- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
HURT: Perry falls victim to a Texas Cheerleader Massacre
Question of the Day
Just as in 2008, voters are so forlorn with the uninspiring field that the biggest plurality at any given moment is usually behind the None-of-the-Above candidate. Which is to say, the candidate who is not yet in the race but hovering around the edges like some hopeful angel who might rescue us.
First came Michele Bachmann, who was everybody’s heartthrob. She hovered on the outside, teasing, making us swoon.
After joining the race, she shot to the top of the heap, then almost instantly began to fade and GOP voters turned to a swaggering governor of a big state who at that moment was not running. Then Mr. Perry made a big splash getting into the race.
And Monday night his candidacy met reality.
Not in recent times has a debate turned into a more vicious pile-up against one candidate. Yet it was hard to feel sorry for him.
Mitt Romney skewered him not only for giving illegal immigrants in his state a path to citizenship but also in-state college tuition rates.
Then there was the continued attack from fellow Texan Ron Paul, who has questioned everything from Mr. Perry’s conservative credentials to his very manhood. Mr. Paul eviscerated Mr. Perry’s tax record before stopping short to say he didn’t want “to offend the governor” any more for fear “he might raise my taxes.” Brutal.
Or, as Mr. Paul refers to him TWICE in the spot, Mr. Gore’s “Texas Cheerleader.” It is a clear reference to Mr. Perry’s strange career as a cheerleader at Texas A&M.
The mainstream media usually gets apoplectic about such innuendos in political ads — unless, of course, it is directed at a Republican running as a conservative.
During Monday night’s debate in which CNN shamelessly lampooned the tea party, the network simply piled on by training the camera for long stretches on Mr. Perry while he was devoured alive by everybody on stage. The empty, disemboweled look on his face did him no favors.
The harshest, most unrelenting attacks were about Mr. Perry’s decision to force young girls to get vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease.
“I’m always going to err on the side of life,” he said, establishing a terrifying new standard for government intrusion into the most private areas of our private lives. And at the same time cynically twisting one of the most sacred arguments in the conservative firmament: choosing “life” over abortion.
Mr. Perry ignored that Texas-sized conflict and instead chose to focus on a paltry campaign contribution he had taken from the drug company.
“If you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000 … ” he said, struggling to find the biggest, baddest consequence he could muster before limping off with, “I’m offended!”
Luckily for him, he didn’t fan himself or faint as he said it. It was a sad moment for the wannabe cowboy, but probably a necessary one.
Now it’s back to the next None-of-the-Above candidate. Anyone seen Sarah Palin? Has Chris Christie found a treadmill that can support him yet?
• Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Russia sends Iraq fighter jets, helicopter gunships for ISIL fight after meeting in Moscow
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq