The latest mainstream media narrative designed to push a Republican candidate out of the presidential race is the idea
that Texas governor Rick Perry was somehow drunk or incoherent when he gave a stirring speech in New Hampshire a week ago.
Unfortunately, some of Mitt Romney's supporters have piled on, such as Michigan's Republican National Committee representative, Saul Anuzis, who told Politico
that Perry was "unpresidential" and could seem "incoherent."
After watching highlights of the speech, I was puzzled. The only thing that stands out about it is how good it is.
Perry seemed more relaxed than we have seen him in any of the presidential debates. He had wit and rhetorical flair. He related well to his audience--uncharacteristically well
As a former professional speechwriter, I was impressed. He was exciting to watch. "Where has that Rick Perry been?" I wondered.
Democrats are seizing the opportunity to call the speech Rick Perry's "Howard Dean" moment
Let's examine that claim for a moment by recalling just how awful the "Dean scream" really was (you may wish to turn down the sound on your computer):
When people saw the "real" Howard Dean, voters' worst fears about his judgment and temperament seemed to have been confirmed.
By contrast, the "real" Rick Perry that emerged in the New Hampshire speech is a better, sharper, and more likable candidate than the one he has been thus far.
Perhaps Perry's weak polling numbers have encouraged him to take risks, to be himself instead of a carefully cultivated campaign persona.
If so, that's good; we need to know more about who the leading GOP contenders really are.
My advice: if Rick Perry was tipsy in New Hampshire, he should drink more often.