Today, Newt Gingrich refused to sidestep an opportunity to poke fun at Rick Perry for his now-famous debate bumble. The Hill reports:
When Gingrich was asked about government reform at a campaign stop in Detroit, he took the opportunity to take a shot at the Texas governor.
“I have several departments in mind,” he said to laughter, according to Slate. “I’ve forgotten some of them… I think the place to start is the Department of Energy.”
Earlier in the question-and-answer session, a woman forgot the third part of a three part question. Although Gingrich did not prompt the response, the room burst into laughter.
It’s understandable, really. Perry’s blooper is irresistible fodder for jokes — so much so that Laura Ingraham adamantly advised Perry himself to volunteer to appear on Saturday Night Live to poke fun at himself.
But it’s also a little disappointing just because it illustrates even Gingrich isn’t immune to a certain amount of cockiness. Perry was probably the most notoriously over-confident of all, but all the candidates are like this: Let a candidate do well — or even just a little better than he was doing before — and soon he thinks more highly of himself and more lowly of his competitors than his situation warrants.
Perhaps Perry will be most helped by this mistake, after all — not in this race, but in the future. It will surely help to humble him — and, if anyone is more attractive as a leader than someone who is successful and arrogant, it’s someone who is successful and humble.