Rick Perry Has a Lot of Money for a Fading Candidate

More

After awful debate performances, politicos say his run is through. But he's got more than $17 million in the bank. What will he do with it?

rick perry full.jpg

Tuesday night's GOP debate crystallized the position in which Republican voters find themselves: the man they're reluctant to nominate, Mitt Romney, was the most effective communicator by a significant margin, showed easy command of the issues, and made no significant errors. Gov. Rick Perry, who many Tea Partiers prefer, wasn't just a less polished performer -- he repeatedly fumbled over his words, gave only forgettable answers, and appeared to be sapped of energy, as if he'd taken medication just before air time that made him drowsy.

Herman Cain, a charismatic man who rarely gets rattled, isn't ultimately an acceptable nominee: he fails to realize that Americans would elect a president without prior experience in government only if he worked extra hard to demonstrate the knowledge it takes to govern. And as much as it upsets his supporters, Ron Paul's foreign policy views make his winning almost impossible in today's GOP.

I'm no more enthusiastic about Romney than anyone else. Personally, I'd prefer Gary Johnson. My gut feeling is that Jon Huntsman would make a better president too. But the Tea Party did more to elevate Michele Bachmann than the libertarian candidates, and big GOP donors divided their loyalties among Romney and Perry. Said Cameron Joseph before the debate, sizing up its import to Perry, "If he can't do better than he has in previous events, the hefty $17 million he raised last quarter won't be able to save the Texas governor's campaign." He didn't do better.

If the conventional wisdom is correct, and Perry continues to fade, as he certainly deserves based on debate performances, the most significant question is, "What will he do with that $17 million?"

Spend it savaging Romney?

Image credit: Reuters

Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In