We are all human — even people who want to be president of the United States of America.
That’s why Rick Perry, a candidate for the Republican nomination, stepped in “it” (his own words) during the recent GOP debate on the budget and other financial issues. And by “it” he wasn’t referring to ice cream, either. At least he had his boots on.
I am not a fan of Rick Perry. Some will recall a column I wrote reminding citizens of my native Mississippi what Perry had said during his first inauguration as governor of Texas.
“I don’t want Texas to be the next Mississippi,” Perry said, not referring to each state’s college football teams. He was speaking of comparisons such as the strength of education systems, the number in people in poverty and general reputation.
Perry was excoriated about those remarks. Even the leading newspaper in Texas, the Dallas Morning News, ate his lunch over the silly line, pointing to a dozen demographic and social areas in which my state actually held the upper hand over Texas.
He hasn’t mentioned Mississippi in any speeches since. And he won’t again.
I wouldn’t care for Perry even if he had not invoked cutesy in his remarks about Mississippi. I surely would not vote for him for president.
I think he’s Texas pompous, as are many residents of that state who believe that simply because of Texas’ huge square mileage, they have something over the rest of us. They do: plenty of land and nothing else.
Perry hasn’t seemed to have a complete grasp of the issues that one must command as the leader of the Free World. He’s no Newt Gingrich on foreign policy. You wouldn’t want Perry’s finger on the button that could start World War III. His strategy of creating thousands of new minimum wage jobs in Texas is not the right medicine to rehabilitate the American economy. His record on slowing illegal immigration has infuriated many Republicans.
Someone I know who worked in Texas state government during most of Perry’s tenure as governor says he almost wrecked their mental health system.
So, it is fairly well established that I am no admirer of Rick Perry.
That said, I think he has taken a bum rap for “stepping in it” because he couldn’t remember the name of one federal agency that he said he would close. He couldn’t recall the Department of Energy, which he would shutter along with Education and Commerce.
Perry is only 55 years old. That’s a bit young to be having senior moments of that magnitude. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, but I’m almost a decade older than he. It happens and that fact is well established.
However, presidential candidates trying to wrest a party nomination away from seven other hopefuls simply cannot survive that type of memory lapse, and Perry won’t either. He and Herman Cain, who is facing claims of sexual harassment from four women, will soon be on the sideline of the GOP debates.
It is time to put Mr. Perry out to one of those Texas-sized pastures.
Mac Gordon is a retired reporter who lives near Blakely and writes an occasional opinion column for The Albany Herald.