“A candidate who is weak at debating can become better at it, but no candidate who has a weak record or no record at all can go back and create a good record”

So argues Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler of Rick Perry. Point to ponder, eh? And then there’s this:

That’s a big piece of pie.

More Preston:

Does Perry deserve credit for all of this job growth? No. But he does deserve credit for a great deal of it. When the economy tanked he could have gone the big government route. When the media and Democrats were making health care the crisis du jour, he could have done what Romney did and signed off on a massive expansion of government power. But he didn’t do either one. He keeps Texas’ government out of the way despite the never-ending push to expand the power of government. For a conservative, that’s a good thing.

One could argue that, well, Texas is big so of course it’s leading on job growth. Problem with that argument: California is bigger, and its jobs record is a whole lot worse than Texas’. Policy does matter.

I know, I know, Perry’s had some bad debates and a gaffe or two or three. That makes him a dicey prospect against Obama in the debates next year, unless he can improve that part of his candidacy. But unlike Cain, who has been great in the debates, Perry has an actual record in office, and it’s a very strong record. Unlike Romney and Gingrich, he also has a record of not chasing the latest policy fad (global warming, national health care mandates) and of standing his ground. His higher education reforms ought to become a national model. He has a record of helping turn the Democratic Party in Texas into a shell of its former self.

Emphasis mine on the last. What a lovely thing to aspire to nationally. I didn’t understand the Cain-mentum, nor do I understand the Newt wave. It’s Newt. Perry may not be a natural debater with a mastery of adverbs, but I’d take his record over the rest any day. Debate skills can be polished. I don’t want a candidate whose convictions have been, too.

I stand in good company. Pundette sees Perry’s use of the debate goof in an ad as a positive:

Perry’s ad suggests he has a sense of humor and maybe even [gasp] some humility. What a refreshing contrast to the egotism we’re used to.

Indeed.

Also:  The comment thread at Hot Air.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette. Thanks!

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3 Responses

  1. […] “A candidate who is weak at debating can become better at it, but no candidate who has a weak … […]

  2. Many of the jobs created were low wage positions. So it is six of one and half dozen of another.

    • You know, at some point, people have to realize that a job is a job, low-wage or no. I know many people who would be happy with *working* right now, and the chance to earn more than an unemployment check. Or, for those I know whose unemployment finally ran out, hell, just a job.

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