They say that's all it took to end Rick Perry's presidential candidacy and career the other night. 
One of the things that you learn as a young reporter who does live shots, is to never "number" what you are going to say. For example, you don't say that there are three reasons why the DA declined to press charges and they are, one...two.... Because by number three, I can guarantee you that most reporters, especially me, would forget the third, and you'd stand there looking like a fool in front of a camera. You do it once, you don't do it again.

Curiously, I don't fault Perry for this gaffe. Imagine the pressure. Imagine how many things are swirling in their heads at these moments. However, Perry doesn't want the lead live shot on the 10 O'Clock News. He wants to run the nation. And if you've got big plans to wield an axe, you better know what you're aiming for.

What bothers me most is the fact that 53 seconds is all it apparently took for every pundit to crawl out of their hole to declare the guy dead meat. And what I want to know is why it took three YEARS for these same folks to pant over whether Sarah Palin was going to try to be our fearless leader of the free world.

Three years of stupidity. Gaffes. Mangled English. Strangled syntax. Confused thinking. Blatant lies. Not once, that I can recall, did anyone declare her over. It was just a matter of more, more, more for our media. 

She's stupid? Varrrrooooom!

She's ignorant? Giddyup!

She's inarticulate? Geronimo!!!

The final thing I'll say here is that part of my problem with Perry - and my problems with the man are too many to enumerate right now - is that he's big hat, no cattle, just like a certain president we were stuck with for 8 years. The voice, the mannerisms. God, it causes my head to fall on my desk in despair.

But lest you missed it and wasn't mining HuffPo the other day like I was, here's a fun tidbit that is making the rounds.

Carrie Fisher, actress, etc., had THIS to say about her recent weight loss and time at a posh psychiatric hospital back east.  Perhaps she meant the president of another country. Or the president of a corporation, or university. Perhaps she meant another former president of the U.S. But my money is on the man whom my husband used to refer to as a 'dry drunk.'

We'll never turn back the clock on those three years of cultural/political and media hell. But if it only now takes 53 seconds, then perhaps there's hope.


11/11/2011 10:38

Loved the 'big hat, no cattle'. Perfect expression!

11/11/2011 10:44

I wish I could agree with you, Laura...

and in any universe other than today's GOP*Land, you'd be dead-on that Perry would be at the end of the line of being a player in this GOP Primary, and his political career in general would have gone kaput.

But remember, this is GOP*Land, where the candidates are lauded for their bigotry, misogyny, lack of intellect and all of their other sorry defining qualities which we try to avoid in our reality-based lives here on Earth. After all, Pizza Herb is now flying high with his campaign contributions spiking at unprecedented $$$ levels, all because his sexual harassment skills are highlighted daily. Thanks, Mister Koch. Um, you too, other Mister Koch. Oh, and Fox News, too. Herb sends his love to each of you.

Now P-Rick is trying to leverage his own inability to remember his campaign's talking points into a fundraising windfall:

You have to get up very early and then work hard all day to find a Repug with enough self-awareness to realize that they are constantly embarrassing themselves and their donors with almost every statement they make, scripted or not. Needless to say, my day ain't over yet, because the GOP clown car is still full and doesn't show any signs of slowing down, even as it veers in and out of the ditch several times each day.

Laura, I do hope I'm wrong and P-Rick and the rest of the dwarfs will go home and go ahead and let Mittens get his ass handed to him by President Obama without further fanfare. And if I AM WRONG, the drinks are on me. But the fact that these nutcakes have actually managed to make Newt look good lately by comparison tells me that this float down the crazy river ain't over just yet.

So keep your helmet on and hold on.

;^) (fyi: that's supposed to be a wink, but on my iPhone it appears to be more like a smudge)

11/11/2011 11:01

My take is that the GOP, if they have any brains -- the guys behind the curtain, I mean -- are experimenting with the "how-to" of electing a puppet president. I would say we already had one in Bush II (geez, one could even make a good case for Bush I).

