A little over a month ago, I had the opportunity to put together a video honoring Veterans Day to be shown at BlogCon 2011 in Denver, Colorado. In conjunction with FreedomWorks, I was able to get a handful of questions about Veterans Day over to a handful of politicians to have them say thank you to our troops. Because of technical difficulties, it wasn’t actually uploaded and shown to anyone until one day after Veterans Day much to my disappointment. You can view that video here and I hope you do.
But there was another part of this work that hasn’t been shown. When I sent the word out to these various politicians and policy makers that I wanted them to talk about veterans, I gave some very simple instructions: “Please be yourself, try not to do it scripted, and just basically tell me your thoughts on our troops.”
Out of those who responded, all but one sent me great videos that were about a minute and a half in length and mostly scripted. The one that sent me something different was Governor Rick Perry. His was a bit longer than a minute and a half. Eleven minutes actually. And I was so taken by how natural and patriotic he came across when he was off script and not trying to ‘zing’ another candidate that I immediately knew the footage had to be seen.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and that, if nothing else, it will give you an insight into a man that is much more complex than the narrative being put out by his opposition.
I’ve often talked about what I think of as the “Rule of Two” when it comes to Republican candidates. This rule states that for each election year, the media requires two types of Republican candidates: an idiot and an evil guy. Which one is the presidential candidate and which one is the vice presidential candidate is irrelevant. All that matters is that both are in attendance.
Don’t believe me? Take a look back.
Nixon/Agnew: Nixon was evil, Agnew was dumb. (and then of course Ford took over and he was even dumber)
Reagan/Bush: Reagan was dumb, Bush was evil.
Bush/Quayle: Bush was (still) evil, Quayle was dumb.
Dole/Kemp: Dole was dumb, Kemp was evil.
Bush/Cheney: Bush was dumb, Cheney was evil.
McCain/Palin: McCain was evil, Palin was dumb.
Seriously, they aren’t even that original. It’s the same template every time. This time, it’s “Rick Perry is an idiot!!” How, after all this time are my ideological brethren still falling for this nonsense? How have they come to the conclusion that bad debate form is the equivalent of “can’t govern” even when all evidence shows the opposite?
When did we become a party that picks winners based on their ability to talk a good game in spite of any evidence to the contrary that they would actually govern a good game?
Why have records ceased to matter? Why are we letting the media “debate-coverage” us to death? Why are we choosing “zingers” over substance?
Rick Perry is, in my opinion, the best man for the job. Everything that I’m hearing to refute this idea boils down to the idea that he won’t win in a debate against Obama. Ok? This is how we choose leaders now? Whoever can totally argue like, the best and stuff?
Sorry. I’m not going to board the smooth talker express. I can promise you that if you put me on stage with Obama I’d rip him to smithereens in a debate. I also promise you that I’d be a terrible President. Merely expressing conservatism is not enough. You have to live it.
Rick Perry may not be the Newt Gingrich of presidential candidates, but, as silly as it may sound, I’m not interested in hiring a candidate. I’m interested in hiring a President. For me, that President is Rick Perry.