Posts Tagged ‘Rick Perry;’

DEBATT | Inför deras första debatt har Barack Obama och Mitt Romney gått inför att skapa låga förväntningar kring deras egen debattskicklighet.

Strategin går naturligtvis ut på att överraska väljarnas med att de gjorde bättre ifrån sig än väntat när det väl är över.

“Governor Romney he’s a good debater, I’m just okey”, poängterade t.ex. Obama under ett kampanjevent i Las Vegas under förra söndagen.

Och Romney spelade samma spel i en intervju med Fox News i vecka som gick.

”I don’t know how to raise or lower expectations,” sade Romney. ”The president is a very eloquent, gifted speaker. He’ll do just fine. I’ve never been in a presidential debate like this and it will be a new experience.”

James Fallows, nationell korrespondent på tidskriften The Atlantic, har tittat närmare på debatternas betydelse för utgången av ett presidentval och de två kombattanternas olika styrkor och svagheter.

Mitt Romney is far less effective as a big-speech orator than Barack Obama, and in many other aspects of campaigning he displays what appear to be laboriously studied moves rather than anything that comes naturally. But debates are and have been his strength. He grew up enjoying “big, boisterous arguments about everything around the dinner table,” according to his campaign strategist and main debate-prep specialist, Stuart Stevens. “He loves the dialectic of arguing the different sides, and he’s most uncomfortable when no one is disagreeing with him.” He will enter this fall’s encounters with very recent, successful experience in a very wide range of formats and challenges.

In none of the Republican-primary debates was Romney judged the big loser; in many he was the clear winner, and as the campaign wore on, the dominant image from the debates was of a confident Romney, standing with a slight smile on his face and his hands resting easily in his pockets, looking on with calm amusement as the lesser figures squabbled among themselves and sometimes lashed out at him.

Civics teachers won’t want to hear this, but the easiest way to judge “victory” in many debates is to watch with the sound turned off, so you can assess the candidates’ ease, tenseness, humor, and other traits signaled by their body language. By this standard, Ron Paul, with his chronically ill-fitting suits, often looked cranky; Rick Santorum often looked angry; Rick Perry initially looked pole­axed and confused; Jon Huntsman looked nervous; Newt Ging­rich looked overexcited—and so on through the list until we reach Mitt Romney, who almost always looked at ease. (As did Herman Cain, illustrating that body language is not everything.) Romney looked like the grown-up—the winner, the obvious candidate—with or without sound. “He is as good as it gets in debating,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who was the first major contender to drop out of the Republican race, told me. “He is poised, prepared, smart, strategic—tactical, too.”


Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise.

When the subject is one he’s prepared for, he rarely falters. When it’s not, or when an exchange goes on longer or in a different direction than expected, many of his ad-libbed responses turn out to be mistakes (“I’ll bet you $10,000!”). Thus the Romney team has the impossible challenge of trying to imagine every question or attack line that might come up in debates with Obama, while the Obama team tries to imagine what Romney’s might have missed. This kind of chess game is always part of debate preparation, but it is unusually important this year, because the gap between Romney at his best and at his worst is so wide.


“The history is that challengers tend to profit, particularly in the first debate,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, told me in June. “Just the act of being on the stage with a president is an elevating thing.” This sounds like a small matter, but through the years, analysis of debate reactions has shown that the public takes a candidate more seriously after seeing him, for the first time, on equal footing with an incumbent president.


In this year’s debates, Barack Obama’s most inspiring and powerful message as a candidate will no longer be available to him. Four years ago, “Change we can believe in” suggested that things could be different and much better with him in charge. Now even his most fervent backers doubt how much better things are likely to get in a second Obama term. His critics put the same point more harshly. “This time, the president won’t have the luxury of making stuff up and speaking aspirationally,” Tim Pawlenty told me on a campaign swing through Pennsylvania with Romney in June. “He actually has to defend his record and attach facts to it.”

One more factor is working against Obama in the debates. When the economy is bad and an incumbent is beset, the challenger’s task is simplified. He doesn’t need to belabor the case against the incumbent. Reality has already done that; everyone knows what’s wrong with the president they have now. All the challenger has to do is say: “Look me over. I’ll be okay in this job. You can feel comfortable with me.” This is what Ronald Reagan did in 1980, and Bill Clinton in 1992. Meanwhile, the incumbent has to work twice as hard, in order to make two arguments at once. He must prove something about himself: that, while battered, he’s still energetic, visionary, and up to the job. He must also prove something about his opponent: that he is bad for the country, unready, and overall worse.

And he must do all this without seeming defensive or tense; while appearing easily in command to those who see images without hearing words; and, in Obama’s uniquely straitjacketed case, while avoiding the slightest hint of being an “angry black man.”


If economic trends are bad enough—or, improbably, good enough—to turn the election into a runaway, we might look back and say that the debates didn’t matter. But in what gives every sign of being a close, bitter, expensive, and mostly negative contest, the way these men interact onstage could make a major difference.