But the SP VP effort, Cain, Perry -- they are all the same: Put them out there to be outrageous so they appeal to the give-'em-hell, low-info (and proud of it!) voters to see how far each puppet can go. I originally thought that was why Murdoch gave SP the $7M to do her book: "let's see how far the little lady can run." And I would say it was $7M well spent: they surely learned a lot about what flies, has legs, goes over, seems sustainable, and for how long.

I think this is market research for the 2012. Yes I know, one can claim Clinton and Obama were/are beholden too, but to different people, or somewhat different. I prefer those other people to be beholden to. And a smart, educated president.

11/11/2011 11:13

Ottoline, that is a very frightening thought, but it makes so much sense. The whole Republican primary process is simply market research! Yikes!

11/11/2011 11:24

That Carrie Fisher piece is hysterical. I bet it was W. She's always been at the top of my list of people with whom I'd love to dine, and this tidbit puts her @ #1. I hope this stay did heal her for good.

Otto, your theory is entirely possible. If true, I'm glad they are having such a difficult time with it. It would be hard to find someone vain enough to think they could do the job, willing to put in the work to be elected, but with enough brains to make it through public appearances and pliant enough to take orders.

11/11/2011 11:31

The average intelligence in this country seems to be plummeting. And we have heard time after time that the idiots want a president "just like me". The GOP clown car is full of "just like thems".

Guess the dry drunk from TX wasn't enough for them, they want MORE stupid.

11/11/2011 11:47

Interesting tidbit, Laura; I'll need to remember that!

As someone who does a LOT of public speaking, I can totally forgive Perry for his brain freeze, and I find it beyond weird that all the pundits are saying it ended his candidacy--yet getting up in New Hampshire last weekend and acting like an drunk idiot didn't?

I've come to the conclusion that there is a certain type of person who is willing to overlook ANYTHING if it's committed by "one of theirs." They either convince themselves it didn't happen (Cain sexually harassing vulnerable women) or that it's perfectly understandable (how anyone can give Penn State a pass is beyond me, but we're seeing it; we also saw it with Watergate). This type of individual seems more likely to be conservative, although I've also seen tendencies on the liberal side (as when so many over at a certain anti-Palin website were perfectly willing to excuse Joe McGinniss's sleazy behavior because he was "on their side").

As for why Sarah Palin is forever given a pass for her endless idiocy, that's the puzzle that drives me nuts. I will never, never, never understand it. She should have been laughed off the national stage three years ago. The women is an illiterate hick. So why didn't it happen? WHY? Please don't tell me it's just because she's pretty and turns on the sex. Really?

11/11/2011 11:59

Up: Not sure the puppet needs to know s/he is a puppet: look at SP. But you're right, a good puppet is hard to find. Rick Perry on Letterman last night (see IM), with Letterman barely able to look at him: another example of an emerging datapoint for how to recover from a gaffe. The more he is universally condemned in Laura's 53 seconds, the more interesting it is to see how, how fast, whether, etc., he can recover. But if he doesn't, no problem. The klown kar is full of other wanna-be puppets to test out.

Jo: The media blackout re SP's dirty linen that I now believe is actually in effect (and not just my tinfoil hat acting up) would fit right in with researching how possible it is to shut down certain stories in spite of multiple blogs, books, articles. It's working well for them, don't you think?

Unlimited money, no accountability, a nice chunk of time to experiment with the weighty-sounding Koch-funded foundations, the waxing/waning of various candidates, how well does this or that technique do: all in prep for some massive too-late-to-respond-to PR blast right before the election. So our dear 1% can stick with their lower taxes, war profiteering, closing down all those pesky civil liberties, and "de-population" via reducing SS and health-care. Sounds like a plan to me.

I too love Carrie Fisher. So glad she seems to be recovering. Such a hard road. If you're going to dine with her, can I come too?

