Rick Perry: Adios, My Oval Fling’s Over

Published 9:31 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rick Perry’s Adios wasn’t as melodic as Willie Nelson’s “Turn Out The Lights, the Party’s Over.” But it carried the same sentiment.

The former Texas governor used a speech Sept. 11 to the national convention of the ultra-conservative Eagle Forum in St. Louis to say he’s hanging up his presidential running shoes — but not singing the election blues. I’ll be okay, he said.

“When I gave my life to Christ, I said, ‘Your ways are greater than my ways. Your will superior to mine,'” Perry said.

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“Today I submit that His will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear,” Perry said.

“That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.”

God must’ve wanted him to run again for president. Maybe Perry seemed better prepared, more “Oops!”-proof than four years ago. However, with no incumbent president seeking re-election, he faced twice as many competitors.

But, God must’ve mysteriously changed His mind.

Because of an uphill second try at making a first impression? Indictment for a coercive veto threat as governor? Out of money?

No longer a powerful governor, Perry’s fundraising difficulties saw him lay off most staffers in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Polling at 1.8 percent, Perry again would be at the Kids Table rather than the Adult for the second debate.

Time to eject. Adios, MOFO (My Oval Fling’s Over).

Perry still said nice things about his competitors – as a group.

“We have a tremendous field – the best in a generation – so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too,” Perry said.

Well, not all of them. After his customary trashing of Obama, Perry said some GOP candidates could be just as bad.

“We have been led by a divider who has sliced and diced the electorate, pitting American against American for political purposes,” Perry charged. “We are a country more divided by race, income, religion and party than when he entered office.

“But let me issue a couple warnings,” Perry added.

“First, the answer to a president nominated for soaring rhetoric and no record is not to nominate a candidate whose rhetoric speaks louder than his record,” Perry cautioned.

“It is not to replicate the Democrat model of selecting a president, falling for the cult of personality over durable life qualities.”

Could he mean Donald Trump?

“My second warning is this: we cannot indulge nativist appeals that divide the nation further,” Perry said.

Sounds like Trump — who charged in announcing for office in June that Mexico is sending its worst across the border to the US, including murderers and rapists.

“The answer to our current divider-in-chief is not to elect a Republican divider-in-chief,” Perry said, without mentioning Insulter-In-Chief Trump by name.

Another caution: “Only in Washington do they define fighting as filibustering, leading as debating,” Perry charged. “Where I come from, talk is cheap. And leadership is not what you say, but what you do.”

Reckon he means fellow Texan Ted Cruz?

As a freshman senator, Cruz’s 21-hour Senate talkathon, trying to undo Obama’s Affordable Care Act, included reading from the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham.”

It shut down the federal government for 16 days, costing taxpayers $24 billion. But ObamaCare, as the Act is nicknamed, is thriving, having enrolled some 10 million people.

“Missouri is the ‘Show Me state’,” Perry said, “. . .”where we get beyond the rhetoric to the record to see who has been tested, who has led and who can be expected to stand in the face of fire.”

That sounds like Texas’ longest-serving governor’s vision of himself, as more important to the Texas economy than fracking. But, since he’s exiting, he must be talking about other candidates.

But not Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded,” Perry charged back in July.

Trump had counterattacked, saying Perry “put on glasses so people think he’s smart.” Trump tweeted that Perry “failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”

After Perry’s Adios, Trump – a man of his most recent word — called Perry “a terrific guy. I wish him well. I think he’s going to have a great future.”

Didn’t last. Next day, after he heard details of Perry’s farewell speech, Trump told an Iowa crowd that “Mr. Perry, he’s gone. Good luck. He was very nasty to me.”

Obviously, Perry’s second time wasn’t a charm. There probably won’t be a third.

Contact McNeely at davemcneely111@gmail.com or 512/458-2963.