Third Look: Rick Perry

Ed Morrissey, reporting on Iowa:

Which candidate, then, can fill what looks to be an opening to the right of Gingrich and Romney? At the moment, that candidate may be Rick Perry. In the Insider Advantage and ARG polls, Perry has more than doubled his support in the last couple of weeks, going from 5 percent to 13 percent in both. The Texas governor has launched a “saturation” ad buy in Iowa, spending over a million dollars in the three markets over the next couple of weeks on radio and TV spots. After a disastrous series of debates, Perry has suddenly become pretty good in the format, if not great. He got the better of Mitt Romney in Des Moines on Saturday, and stayed energetic and focused throughout the event.

It’s good to see Perry showing some strength. I headlined this post with “Third Look,” because of something George Will wrote a week or two ago. Dismissing Newt and Mitt, Will argued that GOP voters should given Huntsman and Perry “a second look.”

Well, I’d given Perry a good look at governor of Texas, and saw a lot to like. I took a second look at him when he launched his campaign, and what we all saw mostly made us cringe. His debate performances were especially awful, not least because he tended to fade after the first 90 minutes, making the last half hour even more painful. And, yes, such a thing was possible.

But Ed’s right. Perry was strong last weekend, and stayed that way right up until the end. If he can do it again tonight — I’ll be drunkblogging, of course — then Iowa might not be the end of Perry.

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