Texas Gov. Rick Perry might be getting hammered in the headlines these days, but he still managed to rake in $15 million in his first fundraising quarter – not bad. So, he’s still got plenty of juice to last him through a primary or two. As a result, it’s not a bad idea for Democrats to keep him in mind as 2012 general match-ups evolve.
Despite what some might not believe, Perry and President Barack Obama have one certain thing in common: lackluster campaign deliveries. The two men are completely different in their view of what direction America should take – for sure. Plus, there’s that thing where Obama is the President of the United States and Perry is the Governor of Texas. And while they have many philosophical differences, their debate performances on the road are known to be dismal.
Obama is very knowledgeable about the issues and has enough charisma to share. In personality, one can argue that he’s the prototype of what America likes in its leaders. Obama is great at retail politics and selling himself to voters. However, there was the occasional slip-up during his journey to the White House in 2008.
In several debates during the Democratic Party primaries Obama muddled through some questions like a soldier crawling through mud and barbed wire during boot camp. New York Observer writer Steve Kornacki wrote in January 2008 “ … then there’s Debate Obama, a hesitant, stuttering, easily rattled and mostly unsmiling public performer who litters his platitudes and ‘uh’s’ and misses countless opportunities to throw his opponents’ taunts back in their faces.” The problem for Democrats was that the party nominee had to take on public scrutiny while tough enough to throw punches in a Presidential campaign. Kornacki argues that there is “Big Speech Obama” and then there is a “Debate Obama”.
In comes Perry with his southern drawl and big Texas appeal. Perry, too, has character. He’s a sharp looking, good-posture kind of guy who stands strong in the eyes of many by sticking to his guns on issues such as social security and immigration – both of which his Republican opponents attack him for. But, like Obama, the debate performance can be poor. It appears that attacks from opponents get under his skin as audiences watch a clearly annoyed Perry sway from side to side like an anxious kid with ADHD. With long pauses and hesitation, the cowboy is unable to defend himself against a rain of rhetorical bullets. During the Fox/Youtube debate, Perry had trouble defending his Texas immigration policies. Some have even said that Perry appears tired or fatigued during the appearances on stage.
Though a debater’s mistake cannot be seen on the transcript, they are obvious through observation of body language, voice inflection and stumbles to millions of viewers watching live across the country. Perry and Obama are not the only ones who share this fault among those who seek the Oval Office.