Rick Perry was clearly feeling good last Friday when he laughed and joked to the crowd at the Cornerstone Action annual dinner in New Hampshire — but it wasn’t because he was drunk or drugged up. He was just feeling good. He’s already said it once. Does he have to keep repeating it?

Apparently, he does. The amusing clip of Perry’s lively performance circulated widely online and sparked friendly taunts and teases from Jon Stewart, among others. Perry’s first defense of himself didn’t undo the damage.

So now, New Hampshire Republican officials want outside observers to sober up and stop giggling. All the attention to Perry’s slurs and smiles has become a distraction from serious issues on the trail in the Granite State, they say. So, they plan to speak at a press conference today to defend the Texas governor.

In the meantime, their defense should be bolstered by the candidate’s repeat testimony to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Perry shrugged off the criticism and appeared flummoxed by the attention to the address.

“I’ve probably given 1,000 speeches. There are some that have been probably boring, some that have been animated, some that have been in between,” he said. …

Responding to the suggestions by some political observers that the animated Perry may have been on pain medication for his past back surgery, the governor said: “No. I was just giving a speech.” …

Asked about “The Daily Show” comedian Jon Stewart’s suggestion that Perry looked like he had been drinking, the governor said, “It wasn’t that either.”

“It’s not that I wouldn’t love to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine,” he said with a laugh, adding “if he’ll buy.”

A couple thoughts: (1) I love it that Perry’s drink of choice apparently would have been a glass of wine. I’d have pegged him for a Wild Turkey kind of guy. (2) Maybe it’s hard to believe Perry would appear this alive in a speech because he appears so asleep in debates. Kind of a relief to know he’s able to be relaxed and comfortable (if you can call it that) in a public setting.

Now, seriously, let’s seriously move on to serious issues …