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    So am I one of our own worst enemies, too?

    So am I one of our own worst enemies, too?

    That’s the suggestion made by some readers in response to my post about Rick Perry’s brain freeze in last night’s debate.  It’s also a theme followed up by commenter OwenJ in an e-mail to me, which reads:

    Some time ago, responding to the response from some bloggers and pundits to Politico’s smear attack on Herman Cain, you said that we were our own worst enemies.

    You said that, with justification, because these people were piling on Cain as a result of — but not merely because of — the unsupported allegations. Cain did make serious mistakes in the way he handled the attack: he and especially his campaign manager went so far as to slander Rick Perry by making vitriolic unsupported accusations that he was behind the attack. Further, some pointed out, with justification, that this poor performance was part of a pattern.

    Tonight Rick Perry lost his train of thought for a moment during the debate and some bloggers (and so-called pundits) are now piling on Perry, declaring him “done” and characterizing this lapse in hyperbolic terms. They also point out, with justification, that this is part of a pattern.

    So my question is: Are we still our own worst enemies for piling on a candidate because of his poor performance in these debates? Or are we only our own worst enemies when piling on Herman Cain for his poor performance in managing his campaign?

    I think there’s a big difference between making a mountain out of a campaign manager’s mole hill (Mark Block wrongly stating that someone worked at Politico) and pointing out a disaster which befell a candidate in plain view on national TV during a critical debate in which he was trying to resurrect his image.

    Relatively neutral observers saw it for what it was:

    I knew when I decided to run the video and the reaction in the Twittersphere and elsewhere that it would evoke strong emotions.

    But I don’t think I was being one of our own worst enemies by dealing with the facts as they unfolded on the television screen.

    Update:  Perry is not the first to have a brain freeze, but he also was not a sitting President who already had won a previous national election.  Perry desperately needed to rehabilitate himself after prior debate failures, which made the event more consequentia.  Video via David Freddoso:

    CORRECTION — The video originally posted by Freddoso was doctored:

    Friends: Sometimes you just get it wrong, and you have to fess up. I was wrong to post this item on November 10, 2011, on a debate gaffe President Bush had made in 2004. I fell for an edited version of the video that made Bush’s bad debate gaffe look far worse than it was. I have replaced the text from my post so as not to let false information spread any further.


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    BarbaraS | November 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Larry Sabato is a liberal. He likes to appear apolitical but he is not. He has made some predictions and opinions in the past in favor of dims that were meant to influence the electorate.I tune him out as soon as I see give any opinions or predictions from him. They are all false. Believing him is like believing anything James Carville says about republicans.

    BarbaraS | November 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I’ll tell you one thing Cain’s flubs in the debates and in answering the media have far out distanced Perry’s occasional flubs in these debates. I still do not understand why republicans allow liberals to moderate these debates. Common sense would tell you that they are looking for ways to bring down our candidates. They support obama and want the weakest candidtate for our side to run against him..

    2nd Ammendment Mother | November 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Yep, it was a boffo and a pretty funny one at that. Here’s the interesting thing that I think everyone has missed and that’s how not only he handled it, but the other candidates standing beside him. Talk about distinguishing himself from Obama.

    Right off the bat, both Paul and Romney immediately gave him a hand which said much for them. In the moment, Perry was able to laugh at himself and acknowledge his own shortcoming. More importantly he immediately made himself available for the media flogging – not his staff. Then, he put himself out there this morning to any and every network that wanted to interview him. The ones I watched were pretty good considering the number of reporters that were declaring him toast to his face. He’s also posted a link to have fun with the gaffe which has scored 200,000 hits this morning on ‘What part of the federal government would you like to forget about the most?’. In short, he’s handling it pretty well considering the number of people who have declared him dead.

    Contrast that to Obama who has greeted world leaders by the wrong name, had the Dali Lama use the side door, and claimed to have hosted a deceased Medal of Honor winner at the White House. He holds the 2009, 10, and 11 “Blame Game” world title, knocking down strawmen when he can’t find a way to bring up Bush. He’s not a team player, even with his own team. Even his allies consider him thin skinned, petulant and combative. He has no skill in reaching out to his opponents. He never acknowledges his mistakes or gaffes and it’s rumored that he frequently reams the White House staff for them. (Daley is leaving for a very good reason). I won’t even stoop to making fun of his campaign’s most recent social outreach efforts and how far they have backfired – last week the White House issued a statement on whether aliens have visited Earth and it was dry as dirty and lacked any kind of humor or even some type of lofty statement on what that event might be like someday.

    IMHO – last night’s bump was the illustration between flesh and blood humans and a stuffed shirt, arrogant, blank slate.

    jakee308 | November 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Ignore the Perrywinkles Professor.

    They hate Obama.
    They despise Romney.
    Cain they say is ignorant.
    Paul is too old.
    Newt is too wonky and establishment.
    Bachmann’s a nutcase.
    Santorum couldn’t get voted in at a fat camp and he had all the doughnuts.

    Perry is/was there only hope and they won’t give him up and ANYONE who aids and abets his implosion is guilty of heresy!!!

    (disclosure, I was a Perry fan also until he stepped on himself. Oh and told me I was heartless. I was grief stricken too that my supposed savior was a moron.)

    They’ll get over it by Nov ’12

      Owen J in reply to jakee308. | November 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      I suspect that comment is meant to be satirical, but you know, I was originaly quite dubious about Perry, know little abiut him, the single most important thing in my decision to take a serious look at him was his “heartless” comment.

      That comment convinced me he was head-and-shoulders over Romney both as a leader and as person. I still had hopes for Palin at the time, but that comment gave me a lot of new respect for him.

    aurora777 | November 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Some of these candidates are circling the bowl at this point. Does anyone really think there’s going to be a wild surge of interest for Huntsman, Bachman, Santorum or Johnson? They are taking time away from the candidates who could actually win: Romney, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, and Perry. And Cain and Perry need to come on strong to stay with the pack.

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