It was one year and 10 days ago that Governor Rick Perry took the stage in a CNBC primary debate and promised to "do away with the Education, the, uh, Commerce, and, let's see. I can't. The third one I can't. Sorry. Oops." It made us embarrassed to be from Texas, but it was also the moment we knew we would be spared a Perry presidency.
It stands, according to the Washington Post, "among the most awkward moments in the history of politics" and is a crystallization of Perry's utter failure as a presidential candidate.
Remember back to the late summer of 2011. Perry entered the race with what looked like a straight path to frontrunner status. He was a conservative's conservative with a proven record of doing what he said in Texas. He was a fundraising powerhouse. He had a charisma that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney lacked. It was all there for the taking.
Until, it became clear that the idea of Rick Perry running for president was very different than the reality of Rick Perry running for president. While Perry began strong with a much-touted appearance in Waterloo, Iowa, that single event wound up being the best moment of a campaign whose trajectory was almost entirely downward.
There were a lot of strong candidates for the Post's Fixy award for worst candidate of the year, but Perry's rapid plunge from frontrunner to laughingstock makes him the "clear choice for worst candidate of 2012."
That puts Perry below a lot of terrible candidates, but it also puts him underneath Todd Akin, whose peculiar views on female biology torpedoed Republican chances of taking a Missouri Senate seat. And underneath Akin is not somewhere you want to be.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.