The Perry-Rove story is shaping up as the ultimate tale of dangerously unintended consequences, with Rove in the role of Dr. Frankenstein and Perry as his living, rampaging political creation.
Insiders know that Rove helped launch Perry’s career by advising Perry’s successful run for agriculture commissioner in 1990.
But the larger, deeper point is that Rove designed and built the Texas Republican machine that has now allowed Perry to go national — even after Rove and company tried (and failed) to stop him by running Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) against him for re-election.
Rove and much of the rest of the GOP Texas establishment was and is embarrassed by Perry
They’re capable of embarrassment?
From a distance, it makes little sense for the GOP to be any more embarrassed by Perry than by that nitwit Michele Bachmann, or for that matter by that other nitwit Paul Ryan, who is being urged to run. There’s something unique about Perry that really puts them off.
I suspect that the problem is, as Fineman says, that Perry’s “down home” crudeness is not an affectation, as G. W. Bush’s was. That’s who Perry is, even at black tie dinner parties. In other words, he doesn’t clean up well.
Have I mentioned that Perry genuinely creeps me out, too? Although I admit I am mildly interested in seeing if he is competitive in New Hampshire, a state that is decidedly not Texas. I wouldn’t think he would do well anywhere in the northeast, as the Yosemite Sam schtick does not play well in these parts. We’ll see.
But Dave Weigel writes that the Republican field is so ghastly that part of the establishment is hoping for a brokered convention. Although that begs the question — if the GOP establishment could pick any candidate it wanted, who would it be?
It also occurs to me that if Jeb Bush is ever going to run for president, this may be the time. The contrast with Perry could make Jeb look, well, not at all like his brother George.
Elsewhere — Steve Benen considers the stupid factor. And a great-granddaughter of Herbert Hoover says that if the GOP loses the youth vote in 2012, the millennial generation will be lost to the GOP forever.