Instapundit/The Tatler/some newspaper: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for president, a spokesman confirmed Thursday, a move certain to shake up the race for the GOP nomination much to the delight of conservatives looking for a candidate to embrace…..
Official word of Perry’s entrance into the race came just hours before eight candidates, including GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, were to appear on stage during a nationally televised debate.”
A spokesman. Official word. Dig?
Unlikely that the spokesman spokesman-ed out of turn, or mis-spokesmanned. I’d bet money it was planned out. And while ‘official word’ is ostensibly the reporter’s phrase, odds are the campaign allowed her, or outright asked her, to use it.
If you announce that you’re going to announce something, haven’t you, y’know, already announced it? The linked article takes pains to suggest that this announcement is a tactical move designed to draw attention from tonight’s Republican ‘debate’ that I’m not watching (and tell the truth, neither are you). But it also drains all the excitement and suspense out of the actual announcement.
How are the talking heads supposed to keep people tuned in on Saturday now? “And here comes Governor Perry, approaching the podium . . . about to announce that he’s running for president . . . and HE’S DONE IT! HE’S DONE IT! RICK PERRY IS OFFICIALLY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!! Amazing! What a performance, ladies and gentlemen! Well, this is going to shake things up in the Republican primaries, I can tell you that! Let’s go back to Jim Bob and Sally in the studio for a recap of analysis from the last 48 hours…”
Come on. The over-choreographed Kabuki dance is part of the problem in modern politics. Everything is so poll-tested and planned and plastic and troubleshot all the time, and everybody knows it. That’s why we don’t trust politicians anymore; we can’t tell what’s genuine and what’s been scripted out by some staffer.
If Perry really wants some attention, this Saturday he should announce that he’s won the lottery, and his wife is getting a sex change and they’re moving to a Rastafarian commune in Addis Ababa. Throw everyone for a loop. Then on Sunday he can tweet “kidding! BTW running for Prez!!!” And wait for the phone calls to start rolling in. And the donations. And the kudos for the savvy use of social media.
And then next time around, instead of playing it safe, candidates would have to get even weirder just to get on TV. And eventually, we could trust them with the budget again.