11/11/2011 12:00

When I was in 4th grade, my father supported Barry Goldwater. We had to drive around town with a giant AuH2O billboard on top of our station wagon-- and on the morning after the election, kids threw bottles at the car top. It was humiliating. For years I imagined there was nothing worse politically than having had a father who LOVED Barry Goldwater.

But now, looking back Barry Goldwater was the George Washington-Abraham Lincoln of the modern GOP.

I believe the old puppeteers have lost interest. They have enough money now and have wreaked all the havoc they care to. The new puppeteers are amateurs at it and what we're seeing is their Internship attempts.

Great call, Laura, on the comparison of Perry and Cain's bozo-nesses and Palin's Hail Mary Passes.

11/11/2011 12:04

Anonfornow: yes, who'd-a-thunk-it? If you asked me whether public substance abuse or a tiny brain-fart would be worse for a presidential candidate, I too would have given the wrong answer. Nothing beats real research data.

Laura Novak
11/11/2011 12:27

I am not at my most articulate these days. So Jeff, et al., you all said it nicely. And yes, imagine Barry Goldwater seeming innocent compared to today's bar brawl. (welcome back Viola-Alex!!)

I wonder how Eisenhower would feel about all of this. Even Tricky Dick might think them all a ship of fools were he alive to witness what the GOP has come to.

Perhaps the good news is that the patience is wearing thin, which is why $7 million won't be offered again, but props of other sorts.

I will never ever ever understand the pass that was given Palin either. I cannot fathom how accusations have only increased Cain's pot of gold.

Ours is a curious culture. Regina's life in the French countryside sounds pretty appealing right now! Except I must stay here and have lunch with all of you and Carrie Fisher. She has indeed endured a lot. So did her mother. I admire her frankness even though saying a "movie star" was there leaves open more possibilities. Saying a "president" was there leaves, well, really only one option for me as to whom she was referring!

11/11/2011 12:29

I would think that a rather dumber puppet is always best, if one is looking for a puppet. Wasn't Princess Diana selected for her naivete (so Charles could continue with Camilla)? but she turned out to want to exert her own will. Not what one wants in a puppet.

I'm thinking that a man like Barry Goldwater would have had enough intelligence and will to want to have his own way too much as president. Too much for the Koch-like interests.

So the bold new concept, which no one ever thought would work: promote an idiot. Enough voters seem close to being okay with that. What an amazing realization. My take is that if McCain proved unamenable to doing what the fat cats wanted, SP would have been slipped in following the untimely death ("natural causes," of course) of the old codger. Don't you think the old codger realized this at some point?

There seem few other ways for the Kochs and their pals to keep the low-tax, war-profit game going. I am betting that Perry will be resurrected, just to see if/how it can be done. Not that he will necessarily be the candidate. It's just for the research info.

11/11/2011 12:34

"It's just for the endolphins," said the pretty starlet re her jogging, to Carrie Fisher.

"Endorphins," said Carrie.

"Whatever," said the starlet.

(From Fisher's "Postcards from the Edge," to the best of my recollection.)

11/11/2011 13:00

I agree that Perry's brain-freeze moment shouldn't result in an automatic campaign obituary although the media would do well to look into the underlying cause. It's interesting that you were taught the dangers of 'numbered' lists. I'd like to think the harbingers of Perry's doom weren't similarly trained rather than that they're somehow incompetent or improperly motivated. I can't take any hope from their reaction to Perry's debate performance and expect they'd give Palin a pass tomorrow for doing the exact same thing (not much different than her palm notes).

If the media learned anything from their failed coverage of Palin, they'd ask Herman Cain for his NRA personnel records, including his departure date (which I think preceded one of the settlements), and for all documents related to the sexual harassment settlements. Instead, he's asked to subjectively defend his character and the debate questioner is lauded for bringing up the subject. The media still needs to be resoundingly humiliated for the Palin debacle.

