Perry is in, Pawlenty is out, Bachmann wins the Iowa Straw Poll and Palin continues her life as a grifter.
Pawlenty – as much as he tried to push his conservatism to the far right, he simply wasn’t crazy enough for a base that generally prefers their leaders with a few less moving parts in the cranium. Throw in Pawlenty’s lack of charisma and the man never stood a chance.
Bachmann – the perfect mix of insanity, persona and Jesus to keep most teabaggers happy. But while the woman who was hoping for a U.S. default on the debt might have the recipe to keep wingnuts clapping their hands in joy, those very same traits would make her a major underdog in a national election. Enjoy her while you can.
Perry – the gun-slinging, Bush wannabe, has just made Romney’s pursuit to the top a little more stressful. Similar to Bachmann, he has the persona/Jesus ratio just about right but comes a bit short on the crazy scale, but not by much. His strength lies in his ability to appeal to all factions of a Republican party – from Religious Right zealots to establishment type Reaganites. It’s a potent mix in a Republican primary but less so when trying to appeal to independents still shaken from eight hellish years of Bush.
Perry, by the way, also has an affinity for having people executed, guilty or not.
In the Hank Skinner case, Perry has actively fought DNA testing that could confirm the innocence (or guilt) of another Texas man on death row. Skinner was at one point hours from execution before the Supreme Court intervened (the intervening justice was Antonin Scalia, believe it or not). In Skinner’s case, the prosecution actually began to conduct DNA testing on crime scene evidence, then stopped when the first tests confirmed Skinner’s version of events. Perry again justified willful ignorance in this case by simply noting that he’s personally convinced of Skinner’s guilt.
Watch him move ahead of Romney real quick. The primary just got a little more interesting.