Posted by: sweeneyblog | December 11, 2011

Rick Perry, Can We Talk?

Rock on, you crazy bastard . . .

Hey Rick, pleased to meet you. I know that you have your crew of campaign advisers, but I was wondering if we could talk for a moment. Look, things aren’t looking great for you. Back when you first exploded onto the scene, you were the top dog. Raised millions of dollars, a strong conservative alternative to wishy-washy Mitt Romney and with enough campaign experience to avoid the crazy (looking at you Michele Bachmann). But then there was more than a couple gaffes in the debates, and the whole Herman Cain thing. Wasn’t that embarrassing?  The creepy Pizza guy overtaking the Governor of one of the largest states in the union? I can understand that it has been a rough couple of cycles, but let me tell you the good news:

Hang in there buddy, I think you can pull this off, and there are lots of reasons why you should be the nominee this year. You just have to hold on.

How are you going to pull this off, you say? First off all, look at the two people in front of you. First there is Mitt Romney, who 70% of Republicans hate. He is stiff, flip-floppy and utterly elitist. Last cycle, Mike Huckabee put together a great ad that described Mitt Romney as “the guy who looks like he just laid you off”. It fits, doesn’t it? Bad enough he has more houses than Cindy McCain but then he doesn’t help the situation by trying to bet you $10,000 like it is no big deal. The Republicans don’t trust him and Obama’s people can’t wait to lay into him.

But what about the golden boy of the moment, Newt Gingrich? He’s got high negatives and yet people still love him. Mitt Romney couldn’t even lay a hand on him in the last debate. Yeah . . . but you have to remember, he is Newt Gingrich. He’s got more ego than John Edwards and Alec Baldwin put together. The guy will implode. He always does. His political career reads like a Greek tragedy, every time he gets close to achieving greatness, hubris brings him down. Plus, he has no campaign team, very little cash in the bank and only opened a handful of campaign offices. He’s got no structure, which means he won’t survive long.

So that leaves you, or Jon Huntsmen as the remaining serious candidates. Jon is great, but he has no money in the bank. You can do this. Pour some resources into South Carolina (I assume you have Iowa well-doorbelled at this point) and then try to hang on through Super Tuesday. You can pull this off and take the lead. When Newt implodes, if you have a strong showing, you will scoop up his votes and support. This is your moment.

Why am I so convinced that this year is yours? Because more than any other candidate out there, you represent the current state of the Republican electorate. In 2008, the Democrats chose a younger, ethnically diverse urban candidate because that’s where we are headed as a party; leaving behind the culture wars of the 60’s and moving towards issues of equality, economic justice and urban perspectives. For the last three years, the Republicans have been struggling within themselves to find a new way forward, and I believe that you, Rick Perry, represent the apex of that journey.

Remember, this is the Republican base that cheered when the moderator mentioned how many people the State of Texas had executed on your watch. These are the voters that boo-ed a soldier stationed in Iraq for mentioning the fact that he is gay. These are the people that cheered when posed with the hypothetical about someone dying because they don’t have health insurance. In the last couple of years, the Republican base has become more evangelical and less blue blood, more anti-intellectual and less pro-corporate, more fiscally conservative (to unpractical levels) and less forgiving. In short, they need a Christian crusader that is anti-elite, looks tough and doesn’t talk about details. In short, you.

Now I know there are some concerns that you are . . . well . . . not exactly intellectually curious. Remember, neither was the last governor of Texas we promoted to the presidency. It isn’t really a problem. Just appoint some elder statesman (or woman) with some policy chops as your Vice-President. John Kyl is retiring from the Senate and would make a good choice. Or maybe some of the quality Republican women that are available (see my post about good Republican women candidates here). My point is, it is not as big a problem as the Media would make it out to be.

So hang in there Rick, this is your moment. Just a few more grueling months and you can claim your title as nominee and proceed to having your butt kicked by Barack Obama if the economy hasn’t completely tanked again.

– Glad I could help,

Riley Sweeney




  1. Riley –

    I’m glad you think so highly about me. I’ve always felt that I needed three people on my side to win this election: Riley Sweeney, Jesus Christ, and ……

    – Rick

  2. Truer words have never been spoken! especially the last sentence. Everybody keep their fingers crossed – and do what ever else we can to be sure the economy improves.

  3. Riley,

    Speaking of hubris, read your characterizations of the Democrat v those you label Republican.


    • Oh I know I’m not kind to Conservative candidates, I’ve never been shy about my bias. But really, honestly, are you thrilled with the buffet of candidates brought forward? I was pretty open about how disappointed I was in the 2004 field of Democratic candidates.

      • Riley,

        Your post spoke to the issue of democrat and republican candidates and party issues. It had nothing to do with conservatives so, my comment stands.


      • Okay, how I describe REPUBLICAN and Democratic issues. Sometimes I slip up and use conservative instead. But answer my question, are you happy with this slate of potential candidates?

      • Newt could be interesting… if I had my choice I’d go with Ron Paul… I think he could win because inhabitants of both parties are disgusted enough with business as usual so he might draw from both as well as from the people who really decide elections, those not allied to either party.

      • If by “hubris” Jack means arrogance, I disagree. I see only sadness in the accurate way Riley has characterized REPUBLICANS. And its Republicans, not conservatives that are the problem. After this year’s performance in Congress, I can see nothing honorable about the Grand Old Party. And if these Republican elected officials who seem incapable of legislating in the public interest represent the base of the Republican party, then I see nothing honorable about being a Republican right now. The wild fluctuations in the Republican primary run for President only reinforce my thinking. The travesty of this last year is not business as usual. There was a time when Congress could actually pass legislation. But not now. It’s a shame, not hubris.

  4. […] already did the, “Look can we talk” thing with my Rick Perry post, so I’ll cut straight to the meat of this post. Occupy Movement? What the hell are you doing? […]

  5. […] cleared his laughably easy opposition (no offense Rick Santorum, definitely offense intended for Rick Perry), now is usually the time when the Vice-Presidential nominee is announced. It gives the candidate […]

  6. […] each other (or me) just leads to me deleting the comments. I don’t mind a little needling, goodness knows I do plenty here from the bully pulpit, but let’s just keep it from getting vicious. Dealing with angry commenters is the second […]

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