AP Starts the 2016 Character Assassination of Rick Perry, Part 2: ‘A Political Punchline on Par With Dan Quayle’
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press produced a series of reports following Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement that he would not seek another term which “can only be explained if their purpose is to poison his possible 2016 presidential aspirations.”
The first example was a list of “five things to know” about Perry compiled by the AP’s “wiseguy” Will Weissert which, except for an item about his early upbringing, were trivial. (Here are three substitutes from, of all things, an AP photo caption: “staunch Christian conservative, proven job-creator and fierce defender of states’ rights.”) Weissert was also the author of the second example, this time contending that Perry is an object of ridicule outside of the Lone Star State (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
PERRY RESHAPED TEXAS, BUT FOUNDERED NATIONALLY
Gov. Rick Perry was a champion of fiercely conservative social activism long before the tea party was born. He oversaw the “Texas Miracle” job-creation boom and became the state’s most powerful governor since Reconstruction.
But nationally, Perry is better known for his ‘oops’ presidential debate brain freeze or for not opposing forcefully enough the notion that Texas could secede from the union. For many outside the Lone Star State, he’s a political punchline on par with Dan Quayle – if he’s known at all. 
Now, the longest-serving governor in Texas history is quitting his day job.  Perry announced Monday that he won’t seek a fourth full term in office next year, but notably didn’t say whether another run for the White House in 2016 could be next.
… for that future to include another run for president, Perry will first need to concentrate on rebuilding his tattered image outside of Texas.
“He’s starting behind the eight ball,” said South Carolina-based Republican operative Hogan Gidley, an adviser to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – both unsuccessful presidential hopefuls who have remained national conservative forces.
Perry had never lost an election during his 27-year political career when he strapped on his signature cowboy boots and strode into the race for the GOP presidential nomination in August 2011, becoming a near-instant front-runner.
But his White House run flamed out spectacularly, culminating in a debate in Michigan where Perry remembered that he’d pledged to shutter the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Education but forgot the third one, the Department of Energy. Quipped late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon: “It turns out George Bush was actually the smart Texas governor.” 
… others note Perry has been successful at appearing regularly on national television, attracting a great deal of media attention in his recent job-poaching tours of California, Illinois and New York. 
 — The only people who could possible believe what you just wrote, Will, are fever-swamp leftists in Austin. You need to get out more, pal.
 — “Quitting”? He’s going to remain as governor for 18 months. Tell you what, Will. Tell your bosses that you “quit” but you want to keep writing for pay for the next 18 months, and see what happens.
 — Gratuitous George W. Bush insult, check. Bush 43 never compiled the massive list of gaffes President Obama has; it’s just that the establishment press, especially the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, won’t report them.
 — There is no meaning of “poach” at dictionary.com which describes Rick Perry attempts to convince companies to relocate or expand in Texas — unless you believe that other states “own” the jobs within their borders. They don’t — and Perry wouldn’t be “poaching” jobs if blue states like California, New York, and Illinois weren’t so obviously hostile to economic growth and job creation. Additionally, if Perry were such a national joke, he couldn’t be credible as a company and job recruiter. How do you explain that, Will Weissert?
Weissert’s only conceivable goal in writing his report as he did had to be to document reference points Perry’s enemies can come back to in 2015 and 2016 when needed. Nothing more, nothing less. How shameful.
Does anyone think Weissert or any other AP reporter will remind readers how utterly foolish Hillary Clinton looked and sounded in 2007 when she affected an African-American southern accent? I sure don’t.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.