Head to Head
Rick Perry and Jon Stewart may never agree, but their hair is perfect (withvideo)
Governor Rick Perry is wandering the Earth promoting his new book Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington and he stopped Monday night at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Yes, that Daily Show.
Why? Well, maybe because, though The Daily Show is sometimes stereotyped as a show only liberals love, Stewart does thoughtful interviews with guests from across the political spectrum. He also is now beating both Leno and Letterman in the late night ratings wars.
Stewart began the interview asking Perry what he was so fed up about and Perry spent two segments telling him — starting with salt.
The Texas governor is not worried about the over use of sodium in our diet, but he's bothered that big government regulates it. Salt appears to be a deep concern of our governor, who devotes some words in the first chapter of Fed Up! on the subject.
Stewart refuses to let Perry get too far in his list of supposedly ridiculous government regulations because he counters with the question of whether the federal government should regulate lead in our paint or salmonella in our lettuce.
This sets a pattern for the rest of the interview, as Perry continues to cite what he perceives are excesses of Washington, preferring government before the 16th amendment and the personal income tax and Stewart brings up pesky historical trivia like child labor and women being denied the right to vote. Perry says he “gets that,” yet argues that government programs didn’t work during the Great Depression.
The one cringe worthy moment during the interview happens when Stewart asks if the strength-through-competition ideals that Perry believes in should allow Texas companies to outsource jobs to India and China. Perry asks Stewart if he’d rather live in India or Texas and then proceeds to make googly eyes at the audience.
The strange half laughs from the audience probably indicate Perry isn’t as smooth a romancer as he thinks he is. At least buy them a drink and get to know them, before asking them to move in with us, Rick.
A little later in the interview, Stewart calmly asks Perry if he would not be more comfortable living under the Articles of Confederation. Perry says no, and quickly moves on to what he expects the federal government to do like “secure our border with Mexico,” as if he can’t run to the border and away from the Articles of Confederation accusation fast enough.
Nothing is really going to be solved in the interview because Perry and Stewart, and probably much of his audience, have diametrically opposing views on the worth of our federal government. Perry seems to believe it hinders individuals. As for Stewart — well, commentators, bloggers, and viewers have argued for years about Stewart’s general beliefs about government, but his satire and interviews with conservatives and libertarians lead me to believe he thinks that though it many times doesn’t work, government should be a protector in our lives.
Stewart recently had more than 200,000 of his closest friends over to Washington in an attempt to convince the country it’s time to stop thinking in terms of winners and losers when it comes to differing philosophies on government, so I won’t treat the interview like a sport to be scored.
However, in the game of coiffing, I'm sorry governor, but Stewart wins by a hair.
See the extended interview here: