Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Gadfly: Not Ready For Prime Time

The Gadfly:
Not Ready
For Prime Time
By Mike McCarville

Rick Perry proved one thing in Tuesday night's debate among the Republican candidates for president: He's not ready for prime time.

Perry pounced on front-runner Mitt Romney, alleging Romney had hired illegal workers at his home, thus any discussion of immigration by him was the "height of hypocrisy."

Romney responded, explaining he once had hired a lawn care firm that, he later discovered, had illegals among its workers. [As anyone who has hired a lawn care firm, roofer, plumber, electrician, concrete worker or trash hauler knows, the likelihood there's an illegal in there somewhere is strong, but to allege we're "hiring" illegals is illogical. What would Perry have Romney, and us, do? Check the citizenship papers of every employee of every company with which we do business?]

Despite Romney's logical and believable explanation, Perry continued to make the allegation, his petulance becoming obvious and he appeared almost desperate to make the allegation stick. He was unable to do so.

The two talked over one another, and at one point, Romney placed his hand on Perry's shoulder: "It's been a tough couple of debates for Rick. And I understand that so you're going to get testy," he said.

Romney tired to continue speaking, but Perry stopped him, and Romney then said, "You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking, and I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you've got to let both people speak," Romney said.

Perry's attack on Romney allowed Romney to score, and he clearly outscored Perry and got his goat in the process.

In contrast to Perry, hard-charger Herman Cain appeared totally in control, logical and likable. He may not go the distance, but Cain clearly has proven himself a national figure with a future.

Six weeks ago on a television show, I said Perry would do very well in Oklahoma and he may still do so. However, I sense his star has fallen mightily, and his performance last night surely won't do anything to arrest his fall.


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