Flawed as a presidential candidate, Rick Perry’s hunger to debate the man he called “the smooth politician in the White House right now,” will have to wait now until, maybe never.
What a showdown it might have been.
On the topic of border security, Barack Obama would have fired blanks. The barrel of Perry’s Kimber 1911 would still be smoking after contesting Obama’s March 2011 assertion, “the Texas border with Mexico is safer than ever.” Back then, Perry countered, saying Obama had “either the poorest intel of a president in the history of this country, or is an abject liar to the American people.”
Perry’s first-hand attestation to ten years of being ignored by the federal government in stemming the flow of illegals and battling back the drug cartels is indefensible. In a dual, Perry could duly pin the death of Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, a victim of the Fast and Furious debacle, on Obama and the mendacious Eric Holder’s tapered shoulders.
The payback among all gotcha moments might have seen Perry reminding Obama of the royal snub given him at Austin Airport in August 2010. Unlike Governor Jan Brewer’s tense exchange with Obama at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Wednesday, Perry’s fell flat.
There, on the tarmac, Perry waited to welcome Obama. In his hand was an envelope containing a personally written letter detailing in great specificity the border problem. In it Perry wrote, “American lives, jobs and safety depend on a more robust federal commitment to border safety and security and request for more federal assistance.”
Descending the steps from Air Force One, Obama curtly gestured to Perry that the envelope be given to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, trailing the rung behind him. Their cursory meet-and-greet handshake was brief, a few words exchanged, and within moments Obama was whisked into an awaiting limousine heading for a fundraiser.
Forsaking veracity, Obama’s arrogance carried into El Paso nine months later with a made-for-the-moment spoof of Republicans wanting a moat with an alligator to protect American citizens this side of the Rio Grande.
In skirting Perry in Austin, Obama exposed his vulnerability on an issue he could neither mess about nor come up with any real solutions for.
Beginning in Charleston, SC, Perry’s decision to run was an all too brief ascendency. His “oops” moments became too commonplace for a seasoned politician. Perry’s greatest gaffe came at the Orlando debate after defending his reasons for signing into law in-state tuition policy for illegal immigrant students. He was never able to recover the ardor of the Conservative base after that, being a hanger-on the last three months.
To Perry’s credit he never wavered on the border theme, saying there’d be sufficient boots on the ground, drones and aerial surveillance to prevent illegal entry.
That scenario will never play out with Barack Obama in the White House, nor has Obama received, and if so, read Perry’s letter.