Booze or Back Meds? Explaining Perry's Odd Speech

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It's anybody's guess why Rick Perry delivered such a comically awkward speech in New Hampshire last weekend. Here's two guesses: Pain medication and booze.

The first guess came from GOP consultant Charlie Black, who was asked about the Internet sensation at the National Journal's 2012 Election Preview on Tuesday.

"It's odd," Black said of the speech. "I haven't asked anybody in Governor Perry's campaign about it. Look, he's got a back problem, maybe it was back medicine ... ."

Democratic consultant Steve McMahon, who joined Black on the panel, said "it appeared" that Perry may have been drinking. "Just odd," McMahon said, adding that he didn't know for certain whether Perry was drinking.

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Ron Fournier is editorial director of National Journal.

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