Here Come the Rick Perry Image-Rehab Puff Pieces, Again

July 22:

October 2:

After Perry seized upon the immigration crisis this summer, the nation was inundated with puff profiles displaying a Clark Kent-level naïveté regarding Perry’s metamorphosis from doofus to resolute, spectacled executive. The reappearance of these pieces three months later undercuts their logic. If we’ve already forgotten about Perry’s game-changing performance in the immigration crisis (it’s not even mentioned in the ebola piece), how exactly was the game changed?

Far more likely is that Perry’s more frequent non-crisis moments neutralize any advantage he gets from his new super-executive image. Before the immigration crisis Perry “stepped right in it” re: comments about homosexuality. Two days ago he barely made it through a softball foreign policy segment on Morning Joe, friendly territory for the Texan governor. When not focused by urgent events Perry’s confident persona scatters; it can only be reassembled by thinkpieces.

In fact, you don’t even need to leave The Washington Post’s political blog to see the problem. Here’s The Fix exactly one month ago:

That comes after the first headline at the start of this article, but before the second. The “New Perry” doesn’t exist; it’s a self-regenerating media meme, a loop as easily restarted as putting on a pair of glasses.

[Image via Christopher Halloran /]

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