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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In news that should thrill the rest of the Republican Party’s White House hopefuls, chronically wrong pundit Dick Morris is predicting that Texas governor Rick Perry has the inside track for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Writing in Newsmax, Morris argues that — based on the GOP’s history of nominating candidates who have run and lost in the past — Perry is the party’s likely nominee:

What does this predict for 2016? Of the defeated candidates left over from 2012, Santorum is probably too focused on social issues to win. Cain and Bachmann can be dismissed as flashes in the pan, and the problems that knocked them out of contention have not gone away. Romney probably won’t get a third chance. Even Nixon only got two. Newt inflicted too many wounds on others and on himself.

That leaves Rick Perry. Acceptable to Latinos based on his Texas record. Draws strong Tea Party support without being defined by it. A Southerner, he is clearly ready to play on the national stage. A big state governor whose record on jobs has only gotten better. He can’t be dismissed.

Will his debate brainlock disqualify him? Not if he doesn’t repeat it. Clinton recovered from a disastrous 1988 Convention speech. He’s probably had enough time to recover from his dismissal of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” in his book.

The Republican voters are agoraphobic, fearful of new situations and people. It takes them a while to get used to new candidates and those who have run once and learned their lessons have great appeal. So keep your eye on Perry.

Of course, if past is prologue, then Morris’ endorsement is the worst thing to happen to Rick Perry’s presidential hopes since the word “oops.” After all, Morris isn’t just bad at predicting elections — he’s quite possibly the worst pundit in the history of political gasbaggery.

Morris’ latest prognostication seems unlikely to turn around his brutal record. While he’s certainly right that Republicans tend to pick second-time candidates as their presidential nominees, they tend to pick candidates who were serious contenders in the past. Perry — who failed to secure a single delegate in 2012, and by Morris’ own admission “showed the same lack of depth and laziness in issue preparation as Sarah Palin did in 2008” — was as far from serious as one could get. And Perry hasn’t exactly transformed himself into a policy wonk since his failed campaign; the Texas governor is essentially the same candidate, save for a new pair of glasses and a grand jury investigation hanging over his head.

Furthermore, it’s not as though Republicans have caught Perry fever over the past three years. While it’s too early to glean much predictive value from 2016 polls, literally none of them have found Perry near the top of the field.

Is it possible that Perry will bounce back from his humiliating 2012 loss and become the next Ronald Reagan? Sure. But it’s much more likely that Dick Morris is just wrong. Again.

Photo: Mark Taylor via Flickr

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