On Wednesday night we witnessed a political suicide live on national television.
Rick Perry is now the official Charlie Brown of presidential candidates. He reminds me of the kid who got held back in high school. Even though he’s been there longer than the rest of the class (or governor for 10 years), he still doesn’t know the answers.
It’s one thing to not be able to tick off all of Mitt Romney’s 59-point economic plan. Or even a 10-point plan. But when you can’t get past two in a three-point plan, you’re done. Disqualified.
Perry is now a dead man walking. He’ll go through the motions to save face, but he won’t get a single new voter. And he will quickly lose the ones he had. Once they’re laughing at you, you’re finished. Perry supporters Wednesday night were running out in the dark and pulling out yard signs.
Romney had another good night. Cain deflected and treaded water. Gingrich was confident and strong. Huntsman was OK but largely ignored. Santorum was too self-focused. Bachmann exhibited strong message discipline but never seemed to get past her talking points. Ron Paul was predictable.
And points to the sponsors and the panel. The debate was substantive and full of relevant and tough questions.
But, there’s only one story from Wednesday night. Last rites for Rick Perry. There will be no resurrection. No second act. He will join the political hall of fame of presidential losers from Texas like John Connally and Phil Gramm, who started with bang and went out with a whimper and no delegates.