed to humiliatd him. He made his own self-effacing jokes.

      — Clinton sat on The Couch for an interview with Johnny, allowing him to show off other facets of his persona while engaging in what used to be called witty repartee. This was a kind of blessing from the Late Night King. Perry got to read his goofball copy and got a cold shoulder of a kind Letterman would not give a minor actor doing a Top 10 bit.

      I remember the Clinton speech and Carson appearance vividly. The speech was a setback for an ambitious guy but only that. You could say that Clinton cleverly leveraged his speech bomb into positive national exposure that an Arkansas governor could only dream about. It was not as if he needed to climb back from a disaster.

      No question that Perry needed not to make excuses but to laugh at himself and go in offense. But as I said, every venue for exposure is not equal.

      spartan in reply to workingclass artist. | November 11, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      @workingclass artist

      Good posts and observations. I think you are wasting your time with the Jebster and some the other political nomads that populate this board. When Cain implodes they will take their roadshow to Newt or someone else as they search for political salvation.
      At this time, I am leaning towards Perry. It isn’t because of one thing or one issue but something retire05 posted on this board a while back that has me thinking; why is the media and the GOP establishment fixated on the guy in 4th or 5th place?.
      What do they know and what do they fear. I was a Pawlenty supporter (one of the few) and was very suspect of a Perry run. I am warming up to the Governor. Of course, the Emotional Right and their Ellsworth Toohey imitations create such a warm environment for discussion. They can back Cain but I like Able.

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