Perry as Trump

by Rich Lowry

I happened to be watching Hardball yesterday, and heard something that seemed to make some sense. Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News compared Perry’s combativeness to that of Donald Trump during his flirtation with running. Indeed, Perry’s “almost treasonous” comment about Bernanke makes perfect sense as an exercise in the Trump formula. First, say something truly outrageous; second, wait for the condemnation of the entire political and media world — very much including the White House — to come down on your head, drawing intense attention to yourself; three, don’t apologize or back down, so you appear as the embattled, brave truth-teller standing up to all the established powers that be; four, repeat as necessary. It worked for Trump during his brief time as a proto-candidate; obviously Perry is a much more serious figure who has to care about his standing potentially going into a general election, but in early-primary politics following the Trump formula probably helps Perry more than it hurts. (Unless worries about his strength as a general-election candidate draw someone else into the race).

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