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September 16, 2011

Today In Rick Perry News: Bad Polling News, "The Big Hoss" And An Op-Ed On The US And Israel

Technically the bad polling news is from yesterday but it's not good. Noted leftwing hack, er, Scott Rasmussen shows Perry trailing Obama.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows Obama picking up 46% of the vote, while Perry earns support from 39%. Fifteen percent (15%) are either undecided or prefer another candidate. Two weeks ago, Perry was up by three. Three weeks ago, the president held a three-point edge over the governor. (To see question wording, click here.)

Now, Perry’s chief rival for the nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, holds a three-point lead on the president. Another GOP hopeful, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, trails Obama by double digits. The fluctuation in Perry's, Romney's and Bachmann’s numbers comes as a Generic Republican maintains a steady lead over the president.

Perry polling worse than "Generic Republican"? People want to vote for someone other than Obama but it can't be someone who freaks them out. I'm worried Perry might, might, be doing that.

It's September '11 not '12 or even January of '12 so this isn't panic, it's...noteworthy. The big thing is the decline in support coinciding with Mitt's Social Security attacks. Look, I don't like them either but like baseball, there's no crying in politics. What Mitt's doing is no different than what Obama will if he gets the chance.

As Ace talked about yesterday, I'm in the 'deal not closed' camp when it comes to Perry. I want to like him, want to support him full bore but he has to do better. Yes, he gives a good speech but we've seen that movie before. No, he's not Obama but he's got show it. I hear a lot of people tell me how great Perry is and I'm ready to believe it but...I have to see it for myself.

The so-called "debates" aren't a great forum but it's all we have. If he can't put away Romney and Bachmann...then I have concerns. I'd really like to see him in some other settings like a town hall and something like the SC event Jim DeMint hosted. I want to see him pushed not to deliver a comeback but to explain his positions a level or two deep when challenged. I want to know he's got enough wonk in him to get the job done and not just skate by on his lareger than life persona.

Speaking of which.

But to become president of the United States, he’ll have to reach persuadables who don’t value outrageousness for its own sake. If he’s never willing to back down, he’ll have to go — should he win the nomination — all the way to November 2012 defending the notion that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is possibly guilty of treason. On Social Security, he’s managed to take what turns out to be his thoroughly conventional Republican view that the program should stay the same for seniors and near-retirees while it’s reformed for younger people and make it radioactive through his choice of words and his theoretical musings. His campaign so far has no policy except generalized statements celebrating Texas and condemning the federal government.

Tellingly, his weakest moments in the debates have come when he’s been attacked from the right and can’t fight back with brassy, crowd-pleasing one-liners. He’s made uncomfortable by his streak of pragmatism as Texas governor. For all his self-portrayal as an anti-government purist, he’s adept at marshaling and using power. When he says he’s pro-business, he’s not kidding. Republicans will have to quickly drop the phrase “crony capitalism” from their vocabulary if he’s the nominee.

And finally Perry has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the US-Israeli relationship and dealing with the Palestinians.

Errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take backward steps away from peace. It was a mistake to call for an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks. Indeed, the Palestinian leadership had been negotiating with Israel for years, notwithstanding settlement activity. When the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, it led to a freeze in Palestinian negotiations. It was a mistake to agree to the Palestinians' demand for indirect negotiations conducted through the U.S., and it was an even greater mistake for President Obama to distance himself from Israel and seek engagement with the hostile regimes in Syria and Iran.

Palestinian leaders have perceived this as a weakening of relations between Israel and the U.S, and they are trying to exploit it. In taking this destabilizing action in the U.N., the Palestinians are signaling that they have no interest in a two-state solution. The Palestinian leadership's insistence on the so-called "right of return" of descendants of Palestinian refugees to Israel's sovereign territory, thereby making Jews an ethnic minority in their own state, is a disturbing sign that the ultimate Palestinian "solution" remains the destruction of the Jewish state.

The U.S.—and the U.N—should do everything possible to discourage the Palestinian leadership from pursuing its current course.

Standard fare for a GOP candidate not named Ron Paul and certainly an improvement over the current administration.

Some might say this is an example of his policy chops that I'm concerned about. Yes, it shows his general approach to an issue but the real question isn't how he (or frankly, like any candidate, his staff) write a piece, it's how can they articulate it and defend it live, without any notes, when challenged.

Perry might have it in him, God I hope he does because I won't vote for Romney in a primary, but seeing will be believing.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:12 PM

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