NYTimes Prepares 'Autopsy Report' for 9-11-Type 'Disaster' of Perry Campaign

Yet another media outlet is writing Gov. Rick Perry’s political obituary after his GOP debate flub Wednesday night. This time it's Ross Ramsey, managing editor for the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit news organization that provides content to the New York Times: “National Spotlight Might Shine Too Bright for Gaffe-Prone Perry.”

The Times has certainly feasted on Perry’s flub, in which the Texas governor blanked out on naming the three government agencies he planned to eliminate. Thursday’s front page carried the story under the headline “‘Oops’ at Debate When Perry Can’t Get to Three,” and quoted the entire exchange in a text box on the jump page.

From Ramsey’s story, which appeared in some editions of the paper Friday.

Politics is hard, and it gets harder as you move up the food chain.

Look at Rick Perry, whose 27-year political career has taken him to the top of state government in a state known for tough politics. His status has gone from hero to hospice faster than Vince Young’s.

His “oops” -- during a debate on Wednesday night, the governor couldn’t remember his list of three federal agencies to abolish and ended a humbling and awkward minute of brain freeze on that pitiful note -- may be the first word in the autopsy report on his presidential campaign.


If he really has the chops to do this, now is when we’ll find out. To turn this around, he has got to show voters quickly that he’s not a joke, that he can compete at this level, that he’s the best alternative to Mr. Romney and that he would stand at least a ghost of a chance in a campaign with Barack Obama.

Ramsey concluded with a tasteless reference to 9-11.

The problems were serious enough that he retooled his campaign, firing no one but bringing in some well-known Republican operatives, a group led by Joe Allbaugh.

Mr. Allbaugh’s résumé includes more than three-dozen campaigns. He was chief of staff to Gov. George W. Bush. And he was the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during Mr. Bush’s first term.

Mr. Allbaugh was at FEMA for floods and tornados and for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Now he’s working Mr. Perry through a different kind of disaster.

TimesWatch 2012 Presidential Debates 9/11 New York Times Texas Ross Ramsey Rick Perry
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