Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rick Perry's Rebirth?

As my readers have noticed, I have yet to address Mr. Cain's recent "problems", largely because I don't feel I have anything to contribute to such a discussion and because I have been saying for some time that Herman Cain doesn't deserve to run for President, (for reasons that are so numerous that I could go on all day), and as such I see no need to waste my time on him. What I will address about Herman Cain is how his fall is benefiting the true contenders for the GOP nomination.

As such, I am now working on a two-part piece on the possible rise of two GOP contenders hoping to benefit from Cain's "problems": Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.

Since Rick Perry's not infamous blunder a few weeks ago at a GOP debate (in which he couldn't seem to remember the third of three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate as President), most politician commentators have officially written off Mr. Perry's chances of winning the GOP nomination. To a degree they are quite justified in this belief when one looks at any major presidential poll taken in the last few weeks in which Perry has been unable to achieve double-digit numbers. This has partially been because of the rise (and now slow fall) of Herman Cain.

Unlike Newt, Mr. Perry has yet to show any real gain from Cain's fall but that doesn't mean he will quit trying. Since his debate "oops", Perry has been doing everything to laugh off the moment and make the best of the situation (something I think was quite smart to do). And, starting today here in Iowa, Perry is hoping to relaunch his campaign with a bold new strategy.

His strategy? To propose major government reform on a scale not talked about for some time, even more rarely by a major candidate for the White House. What exactly does Rick Perry propose?

1. Judicial Terms- Rick Perry calls for the ending of life-appointments for federal court judges (though he makes no reference to the Supreme Court). This is likely meant to stir up social conservatives who often rant about so-called "activist" judges ruining our nation.
2. Taxes- Calls for a 2/3 majority threshold for raising taxes by Congress.
3. Congressional/Presidential Pay- First, he calls from Congress' and President's pay to be slashed in half.
4. Balanced Budget- Should the Congress be unable (or unwilling) to achieve a balanced budget, he calls for a further cutting of Congress/Presidential pay by half. Therefore, under his plan, it's possible Congressional and Presidential pay could be cut by 3/4. (1)

Now to be fair, Perry's proposals are definitely pretty bold and far greater than anything any other GOP contender has proposed. And for many who believe the federal government needs major reform (including myself), such a proposal sounds VERY interesting..However there is one huge problem: Congress. For ALL of these proposals the power lies not with the President but with Congress. Having a threshold for raising taxes is actually being seriously discussed in Washington as we speak so it's possible that provision could come true, but it would be the only one.

Cutting Congressional pay is something of a can of worms in Washington these days, very much in the same class as term limits for Congress in that they cause political realists and cynics (such as myself) to roll their eyes because believing Congress would actually give themselves a pay cut is about as likely as the CEO of Goldman Sachs cut his pay..It's not going to happen anytime soon. And there's nothing a president Rick Perry could do about it.

So the real question is, is Rick Perry serious with these proposals or is he just saying these things to try and win back the Tea Party's support that has recently shifted to Herman Cain? If the goal is to scoop up Herman Cain supporters, he already seems to have an uphill battle. Yesterday a poll released by the Public Policy Polling that showed only 32% of Herman Cain's supporters have a favorable opinion of Rick Perry.

Personally, it doesn't matter much to me since the reasons for his proposal are largely irrelevant since they will be DOA if they ever reach Congress. I do however believe that is a bold gamble for Perry. Should he succeed in passing the word about his proposals and convince enough folks that he honestly thinks he can achieve these reforms then it could be just the thing to buoy Perry back into the double-digits and make him a serious candidate again. However, should his proposal not be taken seriously and simply be laughed off as a poorly veiled attempt at pandering to the Tea Party, this will likely be Perry's final breath in this presidential marathon. And with less than 2 months til the Iowa Caucus, Perry's gamble maybe too little, too late...Time will tell.

1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/perry-government-overhaul-plan-would-end-lifetime-judicial-appointments-cut-congressional-pay/2011/11/15/gIQAnpYjON_story_1.html
2. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ppp-newt-leads-nationally_608071.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


The views expressed in the above work are purely those of the author and not those of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.

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