Friday, July 22, 2011

Perry, Palin, Giuliani, Trump

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/22/11

In the past week a connection between Texas Governor Rick Perry and former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani has popped up in the press. Makes sense. They like each other. And when I asked Giuliani last Friday at Dartmouth College if he would support Rick Perry, that characteristic great-big-sea of a smile spread across his face. “I might,” he said. I took that as an absolutely.

The Perry/Giuliani connection has been so sudden, fast and furious that Mike Huckabee already asks in a press release yesterday, “For all his [Perry’s] new found commitment to hyper-conservatism [not], he’ll get to explain why he supported pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage Rudy Giuliani last time.”

Oh, I can explain that: Perry is from Texas. Giuliani is from New York City.

There is vitriol in Huckabee’s tone, so I’d like to suggest the Mr. Rogers’s threshold test for presidential aspirants. Mr. Rogers says, “I like you just the way you are.” Does Huckabee? Does Michele Bachmann? Romney, a Mormon in Irish Boston surely does and so do Perry and Giuliani (who was married in Graceland, I believe). They all pass the NASCAR test as well. But Huckabee - and playing the stupid guitar doesn’t help – doesn’t help anybody – like Michelle Bachmann, it feels, doesn’t like our ways, which makes sense, but unlike Mr. Rogers, we wonder if they don’t like us either.

May I suggest to Huckabee Rick Perry’s book Fed Up! Our fight to save America from Washington, in which he writes, “We are a diverse people – incapable of being governed from a faraway capital by people who do not share our values. Recognizing this fact is critical to the preservation of a free state.”

Because it’s not just Mr. Rogers, it’s Mr. Jefferson. Does that explain it?

Said here last year that the primary Rick Perry faced in his gubernatorial race in Texas would open the paradigm for the century. In it, the entire Republican eastern establishment, including George H.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes as a proxy for W. and others lined up to support Kay Bailey Hutchison. Perry had only the support of Sarah Palin and won in a landslide. I’d contend that that intraparty division between establishment and new thinking is today more important than the traditional Democrat/Republican split. And the 2012 race will be a definitive moment in the new century.

But now it will be more than Palin behind Perry. It will be Giuliani as well, and my guess he will have another New Yorker who passes the NASCAR test, Donald Trump.

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