(Full disclosure: I suffer from frequent brain-freeze. It's unrelated to intellectual capacity and competency but it does inhibit efficiency and effectiveness. And it is profoundly embarrassing and frustrating.)

11/11/2011 13:04

A few random thoughts.

Former presidents. I think W needs to be in a facility, but I think Clinton would be the one who would go.

Something to remember about those who lack intelligence - why they're so popular. Everyone can dream of having more money. It's always possible. But some people can't become more intelligent. It really isn't possible, so those who are bright are hated and mistrusted. Hence many people prefer McCain and Palin.

And I agree that McCain might not have survived his first term. One of the dominionists told Palin that she saw it in a dream...

Given how little Carrie must be eating these days, I don't think I'd care to meet her for a meal. But a nice walk somewhere ... that would be fun!

11/11/2011 15:44

Ottoline's market research theory reminds me of Rachel's theory that Cain's campaign is mere performance art.

Rachel also had one of the fairest reactions to Perry's 53 seconds: she examined the substance of what he meant to say, i.e., the merits of eliminating the Energy Dept. And it was scary.

Rachel keeps me from going insane.

11/11/2011 17:16

curiouser: My take on what the MSM learned re their non-coverage of Palin's hoax and her other dirty laundry is this:
--It is possible to keep a major story concealed.
--Upper mgmt's blackout can prevail over any uppity reporters.
--Blogs don't count much.
--MANY people don't read, esp not books.
--Good to have plenty of distractions (DWTS, Bristol tales, movie stars).
--TV like Fox is well received by most.
--They can do this again, as needed.

11/11/2011 20:10

@ottoline: bread and circuses - same old, same old.

But I also think our tactics could be better. You can't reason with everyone - why do we try?

lilly lily
11/12/2011 09:09

Perhaps Silver Hill should get a shot at the Palin brood, Sarah and her girls. Palin is not all there as far as I can make out, but at long last, the press, (and they sure took their time about it) is ignoring her.

If they bring her back for an encore performance because the Republicans are in free fall, she will get whammed in the kisser with all her gates.

I recall recommending Silver Hill to a messed up family years and years ago. They would have done well to listen, but they didn't, much to their regret. Tragic.

I'm glad to hear good words about the facility helping some celebrities and politico's.

Conscious at last!
11/12/2011 09:14

I have a friend who sometimes makes lunch for me. Last week, I ask for chicken salad. He turned around and I watched him make me a PBJ sandwich. Then he handed it to me. I took a bite.
I said, ".. this isn't chicken salad, it's PBJ.
He said,.. " no, silly, it's chicken salad. "

This week, I asked for chicken salad again. He walked over to the kitchen counter with his back to me, hiding the cutting board that he was working on.
He handed me a sandwich. I took a bite. Clearly, it was ham and cheese.

I said, this isn't chicken salad, it is ham and cheese.
He said,.."are you kidding-- that's chicken salad, I made it myself."

So, at what point will I learn that he is not to be trusted? How many more rounds of this silly game need I play before I understand that he will not deliver what I have asked for, yet he will pretend to do so.

I can make my own sandwiches, also, too!

11/12/2011 12:42

The brain freeze reminds me of the days when I had PMS. I was teaching in a university, and my lectures on those days were almost unintelligible. I started planning the semester so I could administer tests on those days. I don't, however, think that Perry has PMS.

Enough of BS
11/12/2011 18:23

Laura, you sound ignorant and like the typical, koolaid drinking liberals.

"Three years of stupidity. Gaffes. Mangled English. Strangled syntax. Confused thinking. Blatant lies. Not once, that I can recall, did anyone declare her over. It was just a matter of more, more, more for our media.

You LITERALLY just described MANY of Obama's rally speeches and some interviews. He is repetitive to the point of personal ignorance. He contradicted himself on major things (Acorn involvement wad one of them). He blatantly lied then and continues to tell lies because most people who follow him don't actually listen to what he's saying between the lines, or even the lines.

