So Long, Rick Perry

Rick Perry is out of the race.Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce today that he is no longer seeking the Republican nomination for President. Perry, who entered the race in mid-August and immediately shot to the top of the polls, came undone with error-prone debate performances.

Perry did all he could to appeal to the most rabid of right-wing voters, promising to shut down many departments of the federal government (when he could remember them), and even proposing to send troops back into Iraq.

Perhaps more than any other candidate, Perry inspired the Institute’s writers to take on the GOP race and handicap the potential disaster a new Texas Republican would have brought to the White House. Here’s a timeline of Perry’s quixotic candidacy, as documented by IPS commentators reacting to some of his many outrageous statements:

  • Before he was running to preside over the Union, Perry was proposing his state should abandon it. Donald Kaul wrote about Perry’s secessionist impulses on a July column, Loose American Screws.
  • Perry’s entire exploratory process seems to have consisted of a seven-hour prayer marathon in Houston dubbed “The Response,” held on August 6th. Jim Hightower wrote: “I’m fairly certain that God doesn’t want anything to do with this goober’s show”
  • Before he entered the race, Perry tried to pre-emptively undo any damage his friendliness to immigrants might have caused among conservative primary voters. Jose A. Reyes called Perry a lousy amigo for presiding over what his rivals called “easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation.”
  • Once he declared his candidacy, Perry tried to paint himself as a former Air Force pilot who had spent his life serving the American People. Hightower set this fact straight: Rick Perry had been on U.S. taxpayers’ dime for most of his life.
  • When the debates started, Rick Perry started to explode. He called Social Security a ponzi scheme, rallied against Palestinian statehood, and released a tax plan that basically consisted of taking from the poor to giving to the rich, making him the Reverse Robin Hood.

As for me, I’ll always treasure having the honor of playing Perry at the IPS holiday skit. I hope I did my best to honor the man with the swagger and bravado to finish fifth in the race to lose to Obama in 2012.