After last weekend’s Iowa straw poll, Republicans are rejoicing that their savior Gov. Rick Perry has arrived (does this mean George W. Bush was really just John the Baptist?), and the press and Democrats are steadily trying to figure out what his entrance into the race really means. At this point there seems to be more discussion about how he changes the race, and why he’s not a good guy than any analysis of what he’s done while governor. When you’ve got former Glenn Beck regular Alex Jones of INFOWARS coming out against you that’s a problem.
It’s also a sign that the campaign season has officially begun. However, it might be a good time for everyone to step back and take on the words of Newt Gingrich, believe it or not. In last week’s debate, in addition to dismissing almost every question from the Fox moderators, Gingrich made a point of saying that the campaign is a long one, and that people need to be aware of the real marathon they’re getting into. He is right.
While Perry-mania is going to hit a fevered pace this week, especially with Obama’s approval numbers finally hitting below 40%, there are many other events that should be on the political radar before anyone is declared the real frontrunner in the GOP nomination race.
One of those events is tonight when two Democratic state senators in Wisconsin face recall votes similar to those faced by Republicans last week. In some respects these races are pretty anti-climatic. The Wisconsin Democrats had a wily plan to eliminate the state senate GOP majority by winning a magical three seats in a recall effort. That failed last week, so now the best they can hope for is to retain these two seats and have a 17-16 minority in the state senate. And while these two seats are seen as a lock for the Dems, if they lose a seat, that is a very bad sign for the state’s party and possibly a bad sign for Obama who needs to count Wisconsin as an easy win.
So no need get too excited or depressed about the Perry emergence. There are other politics to be had before his grand unveiling during the September 7th GOP debate in the Reagan library. Then you can start worrying.