Can the fifth place candidate survive Iowa? Anything’s possible. Except that.
According to the latest poll from Five Thirty Eight, Rick Perry has fallen into dreaded Michele Bachmann territory. The Iowa primary projections give Perry a two percent chance of winning. At least that’s two percent more than Jon Huntsman but then he never campaigned there. Mitt Romney has moved into first place with 22 percent and is now expected to win. Ron Paul is a close second with Rick Santorum (yes, that Rick Santorum) taking the bronze from Newt Gingrich. Perry has 12 percent of the projected vote. But don’t cry for our governor just yet. He’s got at least one more useless ad up his sleeve, dipping into his $2.8 million ad buy—for December alone.
In his new ad entitled Fox, an announcer says, “The fox guarding the henhouse is like asking a congressman to fix Washington: Bad idea. Their years in Congress left us with debt, bailouts. Congressmen get paid $174,000 a year. We get the bill. We need a solution.” The ad cuts to Perry in the last debate saying, “That’s the reason I’ve called for a part-time Congress. Cut their pay in half, cut their time in Washington in half, cut their staff in half, send ‘em home. Let ‘em get a job like everybody else back home has.”
That’s rich coming from a guy who basically hasn’t held down a job since he was elected to the House of Representatives back in 1984 and has been governor since he inherited the office almost 12 years ago. In fact, Wikipedia lists his profession as “politician,” along with military officer and farmer, if you consider benefiting from federal agriculture subsidies “farming.” (No word on whether Eagle Scout counts.)
Assuming the Perry campaign’s advertising blitz isn’t achieving the expected results of pushing him into the top three, or even the top four, perhaps the candidate can still appeal to Christian conservatives.
The Transformation is Complete
That’s exactly what Perry was doing on Tuesday when he claimed that he had been “transformed” and no longer supports abortion even in cases of rape and incest. (In a rare display of humanity, he did make an exception for the life of the mother.) Perry said that after watching a movie about a woman conceived through rape and meeting her personally, he changed his views and signed the so-called Personhood USA pledge. Later that day Perry told supporters that “God was working in my heart.” Is there anything that God doesn’t do for Perry? There’s no question that Perry has always been pro-life, from parental consent measures to defunding Planned Parenthood to mandatory sonograms for any woman seeking an abortion. But according to PolitiFact this is a noticeable change from August when the Texas Tribune reported that he opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.
A Swift Kick in the Caucus
When asked whether he would consider dropping out of the race if he doesn’t perform well next Tuesday, Perry said that it’s “God’s will” what happens next. “There might be an outcome that He decides that I wouldn’t go on.” But he added that he’s “pretty sure” God will be caucusing, which would mark the first time that God has appeared in Iowa since Field of Dreams.
God willing Perry will decide to put us out of his misery and end his presidential run before New Hampshire. It’ll only get worse from here.