10. Actually, there were three reasons I messed up last night. One was the nerves, and two was the headache and three … um … uh … oops.
9. I don’t know what you’re talking about – I think things went well.
8. I was up late last night watching Dancing with the Stars.
7. I thought the debate was tonight.
6. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude!
5. Uh, El Niño?
4. I had a 5-hour Energy Drink six hours before the debate.
3. I really hoped it would get me on my favorite talk show, but instead, I ended up here.
2. I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.
1. I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.
Then again, maybe Perry really is the guy Matt Taibbi calls “The Best Little Whore In Texas“:
… [T]his is America, remember, where one should never underestimate shallow. And Rick Perry brings shallow to a new level. He is very gifted in that regard. He could be the Adolf Hitler of shallow.
Perry’s campaign is still struggling to recover from the kind of spectacular, submarine-at-crush-depth collapse seldom seen before in the history of presidential politics. The governor went from presumptive front-runner to stammering talk-show punch line seemingly in the speed of a single tweet, rightly blasted for being too incompetent even to hold his own in televised debates with a half-bright pizza salesman like Herman Cain and a goggle-eyed megachurch Joan of Arc like Michele Bachmann. But such superficial criticisms of his weirdly erratic campaign demeanor don’t even begin to get at the root of why we should all be terrified of Perry and what he represents. After all, you have to go pretty far to stand out as a whore and a sellout when you come from a state that has produced such luminaries in the history of political corruption as LBJ, Karl Rove and George W. Bush. But Rick Perry has managed to set a scary new low in the annals of opportunism, turning Texas into a swamp of political incest and backroom dealing on a scale not often seen this side of the Congo or Sierra Leone.
In an era when there’s exponentially more money in politics than we’ve ever seen before, Perry is the candidate who is exponentially more willing than we’ve ever seen before to whore himself out for that money. On the human level he is a nonpersonality, an almost perfect cipher – a man whose only discernible passion is his extreme willingness to be whatever someone will pay him to be, or vote for him to be. Even scarier, the religious community around which he has chosen to pull his human chameleon act features some of the most extreme end-is-nigh nutcases in America, the last people you want influencing the man with the nuclear football. Perry is a human price tag – Being There meets Left Behind. And sometimes there’s nothing more dangerous than nothing at all…
Of course one can never underestimate the insanity within the white-hot heart of the modern GOP, but tragically for all sane people and the American public, it’s becoming ever more certain that the Republican 2012 presidential nominee is going to be Willard Romney. And barring some kind of TeaParty-vangical crusade out of the Heartland(tm), Willard of the Uncanny Valley is going to be forced to choose his Number Two from one of the more “authentic” candidates now sharing the podia with him at any of the next 37 GOP debates.
Among the current top contenders, Newt Gingrich is not going to take the undercard to Mitt. If it were possible to imagine himself as another Darth Cheney, his swollen self-esteem might’ve overcome his shrivelled wallet. But all those lobbyist-historian speaking fees and wingnut-welfare book deals are going to outweigh sitting around Blair House sulking that today’s anti-LDS lynch mobs just don’t have the dedication of their 1840s forbears. Gingrich will implode, more or less spectacularly. If all the other potential VP candidates were to be killed by lightning strikes or runaway buses, I would expect Newton Leroy to show up on the news running naked down the main strip-club drag during the Tampa convention.
That means, as of this moment, the most probable GOP vice-presidential candidates are Herman “Beat Obama with a” Cain and… Rick Perry. There’s enormous humor potential, or at least schadenfreude, in watching Willard try to simulate a positive humanoid response to either of two men who’ve got to chafe his temple undergarments something fierce. And as a proud Democrat, I should be happy that President Obama will be facing no more challenging competition in his walk to re-election. But the world is watching this GOP FailParade, and I keep hearing my NYC-based, Irish-born granny muttering about a shonda fur die neighbors…