I’ve recently seen a surge of stories that seem to me to be geared toward creating false confidence that Rick Perry is somehow a laughably unelectable character who Barack Obama is destined to beat in 2012.
This really seems wrong to me. We’re supposed to believe that the American public won’t go for an arguably dimwitted Texas conservative? Really? Do we remember who the last President was? Do we remember that the current President’s spiritual mentor was a black nationalist who said 9/11 was America’s chickens coming home to roost? Given appropriate conditions, lots of people are electable. I’m very open to the argument that someone like a Michele Bachmann, who clearly lacks the basic resume of an ordinary major party presidential candidate, might prove to be a serious outlier who overturns everything we think we know about Presidential politics. But Perry is the long-time governor of America’s second-largest state. He’s exactly the sort of person who wins presidential elections. If the economy recovers in 2012 and Obama’s policies look vindicated, Perry will of course lose. But if we double dip, then why shouldn’t Perry win? And is that really so implausible at this point? Given the plunge in the stock market and the clear contraction in fiscal policy, unless we get some forceful central bank action we seem pretty likely heading in that direction.