Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bachmann Out...Perry Still In - UPDATED

Just a little while ago, Michele Bachmann withdrew from the GOP Presidential Primary (Yahoo News).

Rep. Michele Bachmann will "suspend her campaign" a senior campaign officials tells ABC News, just hours after placing last in the Iowa caucuses and vowing to continue in South Carolina.

Bachmann finished sixth in Tuesday's Iowa caucus.

Iowa has played a visible and vital role in Bachmann's campaign since its inception.

It became the backdrop of her presidential bid when in June she announced her candidacy in her hometown of Waterloo.

It became the springboard for her stint, albeit short-lived, as the GOP frontrunner after she secured the top spot at the Ames Straw Poll in August.

I heard clips of her speech on the radio and she is correct. She held firm to her conservative principles. She did not endorse any candidate, but said we should get behind the conservative.

Perry is still in, per radio news I heard.

I'll have more thoughts tonight.

UPDATED: I've been critical recently of Erick Erickson at RedState, but he was right on in this post early this morning (h/t Dan Riehl).

If Rick Perry drops out of the race it will be the ultimate failure of the tea party movement to see the race come down to two or three big government conservatives. Romney and Santorum both hide behind compassionate conservatism to expand the state to suit their purposes. Only Rick Perry has run a campaign to make Washington “as inconsequential to our lives as possible.”

If I were Perry, I’d wake up tomorrow, say I refuse to surrender the Republican Party into the hands of big government conservatives after all the gains the tea party has made, and then announce I’m firing all my political staffers and communications staffers and ask South Carolina to help me reboot to victory. Make it an Alamo stand and, if like at the Alamo Perry goes down, perhaps there’ll at least be a rallying cry for small government conservatism left over.

Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a differing view on Perry staying in. I understand his point, and the potential for it helping Flip Romney, but think there should be more of a selection, should Newt or Santorum flame out.

Now, Gingrich or Santorum, if either were the nominee I would vote for, though they are not my first choices for the primary (and as of now, I cannot select either, thank you Bill Boiling and the RPV). Personally, I'm glad Perry stayed in the race. Besides the record he has of job creation in Texas, he also has the "mother's milk" of politics--money. That's something that Santorum, at this point, does not have. Santorum's asset was he was the next "anti-Romney" to be considered.  If he doesn't have the cash and Romney attacks him like he did Newt, he's toast.

What Perry needs is a Nashua, NH moment, like Reagan had in 1980. Maybe not exactly like this, but something that sets him apart from the rest of the field.

Ads like this help too. This is a great one (h/t American Power).

One mistake that I think might have hurt him in Iowa could have been how he made his announcement for President in South Carolina, on the same day as the Iowa straw poll. The lackluster debate performances didn't help, and maybe he might have rushed into the debate process too early. Regardless, that's all history now and he must move on to win.  Some may not feel comfortable having him against Obama in a debate, but that could work well in his favor.

Newt being pissed off at Romney for the negative ads helps too. I said once (either here or on Twitter) how criticisms of Mitt in the debates seemed to resemble a no-contact, black belt exhibition, as opposed to the kneecapping Newt, Cain and Perry received. Now, Romney is the focus, and attacking Newt with low-blow tactics is going to come back and bite him. Already, Newt has this ad running in New Hampshire which is simple and hard-hitting, illustrating the difference between him and Romney.

Who knows if it will help him. It could have the effect of hurting both him and Romney, which Perry could take advantage of, since he has the money to go long.

The thing to take away from Iowa is that no one is excited about Mitt Romney, despite the amount of money and time he has spent campaigning. If cannot excite the electorate going into the general, you're almost assuring Obama of re-election.

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