Perry's brain cramp not very presidential, but very human

November 14, 2011

Boy, what a week for me to take off. Just my luck, it turned out to be one of the most amazing news weeks of the year. Joe Paterno is fired, the Earth is nearly hit by an asteroid and ... and ... (54 seconds go by) sorry, I just can’t seem to put my finger on that third thing.

Oh right, I remember. Republican debate. Yeah, man. I’ve never had lunch with Rick Perry, obviously, but I wonder how often he’s wound up with a bacon and lettuce sandwich. If this had been Herman Cain, he’d only have a 99 plan.

Education, Commerce and (...)

Here’s how bad it was: People I know who would pull their own heads off before voting Republican were averting their eyes because Perry’s distress was too painful to watch.

You wonder if federal employees in, say, the Department of Agriculture were sitting around watching Perry and saying, “please don’t be us, please don’t be us.”

I guess it will be a long time before R.P. criticizes Obama for using a TelePrompTer again.

Of course, only in America could you propose the destruction of three mammoth federal-government departments, and no one wants to discuss the merits of such a radical upheaval because we’re all too busy analyzing a brain hiccup. A hiccup similar to something every one of us has experienced at some point, I should add — although not always in the midst of a presidential run.

His handlers said the same thing that handlers always say when the boss pulls a boner: They try to turn it into a good thing by saying, “It was a very human moment ... a very authentic moment.”

Human, OK. But authentic? You mean like it’s normal for him and happens all the time — and at this very moment Perry might be running around having forgotten to put on any pants?

Perry was already on a slippery slope, and all the pundits say this seals it; you can’t expect to be president if you have the focus of a caged hamster facing multiple tunnels.

Yeah, well — you can think that if you want, but not me. I think it was about the cagiest move ever, because when his mind went blank in front of us all, I think he immediately won the votes of everyone older than 50.

Perry can’t remember three things? So what, I can’t remember two. No kidding, you send me to the store for two items and you don’t give me a list, you better learn how to make biscuits without flour.

I know Perry’s flub looks bad if you’re still young. I was in my 20s when Reagan was president, and I thought it was horrible that he slept through Cabinet meetings. And I could never understand why my elders didn’t see that as a big deal. If anything, they were jealous.

Today, I’m willing to forgive a lot of things that might have struck me as unacceptable in my younger days. I get behind one of those cars that’s going 15 mph ... the ones that look like no one’s driving it because the person behind the wheel has shriveled to the size of a stuffed panda.

And instead of getting right up on the person’s bumper and revving my engine, I think “Oh isn’t it nice that you’re still able to get out and about, dear.”

So if you can’t remember a few executive departments, who am I to quibble? Maybe that just proves Perry’s point — that we have too many Cabinet posts to begin with.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at Tune in to the Rowland Rant at, on or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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