In an eventful day in the GOP primary race, Rick Perry is out, leaving only the four horsemen of the apocalypse:
“I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform this country,” Perry said.
Making what he called a “strategic retreat,” the Texan obliquely referred to Gingrich’s checkered personal life just hours before an interview with the former House speaker’s second wife was to speak out in a TV interview.
“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?” said Perry.
Citing his Christian faith, Perry said of Gingrich: “I believe in the power of redemption.”
Perry’s endorsement is important, simply because he is the first major Republican to endorse Newt. Sarah Palin also all but came out and endorsed him (but only for South Carolina). So it will count for something. Allegations of seeking an open marriage notwithstanding, the momentum is with Newt right now. Two polls now put him ahead of Romney, who is having a hard time being a Massachusetts Yankee south of the Mason Dixon line.
Many pundits have expressed surprise that Perry’s campaign has been so awful, given that he is the longest serving Governor in Texas history. Texans are less surprised. He has had the benefit of very weak opposition, and since the Governor of Texas is basically a figurehead, it’s been difficult to mess up the job. Put up against the big boys, his laziness and other weaknesses were exposed. He simply didn’t live up to the hype, and he has mercifully been smart enough not to go on.
I am going to be biting my nails all day Saturday. I think the man who wins this state will probably be the nominee. However, there is no reason why the campaign could not continue on for another two months, given that the delegates are apportioned according to the number of votes received. There is plenty of time for someone to land a king hit and still cause an upset in the latter stages.