The man is a dumbshit without a speech imprinted in his brain or a teleprompter. He had NO clue what he was saying and it SHOWED numerous times. Someone who speaks with conviction doesn't get lost when their teleprompter goes out.

I have lost all respect for you Laura, as your hypocrisy is astounding. Calling Palin out on those things is one thing. BUT ignoring the SAME things in the PResident is what people in this country REALLY need to fear.


we elected a man in 2008 who is known for personally sabotaging and slandering his opponents. Without those tactics, he'd still be jobless. It should tell you something that he got his FIRST JOB, senator, late in life. His entire persona is all media bias.

Ugh, you people make me sick. With Sarah Palin, it's what you see if what you get. People love her at rallies, at home. She is the most average politician ever to grace to stage. She eats at Wendys like you and me. She helps her daughter get ready for Homecoming like you and me. Her daughter chooses homework over Halloween festivities, while another daughter LOVES working her 9 to 5 job to provide her son a good home. Her family enjoys each other's company, there's always a laugh no matter what day or time of day.

Even though all I say is true, it doesn't matter in politics. Politics/law making is a job. To obtain a position in this field, one needs experience. One needs personal conviction and cited plans for the country, plans that are general enough not to impede on anyone but specific enough that the applicant looks intelligent.

Let's NOT elect another fraud and media creation.

11/12/2011 19:05

@Enough of BS.

If you really believe those amazing claims about Obama, then I'm sure you never respected Laura in the first place. She lives in the real world.

And as to Plain helping "her daughter get ready for Homecoming like you and me," speak for yourself. I wouldn't let my daughter go to Homecoming after she dropped out of the high school.

I just read similar comments at The Palin Place, ID'ed by a string of numbers. I suspect you are one of the commenters employed by Sarah. Cheers.

Conscious at last!
11/12/2011 20:30

@ Enough of BS aka Sarah Louise-

I'm insulted now- you've been very unkind here to Laura, but you just said at the "SP has Serpent's Heart" blog that I was your favorite "ignorant" person. So who is it going to be?

11/12/2011 22:11

Laura, you brought up some great points about "brainfreeze", I can only speak for myself, but it took me years to learn to overcome them, and it still happens. I've gone to the store to buy three things, came home with thirteen and forgot at least one of a simple list of three, due to my laziness and trusting that it's only three things and surely I'd remember them.
As for the other performance where he appeared drunk or under the influence, I've been on strong drugs for many years, and never once appeared drunk or under the influence, but then again, I'm not running for the highest office in the land.
I admire Carrie Fisher's honesty with her struggles with Bi Polar disorder and weight issues. Being the child of two celebrities who divorced must be rough, especially when it involves two accomplished actors whose lives are subject to public scrutiny.

@ Enough of BS
Wrong Church, Wrong Pew, and it ain't Sunday.
I don't blame you for your obvious aversion toward Your President, apparently you've been watching too much Fox News, listening to Rush Limbaugh, watching fairy tales like "sarah palin's Alaska" and "the undefeated", and reading mass marketed Koch Brother funded NewsMax, Going Rogue, America by Heart, Bristol Palin, My Life so far with Nancy French, and a certain someone's facebook manifesto.

You find Laura's post insulting? Do all strong, articulate, educated women scare you, or is it just Laura?

11/13/2011 04:56

It's just for the endolphins," said the pretty starlet re her jogging, to Carrie Fisher.

"Endorphins," said Carrie.

"Whatever," said the starlet.

(From Fisher's "Postcards from the Edge," to the best of my recollection.)

That is one of my favorite lines from that movie. The endolphin praising character was Annette Benning in her breakout role I believe!
I am still incredulous over Maddow's piece last week "We should have known at Pokemon".......what the hell is wrong with this country? Now we KNOW: Pokemon, Sim City, This is Spinal Tap, Black Walnut Hagan Daz.....and people still think he is a credible Presidential candidate?
Yes Laura..the south of France, Costa Rica, Norway...they are all looking very enticing right now.

