Another night, another network, another mediocre and unimpressive debate performance from Rick Perry.
ORLANDO – The first line of Rick Perry’s campaign obituary may have been drafted Thursday night: He got in too late.
It’s not quite time for his camp to panic but in his third debate in a month – nearly as many as he’s done in the entire decade he’s served as Texas governor – Perry demonstrated why so few presidential candidates who parachute into the race mid-campaign win the nomination.
Perry gave a foreign policy answer that offered no indication he’s thought about how to respond to threats against America, twice bobbled attacks on Mitt Romney’s well-documented departures from conservative orthodoxy, called immigration hard-liners heartless and, in what was otherwise his best answer of the evening, stretched the truth in the course of delivering a well-rehearsed line about why he mandated pre-teen girls to be vaccinated against HPV.
Then again, considering Perry's propensity to joke about his lack of smarts, should anyone be surprised that Perry is incapable of hanging with guys like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich?
In some ways Perry is the perfect candidate for the know-nothing component of the political right - a guy of average to below-average intelligence who thinks it's funny he was a bad student and in most instances prefers blind faith to reason.
America, however, deserves better.