Thursday, December 01, 2011

BlogBlurb - Perry on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: "Genuine"

In case you didn't catch the memo, Jay Leno taped a spot with Rick Perry today, and Michael Reagan was there too, even tweeted the photo back stage.


Perry and Leno exchanged experiences with bumbling or forgetting a couple of words. The laughter and the swagger that characterizes Rick Perry, as Texans have always known him was on full display. It was another great night for the ever confident Governor before millions of people curious to see if they'd witness the next news cycle drive-by. What they got was a feast of good Conservative meat with a nice dose of Texan charm for dessert.

It was a great exhange showing Perry's ability to converse quickly, humbly and effectively getting his point across. In response to questioning Perry's forgetting one of the three agencies (among hundreds of wasteful, pitiful, kicked around examples) that Perry would like to trim from the Federal budget, Perry quipped, "every now and then, I call my dogs by the wrong name". Touche.

Perry is well known for his strength at what's known as "retail politics", accessing voters on a personal level, increasing his likeability and affability with potential voters. This was no less apparent in his frequent use of people's names in the studio, including Darin, Rickie Miner, and Melissa McCreedy, the fellow guest actress on the couch next to him. Kindly patting her on the knee and saying "stay with me, I'm gonna need ya" was also a subtle, but effective way of coming across confident, lighthearted and convincing at the same time.

During the
Thanksgiving Family Forum, hosted live and moderated by Frank Luntz with and earlier last month, Perry showed a very genuine side where he briefly acquainted the audience with his story of meeting his wife Anita when they were children, and off and on dating until he finally convinced her to marry him. As he found her in the audience and described his most thankful moment in life was "getting her", he appeared almost giddy with excitement.

This was again apparent tonight as he referenced them and said they were somewhere in the audience. Once the cameras found them, he said "there they are" and smiled proud. It draws a clear contrast between him and the Cain issues, and might help to reestablish some of the sanity in voters' relationship with the GOP's family values platform, both spoken and unspoken. The expectations that voters have held over the GOP have last through years of affairs, trials, expose's on the left, and even a few on the right side of the aisle. These standards of faith, family and marital love have bound the GOP and Conservatives together and would risk becoming a losing distration in a general election next year if it were not a motivating factor in one or both candidates facing off. Perry gets high marks in every category, effectively serving all Christians of various streams and doctrines who are looking for a geniune man of character. He shined like a diamond on a stage such as Leno's, usually host to much less reputable personalities.

When the issue came up of making Congress a part time legislature, he appealed very convincingly to the millions watching, "the Texas Legislature meets for 140 days every other year. We're a part time legislature; we pay our legislators $600 a month, then they're back home living under the laws that they passed. They're doctors and lawyers, retired teachers, you name it... They're a truly citizen legislature, and that's what our found fathers originally set up... a part time [Congress]. I'm going to campaign [for this], and let me tell you... it can't get no worse!"


Perry once again reaffirmed his belief that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme, and made his case in typical Rick Perry fashion that has made him such a formidable campaigner - He turned to Melissa McCreedy next to him, and said "It's not going to be there for you. What you're paying into Social Security today, Melissa, it's not going to be there... those who are on it today, and those approaching the age, its going to be there for you... till the day you die." He then looke across stage and referred to Darin off camera, and repeated his case that we "need to have this conversation with America" and let people decide on their path. Something of a philosophy Perry holds, highlighted recently in a piece by Paulette and Brendan Miniter, "Optional Government". People connect with this. They want choices, and control. I believe he has a winning issue here.

Through issues like his 20/20 Flat Tax proposal, and his ubiquitous postcard "that even Tim Geithner could get in on time", withdrawing from Iraq, bringing home thousands of troops all over the world, Perry humbly and smoothly made his way through the 20 minute interview with class, relaxation and a strong, convincing style many voters might have not seen so far this season.

I believe this is only one of many public spotlights that will show Gov. Perry for who he truly is, and between his ground game in Iowa and his strong Evangelical ties in S.C. and Florida, you can expect that this Governor will show you it's a fool who counts out a Texan before he fully gets on his horse. We're in for a good race ahead.

Here is the video of the


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