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January 23, 2012

And Now, The Recriminations: Perry Staffers Tell Tale of Turmoil, Infighting, and A Back-Surgery That Came At A Very Bad Time

He should have delayed a month, or a month and a half.

Was it the decision to schedule back surgery on July 1, putting Perry’s physical recovery on a collision course with a grueling schedule of fundraisers and campaign events? Was it the failure to prepare better for debates that soon turned disastrous? Was it simply a matter of getting in the race too late?

Perry’s own string of verbal goofs, probably some of the worst in modern American political history, were so crippling that it is questionable whether any paid professionals could have pulled him out of the ditch. At one point staffers were so desperate to keep Perry’s energy level high during debates that they discussed putting M&Ms in his coat pocket for use during commercial breaks.

More on that:

But the real problem, from Perry's perspective, was his schedule. Experimental back surgery in July had made it difficult for him to exercise, and exercise helps him sleep. Perry's brisk fundraising pace and lack of sleep left him and first lady Anita Perry — who was much more vocal in the presidential campaign than she had been in past campaigns — to conclude that his schedule should be better managed.

You can read the articles for the Johnson and Carney v. Joe Allbaugh stuff. Doesn't seem that interesting, as obviously fingers get pointed, and who knows.

So what was Perry doing in October? Apparently not all that much:

Politico reported, "In a blistering indictment, sources close to the operation describe a new team that was stunned to arrive in October and find a campaign that wasn't executing the most rudimentary elements of a modern presidential campaign: no polling or focus groups, no opposition research book on their own candidate to prepare for attacks, and debate prep sessions that were barely worth the name."

So now you know. Although the articles make a case for this guy or that guy failing Perry, of course failure begins at the top.

It might here have also begun at the back.

By the way, now that he's out of the race: Yes, that was a horrible, horrible campaign. And yes, he showed up for the debates half-asleep and unprepared.

Thanks to @bdomenench, who has a great daily news briefing called The Transom.

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posted by Ace at 03:40 PM

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