Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rick Perry as Elmer Gantry

The summertime parade of pachyderms who would be president seems to have featured a new leader every few weeks. The newest entry into the field of hopefuls, Gov. Rick Perry, has shot straight to the frontrunner position in the latest Gallop Poll.

What about Rep. Michele Bachmann? What about former-Gov. Mitt Romney? What about Donald Trump?

They have all become old news, it would seem. For the time being they are out of style with fickle voters who like to call themselves Republicans. Hey, Rep. Ron Paul is ahead of Bachmann in that same poll.

No need to ask what about former-Gov. Sarah Palin. Which means Palin is mostly a publicity stunt on an endless loop; she’s plainly not going to enter the race for the Republican nomination, but she‘ll surely love it if she is permitted to play a significant role in selecting the ticket.

Who knows what it means for GOP-leaning voters to jump from one elephant to another so quickly? But it seems that 15 months ahead of the 2012 election, which hopeful thumps the Bible with the most passion and authenticity matters plenty. Perry says he's not so sure about evolution.

Like, maybe it's mostly charlatan scientists just trying to get more grants, which is exactly how Perry views climate change science.

Meanwhile, former-Gov. Jon Huntsman says: “The minute that the Republican Party becomes the anti-science party, we have a huge problem.”

But among active candidates, Huntsman is at the bottom of the aforementioned latest poll, so do many Republicans care what he has to say about anything? And, what kind of Christian is he, anyway?

For the Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker writes:
Even so, in the absence of a better candidate, Romney had a fighting chance to win his party’s support. Then came Perry.

Talk about a perfect-storm, composite candidate. Combine Elmer Gantry’s nose for converts, Ronald Reagan’s folksy confidence and Sarah Palin’s disdain for the elites — and that dog hunts.

Perry doesn’t just believe, he evangelizes.
Click here to read Parker’s piece, “Rick Perry, the Republicans’ Messiah?,” in its entirety.

Parker is spot on with that Elmer Gantry thing. By the way, if you haven’t seen Burt Lancaster’s Oscar-winning performance in “Elmer Gantry” (1960), do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s a film well worth seeing more than once.

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