Governor Rick Perry got his hat handed to him in his abbreviated run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He could not remember things his handlers told him, disregarded what the voters said, spoke badly and debated worse. At no time did he seem to be the stuff of which presidents are made, not even the mediocre kind of presidents Americans make these days.
One of his early supporters called Perry's campaign the "worst, most mismanaged presidential campaign in American history." Newt Gingrich had said of Perry, "if he can hit major league pitching he will win hands down." Mr. Perry hit below the Mendoza line, a baseball reference (sic) referring to the slick-fielding, no-hitting Roberto Mendoza of MLB fame. Mendoza could catch anything hit anywhere in the park. He never hit above .200 in his career. Hence, the Mendoza line.
Perry had a scratch single or two. His bigger blows were in batting practice.
And I still ended up admiring his growth in the race.
I do not mean I thought he should be president. The rich preachers who pushed him for awhile dropped him just as fast when he showed the holes in his swing. When they were gone he was done.
The same rich preachers will soon be left with two choices. There is a portly, thrice married rich man who abandoned one wife when she had cancer and another just as she was diagnosed with MS. Come to think of it, does New Gingrich cause major illnesses? He reportedly wanted one wife to agree to an open marriage and just generally cheated on all of them.
He has since repented of his evil ways.
Editor's Note: Mr. Gingrich loudly denies the assertion by his ex-second wife that he wanted an open marriage. He just as loudly decried the media outlets who dared to run her story or question him about it just before a major primary.
This will not work for the general election. "How dare you ask that?' will not suffice.
The other choice for the rich preachers and their richer adherents will be a member of the LDS church, which one of them has branded a cult. Mr. Romney will also lose a lot of votes for practicing socialism in Massachusetts so egregiously Mr. Obama borrowed from Romney's social programs to envision America-Care. Mr. Romney will also lose some votes for being what Governor Perry called him, correctly; a vulture capitalist. Mr. Romney will also lose some votes for being endorsed by Senator John McCain, who lost the 2008 election to Mr. Obama for being too soft on various social issues.
You get the idea.
Mr. Perry, meanwhile, returns home to the Lone Star State. He looks ten years older and clearly exhausted. He has been demeaned as a moron and caricatured as Foghorn Leghorn. Jon Stewart had a great time with him.
No, Governor Perry could not hit the major league pitching this time around. He lost some support nationally along the way. Also, along the way, I thought I saw and heard the man do some serious soul searching and growing. Texas has been too easy for Governor Perry. He has not had a major loss here. He has not been questioned much or pushed hard. The national scene noted his good hair and solid profile. They decided he did not ring true with them.
So, we get our governor back home. He will be a better governor for the race he put on. He may decide to work on his delivery, build a machine and take another run in 2016. He will be a better candidate then.
I came away from this race admiring him for his tenacity. He is more than I thought going into the race.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.