Roger L. Simon

Never Trust a Pundit, Especially Me

Okay, I don’t really consider myself a pundit-pundit, but I owe the readers of this website an apology:

I am a lousy judge of character. Don’t ever trust me again — or at least vet me extremely carefully.

I fell for Rick Perry, a man less qualified, it turns out, to be president than my dead grandmother. Yes, I had gone shooting with him in Austin and then to the NASCAR races and thought he was a swell guy.

But that has as much to do with being president, or even running for president, as flipping burgers at McDonald’s has to do with designing an iPad.

Although he had my early backing (I even tried to help with a teensy bit of speechwriting – something I never should have done given my occupation), Perry was a lousy candidate. Even beyond being a now famously inarticulate debater, on the stump he had almost nothing significant to say other than that he created jobs in his state, which he repeated ad infinitum, ad nausea as if some “political pro” (there’s an occupation for you) was perpetually whispering in his ear to stay on message. Oh, how he stayed. His campaign went nowhere.

But now it’s gotten worse. Perry has accused Romney of being a “vulture capitalist” at Bain Capital, just because some of the companies Bain invested in failed. Of course, that’s always true with such investments — and nobody forced anyone to take Bain’s money in the first place.

This basically anti-market propaganda from Perry would more normally come from a Norwegian socialist. The Texas governor sounds like a desperate hypocrite who is so ambitious he would be willing to take anything and anyone down with him. Shame on him. And shame on me.

Fortunately, I had long ago moved on, first for a brief pit stop with Herman Cain and then on to – Newt Gingrich.

Mistake two. (Or three, if you include Cain.) The very thing Perry lacked seduced me about Newt, articulateness. No one in American politics is a better talker. And he acted as if he was above the fray, dressing down the creeps in the MSM for their biased questions. He was so good for a while that I was able to overlook that he never said the same thing twice, even more that he had worked as an “historian” (his word, not mine) for Fannie and Freddie, the very institutions that destroyed the world economy. And this was the guy we wanted to turn things around for us?

Still, I hoped there would be a new Newt and indeed it looked as if there might be until Romney’s Super PAC started to say some nasty things. Then the old Newt returned – in spades. An angry warthog emerged, snorting across the public stage, unable to control his emotions. Who would want such a person in the White House?

So have I become a Romney person? Am I a band-wagonner, jumping on the night of a solid victory in New Hampshire?

Well, I’ve always been a band-wagonner in sports, a Yankees fan as a kid and then a Lakers fan as an adult – all usually winners. I mean this very night when Romney dropped 39 (%) on Paul, Huntsman, Santorum, and Gingrich, Kobe dropped a yet more impressive 48 (points) on the Suns. And he was playing with a bum wrist.

So maybe I should go with the winner. After all, in this instance winning’s even more important than the NBA. It’s the USA. To me, it’s all about beating Obama and getting this country back on track. It’s pretty obvious Romney is the best suited to do that (unless the Republicans could trade for Kobe).