Surprisingly, the most devastating critique of Perry’s performance comes from neocon chieftain Bill Kristol. I would have expected Kristol to have supported Perry’s embrace of the most extreme elements of Israel’s government.
But Kristol isn’t buying what the Texas governor is selling:
… no front-runner in a presidential field has ever, we imagine, had as weak a showing as Rick Perry. It was close to a disqualifying two hours for him.
The problem for Perry is that he just can’t handle questions outside of his pre-set talking points. And when he gets unnerved by that, he doesn’t even handle his talking points.
Kristol’s entire article is worth reading. I don’t agree with him about Christie (potential candidates always look like saviors before they actually announce), but his critique of the Republican debates is spot on. The words “wacky” and “crazy” seem almost judicious. They will, of course, be forgotten in 12 months when the presidential campaign is really underway, but for now they are about as cringe-producing as any political events I have ever watched. Perry still has time, but the bloom is definitely off his rose.