11/13/2011 06:18

Enough BS: ACORN? Really? Most people here know that was actually an extremely honorable organization, which was destroyed by the right wing, which is systematically trying to keep the less privileged from voting. If ACORN is the way that the Republicans are planning to attack Obama this round, well, go ahead. I don't think the RW cares anymore and the lefties know that your arguments are based on lies and if you come around with that this time we will prove it to everyone.

Sarah Palin is a politician? No, she's a quitter and a grifter. Since she can't make money off of the lefties she's taking the money from the most gullible, her poor deluded followers. She was never planning to run for president this time. She never filed. She could not even appear on a debate stage because she knows she'd sound more foolish than Perry. All she did was send out fundraising letters.

But you're not exactly one of those gullible are you? How much are they paying you to post stupidities on the blogs?

11/13/2011 06:55

@Sherryn et al. Carrie Fisher's books and the Postcards movie were such pleasant surprises. Along with her famous parents, bi-polar disease, Star Wars bikini, and addictions, she dealt with divorce from the father of her child after he realized he was gay. Endolphins indeed.

Laura Novak
11/13/2011 09:13

I recall an interview where Carrie Fisher said of her mother that she watched the industry chew her up and spit her out. It clearly pained her deeply. And so, yes, it must have been very difficult to grow up with the tumult of what happened in the 50's with Eddie and Liz et al. But then to be chewed up and spit out like her mother. DR starred in a little known but tender and excellent movie, perhaps ten years ago, I"m brain freezing on the name...where she played Albert Brooks' mother. Oh what was the name. It was a subtle role played to perfection by Reynolds. I admire both women for their candor and fortitude.

11/13/2011 10:43

@Laura. The excellent movie was "Mother." I always enjoyed Albert Brooks' movies. "Lost in America" may be my favorite.

mistah charley, ph.d.
11/13/2011 10:54

Laura, my guess is that you might be joking about the "brain freezing" - in any case, the name of the movie you are thinking of is "Mother." It was fifteen years ago, though, not ten. Time flies like an arrow.*

I've seen an assertion that Brooks and Carrie were romantically linked at one point, and Debbie Reynolds would urge the two to get married. It did not happen - who knows if it's good or bad? I just read that Brooks' brother is Super Dave Osborne, the comedic actor. Super Dave's birth name is Bob Einstein, and Albert Brooks' birth name is Albert Lawrence Einstein.

*Fruit flies like a banana.

Laura Novak
11/13/2011 11:01

Yes, that is the name. Thanks! I'd like to rent that again. Strange to think that I must have gone to a movie when my son was a year old. What an odd thing. I'm not sure where I got the time!

Love Albert Brooks' comedy. And I didn't know that about his brother. I do recall him saying that his wife's father is a surgeon who took out his gallbladder or something. And how embarrassed he was to have his FIL know what his private parts looked like on the table! Funny spin on just about everything. The uber mensch.

11/13/2011 11:11

@comeonpeople: Wow! I did not recall that it was Annette Bening who said "endolphins."

Re Maddow/Cain performance art: the other night she had a section where she discussed how each of the klown kandidates had taken their turn in a nice orderly progression, one after the other -- another datapoint for my market research theory.

And the fact that that the MSM didn't care about the Cain/Pokemon etc details: another datapoint that the MSM is managed by the uber-fat-cats. I sure would love to hear Maddow talk about that. But if she won't address the hoax, she sure would never tell those open secrets either. Incredulous: me too.

11/13/2011 11:13

Laura, How generous of you to come to the defense of someone whose politics you disagree with. Perry had a severe case of stagefright. Odd things happen to some people when those cameras start rolling so that reasonably intelligent people can, because of extreme nervousness/stage fright behave rather stupidly. Most people know this and that might suggest why, as of today anyway, Perry's rating has gone up.

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