In a March 28 article, Politico published a report on the situation in Texas Governor Rick Perry’s inner circle, but instead of a concise report, this long and oddly repetitive piece was seemingly more interested in constantly reminding readers that the Governor didn’t fare too well in the 2012 presidential election.
The quixotic piece by Politico’s Alexander Burns is ostensibly about a lightly-manned Perry campaign staff. Many older Perry staffers, Burns reports, have now left the Governor’s employ, and there seems to be some confusion as to public knowledge of who is doing what inside Perry’s organization.
But Burns’ motivation for the long piece is questionable. For one thing, he notes several times that Perry is in a “different” phase of his work as Governor, in that being governor is his chief job at the moment. Therefore, future campaigns have taken a back seat to governing. This, of course, would be a good reason why Perry has thinned his campaign staff. He just doesn’t need an entire retinue of advisers and campaign staffers to do his job as Governor. In fact,this point seems to make much of Burns’ speculations rather moot, yet his reporting leads readers to imagine that Perry’s staffers are like rats leaving a sinking ship.
Another chief object of Burns’ piece seems to be to remind readers that Perry did poorly in the 2012 presidential cycle, as the Politico writer repeats this fact no less than five times in this one article.
In the first instance, Burns characterizes Perry’s 2012 campaign as a “calamitous and dissension-riddled 2012 presidential bid.” Then he notes that the “wounds of the 2012 cycle have not fully healed in Perry world.” He next claims that “other aides simply reacted to the crushing defeat” by leaving Perry’s orbit. Then Burns replays a quote from a staffer who says the campaign was “a spectacularly public disaster.” Finally, Burns quotes another staffer who said, “Keep in mind, the presidential [campaign] was incredibly–I think it would be an understatement to say ‘difficult’ situation.”
I think we got your point the first time, Mr. Burns.
Burns then says that, as some of the Governor’s long time aides have moved on, “it doesn’t seem that anyone else has stepped into the role of big-picture political architect.”
But again, if the Governor is focused on governing now and has not made any decisions on plans for future campaigns, why would he need all those advisers?
Even after Burns spends several pages listing all the Perry aides and advisers who have moved on, he then points out himself that they could all easily come back together once Perry makes a decision on what he wants to do in the future.
“For now, Perry has said only that he’ll decide in June whether to run for a fourth term,” Burns writes. “Should he choose to go in that direction, his allies expect he’ll pull his increasingly diffuse team of his political advisers much closer to the center of the action.”
That seems to go without saying, doesn’t it?
Unless the twin goals of this article were to paint a Perry campaign as floundering despite that he isn’t even in campaign mode, and to remind readers that he had a “calamitous” 2012 presidential bid, one struggles to discern what this article was supposed to be about.