Övrigt: Se även Fallows video “Romney the Debater: His Strengths and Weaknesses”. Inför valet 2008 gjorde Fallows en liknande analys som ovan i essayen ”Rhetorical Questions”. (Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är The Atlantic, september 2012.)

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UTMÄRKELSER | Det har bara gått utför sedan Rick Perry fick hjärnsläpp och inte ens kunde komma ihåg sina egna valfrågor under en tv-debatt.

Så sent som i augusti skrev Texas Monthly att media på egen risk underskattar Perrys chanser i republikanernas presidentvalskampanj.

Och nu i januari delar man ut tidskriftens ”2012 Bum Steer Awards” till guvernören. ”Fact is, we can’t remember the last time anybody raced from hero to punch line at such high speeds.”

Jake Silverstein skriver:

No one wants to give the governor a Bum Steer. No one wants to poke fun at the elected representative of 25 million Texans. In fact, when Rick Perry launched his presidential campaign four and a half months ago, we felt compelled to defend him (a little) from the slings and arrows of a national press corps incapable of seeing a boot-wearing Texas governor as anything other than George W. Bush II. We’d had our differences with Perry, about whom senior executive editor Paul Burka wrote, back in May: “He excels at consolidating and maintaining power but not at using it to move Texas forward.” But now that the Texas-mocking Yankee press was approaching, what Texan did not want to circle the wagons?

Gör han inte bättre ifrån sig i South Carolina är det inte otänkbart Perry drar sig ur valkampanjen.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget är januarinumret av Texas Monthly.

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UTHÅLLIGHET | Den 9 juni lämnade de professionella politiska strategerna Newt Gingrichs kampanj. Idag är han republikanernas toppkandidat.

Peter J. Boyer skriver i Newsweek:

This time, Gingrich says, he is proceeding with greater caution, requiring each major hire to undergo a training session to facilitate acculturation in the Gingrich way. “I realized that if you don’t methodically go through acculturation, this is not going to work,” he says, during meetings with Newsweek in South Carolina and his subdued Washington, D.C., offices. “Because this is too different—it’s too intellectual, it’s too fast, it’s too delegated.” Gingrich knows he has much to overcome, including a significant organizational and funding disadvantage, and the challenge of withstanding the assaults to come (including a confrontation with his own long and sometimes erratic record), while keeping his own impulses in check. Which puts Gingrich in mind of one last trait shared with Clinton. “People forget,” he says, “that we are both very tough.”


Four days after his staff walked out last June, Gingrich took to the stage at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire for the first major Republican debate. Some suggested that Gingrich’s only chance of survival was to hit a home run. He disagreed. “You can’t do that, because you will look like you’re trying to hit a home run,” he argued. “What you have to do is go in and look very stable, so you look competent. And you have to be very patient.”

Gingrich’s debate strategy became, of necessity, his campaign strategy. He would not attack his fellow Republican candidates, directing his criticism instead at President Obama and the press. It proved a remarkably effective political gambit. The debate crowds were far more raucously partisan than in the past, a fact that Gingrich immediately sensed, and exploited. “You’ve got these media guys, and behind them are 2,000 right–wingers who are waiting to beat them up.”


Two months and four debates later, Gingrich’s poll numbers had doubled. The other candidates, meanwhile, were busy harming themselves. Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann went at each other in what Gingrich calls “a destructive exchange,” followed in subsequent debates by Rick Perry and Mitt Romney “acting like seventh graders.”


But the conservative base is plainly thrilled by Gingrich’s forceful oratory. In Gingrich, conservative voters see a guy who’s as alarmed as they are about the state of the nation (alarm is Gingrich’s natural state), and who has already delivered a historic victory—one that produced a balanced budget and reformed welfare. His command on the debate stage has had a dwarfing effect on the other contenders.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget (19 december 2011) är från den amerikanska utgåvan.

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EFTER sitt pinsamma ”oops”-ögonblick under presidentvalsdebatten i Michigan framträdde Rick Perry i media från morgon till kväll för att stävja kritiken.

Bland annat ställde han upp i David Lettermans talkshow och gjorde segmentet ”Top 10 list”. Att visa att man har humor och distans till sig själv kan vara ett bra sätt att hantera svåra situationer.

Herman Cain visade nyligen att underhållningsprogram är ett bra sätt att nå ut med sitt budskap om man vill tala direkt till allmänheten. Har man problem behöver man inte alltid gå via seriösa intervjuer i morgontidningar och nyhetsprogram.

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KOMMER Barack Obama att bli återvald 2012? Nate Silver har analyserat tre faktorer som traditionellt används för att försöka förutspå ett presidentval.

Utifrån dessa faktorer – presidentens förtroendesiffror, ekonomins utveckling och de republikanska presidentkandidaternas ideologiska profil – har Silver skapat fyra sannolika valscenarier där Mitt Romney alternativt Rick Perry är Obamas utmanare.

