Roger L. Simon, author, editor, director and pundit, has an apology for his readers. (Full disclosure… Roger pays me from time to time on a freelance basis.) He would like everyone to know that he may have made an unforced error with his early jump onto the Rick Perry juggernaut.
I fell for Rick Perry, a man less qualified, it turns out, to be president than my dead grandmother. Yes, I had gone shooting with him in Austin and then to the NASCAR races and thought he was a swell guy.
But that has as much to do with being president, or even running for president, as flipping burgers at McDonald’s has to do with designing an iPad.
Although he had my early backing (I even tried to help with a teensy bit of speechwriting – something I never should have done given my occupation), Perry was a lousy candidate. Even beyond being a now famously inarticulate debater, on the stump he had almost nothing significant to say other than that he created jobs in his state, which he repeated ad infinitum, ad nausea as if some “political pro” (there’s an occupation for you) was perpetually whispering in his ear to stay on message. Oh, how he stayed. His campaign went nowhere.
He’s also unhappy with the recent “vulture capitalism” comments, as he explains further on. So where did Roger go after his faith in the Texas governor was shaken? Following a brief flirtation with Herman Cain, he decided that Newt Gingrich’s debating skills, lengthy experience on the national stage and ability to take it to the biased media were all attractive. But that has faded as well.
He was so good for a while that I was able to overlook that he never said the same thing twice, even more that he had worked as an “historian” (his word, not mine) for Fannie and Freddie, the very institutions that destroyed the world economy. And this was the guy we wanted to turn things around for us?
Still, I hoped there would be a new Newt and indeed it looked as if there might be until Romney’s Super PAC started to say some nasty things. Then the old Newt returned – in spades. An angry warthog emerged, snorting across the public stage, unable to control his emotions. Who would want such a person in the White House?
So where does that leave Roger now… on the Mitt Romney bandwagon? He never comes out and says it directly, but admits to being a lifelong band-wagoner. (Mostly in terms of the New York Yankees and the LA Lakers.) None of this seems to make Romney truly attractive to him. But as he described it, he’s backed off to the last stand line of saying that electability is all he has left to hope for, and that seems to be Mitt.
I don’t know if it’s reached that point yet myself, but we are seeing more and more people taking that path as the weeks go by. Personally, I’d rather most of them wait until after Florida – or at least South Carolina – before running up the white flag. But to each their own. Simon has been playing this game for a while now, so take his ship abandonment as you wish.