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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Is Media Coverage of Rick Perry Dumb?



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In today’s Morning Jolt, a lengthy examination of why the phenomenon of Obama’s teleprompters bugs conservatives so much, a trend of Democrats getting increasingly upset with Obama, and of course, the latest suggestion that a GOP standard-bearer who has accomplished more than most of us will ever do in life must be dumb:

Is Mainstream Media Analysis of Rick Perry Dumb?

Look, I have no idea whether Rick Perry is the kind of guy who would get confused if you invited him into the Oval Office and told him to sit in the corner. I do know that he’s been a C-130 pilot, has made a fortune in real estate, and has been elected governor of Texas three times. And unless your name is Rick Perry, you haven’t done that, or at least all of that. So if all of that stuff is so easy that a caveman could do it, why haven’t you done it?

Eh, never mind, here comes Politico with the predictable meme:

Another Texas governor who drops his “g’s” and scorns elites is running for president and the whispers are the same: lightweight, incurious, instinctual. Strip away the euphemisms and Rick Perry is confronting an unavoidable question: Is he dumb — or just “misunderestimated?” Doubts about Perry’s intellect have hounded him since he was first elected as a state legislator nearly three decades ago. In Austin, he’s been derided as a right-place, right-time pol who looks the part but isn’t so deep — “Gov. Goodhair.” Now, with the chatter picking back up among his enemies and taking flight in elite Republican circles, the rap threatens to follow him to the national stage. “He’s like Bush only without the brains,” cracked one former Republican governor who knows Perry, repeating a joke that has made the rounds.

The headline? “Is Rick Perry Dumb?”

“32 years ago, liberals asked the same question about Ronald Reagan,” cracks Don Surber.

The Lonely Conservative ties the Politico story to the phenomenon discussed in the last item: “Blah, blah, blah. Read what you want into it, at least Rick Perry has a pretty successful record to run on, unlike the current president whose superior intellect was, and is, taken as a given by an incurious press. We still haven’t seen his college transcripts. Do you think that if he earned stellar grades those records wouldn’t be on display for all to see?”

At Pajamas Media, Bryan Preston writes, “on the individual cases, Perry vs. Obama, there is a better case to be made that Obama has benefited from luck, from others’ guilt, from social promotion, and from his instinct to conceal what he really thinks, than Rick Perry has. Perry learned to fly military aircraft, has built an impressive undefeated election record in bona fide contests, and led Texas as that state leads the nation in just about every economic category. In a political blind taste test — cover their names and political affiliations — Perry is by far the more impressive of the two. The fact is, east coast elitists are prone to treating anyone not from the east coast or Chicago, or who speaks with a flyover country twang, as their inferiors. And a corollary fact is, East Coast elites tend to treat anyone with Harvard on their resume as automatically brilliant no matter how they actually got into Harvard (unless they’re a Republican, in which case the insults fly). Bush was dumb though he attended both Harvard and Yale and was a successful pro baseball team owner and governor; Obama is smart despite his record of failure in the presidency and his lack of real achievement prior to. Reagan was dumb because he went to Eureka College. Perry is dumb because he majored in animal science at Texas A&M.”


Tags: Barack Obama , Rick Perry


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