Obama has gone from a modest favorite to win re-election to, probably, a slight underdog. Let’s not oversell this. A couple of months of solid jobs reports, or the selection of a poor Republican opponent, would suffice to make him the favorite again.

Nevertheless, this is an unusual circumstance. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes all looked like the favorite to win a year in advance of their re-election battles, either having strong approval ratings or good-enough ones accompanied by robust economic numbers. When we look at the last eight elected presidents, only Carter faced a situation worse than Obama’s: approval ratings in the low 30s rather than low 40s, the likelihood rather than the mere possibility of a recession, a primary challenge rather than a clear path to renomination and a crisis in Iran rather than a string of foreign-policy victories.


Average these four scenarios together and the probabilities come out to almost exactly 50-50. A month or two ago, when Perry and Romney appeared about equally likely to be the Republican nominee, it would therefore have been proper to think of the election as a toss-up.

With Perry having slumped in the polls, however, and Romney the more likely nominee, the odds tilt slightly toward Obama joining the list of one-termers. It is early, and almost no matter what, the election will be a losable one for Republicans. But Obama’s position is tenuous enough that it might not be a winnable one for him.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget är The New York Times Magazine en 6 november 2011. FiveThirtyEight är Nate Silvers blogg på The New York Times.

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HERMAN CAIN har hamnat i en sexskandal. Nu anklagar han en medarbetare i Rick Perrys kampanj för att ha läckt historien till media.

När Cain på 1990-talet ledde lobbyorganisationen National Restaurant Association anklagade åtminstone två kvinnor honom för sexuella närmanden.

Jonathan Martin m.fl. på Politico skrev:

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

Curt Anderson, politisk rådgivare till Perry, jobbade för Cain under hans misslyckade senatskampanj 2004. Anderson har svarat på anklagelserna som riktats mot honom:

I’ve known Herman Cain for about 7 years. I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. I’d never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman. I have great respect for Herman and his character and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record. That’s true today and it’s not going to change.

Chris Wilson är en politisk rådgivare som idag utför opinionsundersökningar för en s.k. Super PAC (Political Action Committee) som stödjer Perry.

Han har redogjort i en radiointervju för en händelse som han själv upplevde under Cains tid i National Restaurant Association.

”This occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City (Virginia), and everybody was aware of it,” Wilson said on the station. ”It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left — everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up.”


Wilson declined to say specifically what Cain said or did to the woman, but that the CEO’s actions made other individuals at the table uneasy.

”It was very uncomfortable,” said the pollster, recalling that other individuals present asked Cain to stop.

Wilson said there were at least three other people at the gathering but wouldn’t share the name of the woman for publication.

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RICK PERRYS verbala förmåga har inte imponerat i tv-debatterna. Vad göra? Jo, meddela att han själv agerar medan andra bara pratar.

If you’re looking for a slick politician or a guy with great Teleprompter skills, we already have that and he’s destroying our economy. I’m a doer, not a talker. In Texas, we created 40 percent of the new jobs in the entire country since June of 2009. We cut a record $15 billion from our state budget.

The Economist har en rolig kommentar till att Perry tar så lätt på sin egen oförmåga att kommunicera sin politik.

Not to be overly pedantic, but talking is a kind of doing. Indeed, talking is primarily how one gets things done in politics. How does Mr Perry convey that he is a doer, and not a talker? By talking. What else is there? Interpretative dance? A presidential candidate unable to best a foe in a public exchange, or to communicate his position on a complex issue when the heat is on, is about as useful as a one-legged fullback.

Detta är Perrys andra reklamfilm för tv i Iowa. Hans första accentuerade också hans förmåga att skapa jobb.

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Pat Oliphant (20/10) gissar att slaget står mellan Mitt Romney, Rick Perry och Herman Cain bland de republikanska presidentkandidaterna. (Mer Oliphant på GoComics.)

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MITT ROMNEYS kampanj släppte förra veckan en web-video där man attackerade Rick Perry. Bara några timmar senare drog man tillbaka videon.

Och genast började man spekulera bland sociala medier om vad som låg bakom. Men svaret på gåtan var ganska osexigt. Tydligen hade man bara använt klipp från CNN utan tillstånd.

Andrea Saul, talesperson för Romney, meddelade:

“While the use of the CNN clips was fully within our rights under the law, we respect and appreciate the role CNN has played as host in debates over the last several months. For this reason, we are honoring their request to remove the video.”

Organisationen American Bridge 21st Century lyckades spara videon i sin helhet innan den drogs tillbaka.

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MITT ROMNEY har tagit av sig silkeshandskarna. Tidigare i veckan lanserades sajten careerpolitician.com. Målet är Rick Perry.

Initiativet är ännu ett bevis på att Romney ser Perry som sin huvudkombattant i jakten på republikanska partiets presidentnominering.

Ett sätt att angripa Perry är att utmåla honom som karriärpolitiker. Själv har Romney tillbringat stora delar av sitt liv i affärsvärlden. Något som smäller betydligt högre hos de flesta amerikanska väljare.

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