Never Trust a Pundit — Especially Me


OK, I don’t really consider myself a pundit-pundit, but I owe my readers 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 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 helped 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 nauseam, as if some “political pro” (there’s an occupation for you) were 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 — to Newt Gingrich.

Mistake two. The very thing Perry lacked seduced me: articulateness. No one in American politics is a better talker than Newt. 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 a “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 bandwagonner, jumping on the night of a solid victory in New Hampshire?

Well, I’ve always been a bandwagonner in sports — a Yankee fan as a kid and then a Laker fan as an adult, all usually winners. I mean, the very night when Romney dropped 39 (percent) on Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and Gingrich, Kobe Bryant 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 U.S.A. To me, it’s all about beating President 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.)

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