Posts Tagged ‘Rick Perry’

Trump, unchecked: The president-elect tilts hard right as his elevation to office approaches

December 17, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 17, 2016

On Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, unless something unprecedented occurs, the electoral college will officially designate Donald Trump Sr. the winner of the 2016 United States presidential election.

I expect this to happen, although it should be noted that an incredible number of things about this election have been unprecedented. For instance, Hillary Clinton was the first female presidential candidate to be nominated by a major American political party, and Trump was the candidate with the thinnest (read: a nonexistent) record of public or military service.

I’ve experienced a number of emotions since Trump’s election, including disbelief, disappointment, anger, resignation and sorrow. I also felt, for a time, something unexpected: hope.

Trump’s victory speech was unexpectedly magnanimous, given the harsh nature of his campaign. The man who during the second presidential debate had threatened to jail his opponent over missing emails from her tenure as secretary of state struck a gracious note early in the address that he delivered around 3 a.m. on the East Coast on Nov. 9:

Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.

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Patented Pundit Scorecard™ No. 1: Looking back at my Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal pontification

November 18, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 18, 2015

I’m feeling pretty good about a recent announcement that jibes with something I wrote in December 2013. So in what will likely be a futile attempt to forestall some smugness on my part, I’m going to open this post with a reminder that another assessment that I made two years ago didn’t pan out so well.

In September 2013, I wrote the following about then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

I enjoy having fun at Perry’s expense as much as the next person. But anyone who dismisses Perry out of hand is potentially making a big mistake.

Well, that didn’t quite turn out the way I expected. In mid-September of this year, Perry became the first Republican to bow out of the race to secure the party’s nomination for president of the United States.

“Fundraising was a challenge, and he failed to gain traction in the polls despite spending significant time in the early states, especially Iowa, and despite the assistance of a well-funded super PAC,” Katie Glueck reported for Politico. She added that in the days before Perry ended his campaign,

[H]e was down to one paid staffer in Iowa, one in South Carolina and none in New Hampshire. He was foundering in the polls after failing to qualify for the main stage debate in the first GOP primary contest and his weak polling support had once again relegated him to the second-tier debate next week.

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Voters don’t always care very much about policy details when it comes to picking a president

December 12, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 12, 2013

Recently, Robert Mann, a mass communications professor at Louisiana State University, wrote a Times-Picayune column panning Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chances of winning the Republican nomination for president in 2016. The crux of Mann’s argument is telegraphed in the headline, “Jindal’s meager record at home won’t get him to the White House.”

Referring to America Next, a new organization affiliated with the Louisiana governor, Mann writes:

The group hasn’t yet proposed a single policy innovation, so it’s not clear exactly what specific programs Jindal will tout.

However, selling his vision to the nation may be a challenge. That’s partly because the policy-cautious Jindal really hasn’t revealed much vision unless, by “vision,” one means serving up warmed-over, off-the-shelf conservative ideas. As for leadership, his modest job approval ratings provide no evidence of a deep well of affection or enthusiastic support at home.

The problem is that whatever ideas Jindal ultimately champions will emerge near the end of his tenure as governor. Republican primary voters and the news media would be justified in asking, “If your ideas are so new and compelling, why didn’t you try them in Louisiana?”

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The man from Paint Creek might be more competitive the second time around

September 26, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 26, 2013

For months, there have been whispers and rumblings that outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry may mount a second campaign for president, following his roundly criticized effort of late 2011. The latest such story came Saturday courtesy of Politico’s Anna Palmer, who wrote, “Perry certainly appears to be laying the groundwork to make a potential run possible.”

The excellent American Prospect contributing editor Paul Waldman saw Palmer’s story and jumped on it. Color Waldman skeptical — make that extremely skeptical — that the Texas Republican is capable of redeeming himself from his infamous “oops” moment during the Nov. 9, 2011, debate in Rochester, Mich.

You should read all of Waldman’s story, but here’s the nut:

[I]t’s true that lots of people were more successful in their second run than their first. Mitt Romney, John McCain, Al Gore, and Bob Dole all got their party’s nomination in their second try. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush all made it to the White House after failing the first time they ran. Is Rick Perry the equal of any of them? I’d say no, but he surely thinks so. Which means we might be able to look forward to a whole new set of hilarious gaffes.

I’m no Perry fan, but I think Waldman may just possibly be misunderestimating — to borrow a word from a previous Texas governor — the man from Paint Creek.

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