And now all of America knows what we in Texas—those of us who have followed Rick Perry's career closely anyway—always knew. The man is one entertaining politician.
No, he's not funny-ha-ha.
He's entertaining in a sobering, oh-my-god-did-he-really-just-say-that?, almost scary kind of way.
Last night Rick Perry's brain fart on national television blew up his campaign. Much like the first weeks of his run for President, Rick Perry's mouth and brain simply disconnected and the result was... well... not pretty. If you missed it, it's attached right up top.
No one would dispute it takes enormous mnemonic skill to remember the leaders of foreign countries, the heads of the mind-numbing acrynomic commissions and committees on Capitol Hill, or the many debate points a candidate is given daily.
But it's hard to forgive, and even harder to vote for, a man who can't remember the Department of Energy, especially when it's a department you want to dissolve, likely leading to thousands of people without jobs. It shows an enormous disconnect between just talking up the political bullshit, and whether you understand that what you say affects the lives of the people you lead.
Worse still, this is not the first flub Perry's made recently, it's just the most public.
Just over a week ago, Perry made a speech in New Hampshire that was... well... how does one describe it? Was the guy drunk, was he taking medication?
Whatever it was, the speech turned into an incomprehensible mash-up of thoughts. They entered Perry's brain and came out of his mouth with little or no editing, and they made no sense whatsoever.
If you ask around in Texas, it won't be hard to find people who have witnessed this behavior before. I personally watched Perry do the same thing at a private fund-raising event several years ago. I wrote it off to one glass of wine too many wine at the time, but then I started hearing more from people who covered his speeches regularly.
I'm not making any assumptions about what happened just 10 days ago, but let's look at it differently. Have you ever — and I mean ever —watched a Presidential candidate blow up like that? Twice in less than two weeks?
Perry's candidacy is over. The fuse was lit and the fireworks went off early as he surged to a lead. And then the electorate got to watch the free fall of a Texan politician, entertaining yes and sad, and perhaps a bit embarrassing as the world gets to make new Aggie jokes out of Texas.
Perry will probably hang in there for awhile, quitting is certainly not his style, it's why he has never lost an election... until now.
To be fair, here's Perry's response last night after the debate as reported by The Texas Tribune: