Three days out of the gate, and Texas Governor Rick Perry has already had his first gaffe in the Republican presidential primary. Speaking before a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Monday, Perry called loose monetary policy and act of treason, and made not-so-subtle threats about the physical safety of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, should he happen to find himself in Texas.
In their despair over the debt-ceiling deal, liberals have admonished President Obama for his failure to use the “bully pulpit” and take his case to the public. Political psychologist Drew Westen offered a lengthy version of this argument in last week’s New York Times, lamenting Obama’s failure to capture the public’s imagination and act as a national advocate for liberalism.
At Politico, Glenn Thrush explores President Obama’s vision problem, or his alleged inability to articulate a unified message for the country. Taking a page from discontented liberals, Thrush compares Obama unfavorably with Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy:
Obama has groped for a larger message to match the iconic “hope and change” rallying cry of the campaign, and began his term with the promise of a “New Foundation” meant to echo the optimism of FDR and JFK. […]
If this were a normal political environment, it would be safe to assume a GOP House majority through the 2012 cycle. After all, at 240 seats, it would take another wave election – the third in as many cycles – for Republicans to lose control of the House. But the politics of this moment are highly unusual: Te economy is teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession and the new GOP majority has eschewed moderation altogether, opting instead for brinksmanship on the nation’s finances, and a hard-right agenda of deep spending cuts and attacks on reproductive health care for women.
Of the things worth noting about the first major Republican presidential debate in June, the absence of Texas Governor Rick Perry from the stage ranks high up there. With Perry set to announce his presidential bid on Saturday in South Carolina, his absence again upstaged the other GOP presidential contenders at last night's debate in Ames, Iowa.