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article imageOp-Ed: Rick Perry ad seeks 'second chance' at first impression in Iowa

By Lynn Herrmann     Dec 9, 2011 in Politics
Washington - Despite plummeting poll numbers and a corresponding insignificance with Google Insights, Texas Governor Rick Perry has outspent the rest of GOP presidential contenders in Iowa with television ads targeting the state’s pro-life, conservative base.
Five seconds into a new television ad called “Strong” which began airing Wednesday in Iowa, Perry takes on the issue of religion and sexual preference, stating, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas.”
Keep those toys in the closet, kiddos.
The ad caused an immediate uproar, with some noting, rightfully, Perry is floundering. The TV spot is “the definition of intolerance,” said Troy Price, executive director of One Iowa, a gay-rights group, the Dallas News reports. “To me, this smacks of a desperate campaign.”
Perry, currently sitting in the bottom tier of Republican wannabees, might not be just yet in desperation mode but he's close and his desire to answer the calling has forced him to spend liberal amounts of money in Iowa in efforts at a resurgence. “Iowa is very important to him,” said Dennis Goldford, politics professor at Drake University, the San Antonio Express News reports. “It’s hard to see how he continues very long if he doesn’t do well in Iowa.”
Reports suggest he will continue spending liberally in Iowa, to the tune of another $1 million worth of saturation. Pity the folks in Iowa who must listen to Perry’s drivel until January 3, caucus date. Oh, the advertising arena just loves a loser.
Except for this. While certainly being lost, Perry’s not yet lost the chance to become the GOP presidential nominee. “There are millions of reasons why he can come back,” said Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent Iowa social conservative and former gubernatorial candidate, Hearst reports. “He’s got the resources to come back. I think he really has a shot at coming back.”
See, there it is. The subliminal messaging. Except, it’s not.
Here’s another message, this one from Perry’s sidekick, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who notes the Perry campaign has lowered its bar of expectations, considerably, stating the governor needs traction in Iowa. “I think if Perry can finish in fourth place or better in Iowa, he will continue to be a very strong and viable candidate,” Abbott said, MySA reports.
It’s a sad reflection on American politics when a fourth place finish is considered strong and viable. But then, we’re talking Rick Perry here.
Reflective of his grating political style - or maybe it’s just his nature, as some in Texas have known for years - Perry’s poll numbers began nosediving shortly after it became obvious to the rest of the nation he isn’t quite right, or ready, for prime time.
It’s probably a better idea to just stay at home and continue polluting Texas skies and water. There’s also the small matter of budget cuts to the state’s public education system, as well as his bombastic declaration on Texas jobs, another issue finally getting the deserved light of day treatment.
Texas governor Rick Perry.
Texas governor Rick Perry.
“As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion,” Perry continues in the ad. And there that is. Who says religion and politics should be separate? The target on that comment would be none other than Iowa’s powerful Religious Right, a group which in 2008 accounted for a solid 60 percent of the GOP caucus electorate. Frightening.
Goldford added Perry’s recent advertising efforts have “dropped the Texas swagger” and is now focused on presenting himself as a “very personable” candidate. “He is essentially looking for a second chance to make a first impression,” he added.
It brings to mind the bumper sticker, “If the fetus you save is gay, will you still fight for its rights?”
One can only hope the wind continues blowing on his house of cards, exposing the foundation of deceit he is built upon.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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