Another one bites the dust

Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry sits down for lunch at The Drive-In Restaurant in Florence, South Carolina

Reuters photo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, shown in South Carolina earlier this week, is to drop out of the presidential race today. Perry couldn’t catch fire even in the backasswards, white supremacist state of South Carolina, polling dead last.

When I saw yesterday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was polling at only 6 percent in South Carolina, putting him at fifth and last place, I wondered why in the hell he was remaining in the race. He came in at fifth place in Iowa and sixth place in New Hampshire, and if he couldn’t do well in fellow secessionist red state South Carolina, it definitely would be all over for him.

Maybe — just maybe — Perry figured that he’d rather his paltry support in South Carolina go to the top not-Mitt-Romney candidate when South Carolinans vote on Saturday, and that’s why he reportedly is dropping out of the race today. South Carolina, after all, very most likely is the last chance to deny Romney his crown. (Or maybe it wasn’t a bit of actual selflessness at all; maybe Perry just didn’t want another humiliating loss…)

Only about a third of South Carolinans want Mitt Romney to be the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, but with Perry’s departure, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remain in the race to split the anyone-but-Romney vote three ways.

I have to wonder if the far right is going to make Ron Paul its Ralph Nader of sorts, blaming Paul’s candidacy for splitting the vote and enabling Romney to win the party’s nomination.

Anyway, I believe that it primarily was a combination of two things that sank Rick Perry’s candidacy: the fact that the last governor from Texas who became president now is He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned even within his own party, and the fact that Perry’s debate performances were disastrous. Overcoming the inevitable comparison to He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned would have been a tall order for Perry, but Perry’s utterly unpresidential presence doomed him.

Let’s just hope that Perry remains politically dead outside of his own backasswards state of Texas.

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