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A 2012 Race Rick Perry Won

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza rated the Texas governor the Worst Candidate of 2012. [1] Excerpt:

Remember back to the late summer of 2011. Perry entered the race with what looked like a straight path to frontrunner status. He was a conservative’s conservative with a proven record of doing what he said in Texas. He was a fundraising powerhouse. He had a charisma that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney lacked. It was all there for the taking.

Until, it became clear that the idea of Rick Perry running for president was very different than the reality of Rick Perry running for president. While Perry began strong with a much-touted appearance in Waterloo,  Iowa [2], that single event wound up being the best moment of a campaign whose trajectory was almost entirely downward.

Perry had some stiff competition, as Cillizza notes. You’ll want to check out his list. But let me ask you readers for your own Worst Candidate of 2012 entries. Cillizza identifies lousy candidates who had national profiles, but surely there were some howlers in local races that never made national news. Tell us about the doofuses who ran in your area.

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14 Comments To "A 2012 Race Rick Perry Won"

#1 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On November 20, 2012 @ 8:18 am

No way is it Rick Perry as he was at least good for comic relief. Did you see the YouTube parodies of his ads? Comic gold:



I’d say it is a tie between Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. They lost races they should have won due to their views.

#2 Comment By Conor Dugan On November 20, 2012 @ 9:23 am

This guy, [5], Roy Schmidt, changed parties at the last minute and recruited a friend of his nephew to run against him. He almost lost the primary and then did lose the general election. [6]

#3 Comment By Lasorda On November 20, 2012 @ 9:37 am

The bozos all won in my area. I live in Los Angeles, home of Antonio Villaraigosa and his seemingly endless supply of cousins desiring elected office.

#4 Comment By hans On November 20, 2012 @ 10:08 am

Secular Misanthrope:
“I’d say it is a tie between Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. They lost races they should have won due to their views.”

Akin is in a different category than Mourdock. Mourdock was expressing – however inarticulately- the doctrine of the Catholic Church; every child is made in the image of God, and we must not punish the child of a rapist. His first mistake was raising it as a political issue in an environment where there is no hope of enshrining that truth in law, and his second mistake was stating it poorly. But in the end, many Catholics and orthodox Christians (including me) agree with his morality.
Mourdock was far more offensive. His “legitimate rape” comment implied that many women claim rape falsely. He’s essentially told women not to charge their abusers unless they have have a broken jaw or some other serious injury. On top of that, he’s come up with some discredited theory that rapes don’t cause pregnancies. He is not just disrespecting women, he is denying science.
Of course, that puts him right in the Republican mainstream, which is why I no longer support the GOP.

#5 Comment By Hope On November 20, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Have to agree with Conor Dugan having watched the whole fiasco unfold. Schmidt knew he was cooked, as he disappeared from the landscape before the election and wasn’t available for comment afterward. Unfortunately, Jase Bolger, his partner in the fraud and our current MI House Speaker, was re-elected.

#6 Comment By Bob Jones On November 20, 2012 @ 11:10 am

Easy. Mitt Romney – how do you lose to a sitting President as ineffective as Obama, and in the current economic environment (however small some improvements might be) situation.

The “Not Obama” candidate should have been elected on 11/6/12, and the fact Romney lost, and lost convincingly, makes him the worst of 2012.

#7 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On November 20, 2012 @ 11:16 am

Akin is in a different category than Mourdock.

As a mater of morals and philosophy I’d agree the Mourdock was trying to express defensible views poorly.

But as a mater of being effective politicians they both blew it badly. Akin for his crazy pseudoscience and
Mourdock for seeing Akin’s meltdown and still stepping on a third rail.

The great thing about the Rick Perry parody videos is that he was almost that incoherent at times.

#8 Comment By jaybird On November 20, 2012 @ 11:46 am

I’ll nominate my former congressman, and fellow alumnus of Detroit Catholic Central High School, Thaddeus McCotter (R – Livonia, MI). As you may or may not remember – most people probably don’t – Representative McCotter made a pointless and absurd run for the GOP 2012 Presidential nomination early in the primaries. Even as his Presidential run was failing, he was busily trying to write a t.v. pilot for a sketch comedy/variety show about said presidential run, featuring “banter about drinking, sex, race, flatulence, puking and women’s anatomy,” according to The Detroit News. To top it all off, while he was thus engaged in these ridiculous endeavors, he forgot to submit the 2000 petition signatures to qualify for his congressional re-election campaign by the primary deadline, and the paperwork he did eventually submit was rife with fraudulent/duplicate signatures, and actually added up to less than 1,000 valid signatures, thereby becoming the first sitting congressman since the 1940s to fail to qualify for his own party primary.


What do I win?

#9 Comment By Charles Cosimano On November 20, 2012 @ 11:47 am

I would say that to the bulk of the voters Mourdock’s views, no matter how well they could have been expressed, are so utterly repugnant that there is no way he could have won no matter how they were expressed once they came out.

#10 Comment By Austin Rebreh On November 20, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

Jon Huntsman ran a very inept campaign. A lot of media pundits placed him in potential front runner status despite his dismal polling and gave him decent coverage. Even in debates they went to Huntsman quite a lot with questions and tried to make him a debate factor.

Michelle Bachman was a pretty bad candidate as well. I don’t believe there was ever a serious chance that should win (very much like Herman Cain) but she had a way of killing her own momentum. Unlike Cain which took an extramarital affair to end his chances, Bachman would make a bizarre comment week after week that would bludgeon her poll numbers.

#11 Comment By EngineerScotty On November 20, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

Perry had some stiff competition

Here, I assume you mean in the race for “Worst Candidate of 2012”, not in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination.

The only way in which his competition for the latter race was “stiff” if by stiff, you are referring to rigor mortis.

#12 Comment By steve in ohio On November 20, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

Re: Mourdock. My EV Free Church (very large and mainstream–the local Congressman is a member) teaches a doctrine similar to what Mourdock poorly expressed. The Bible teaches God is sovereign. All sin is repugnant to him, but he wills every life into being. A bit of a contradiction to our finite minds, but its there.

Mourdock was foolish to answer the question after Akin’s prior self-destruction. Voters say they want politicians to be honest, but they really don’t. Successful politicians like Obama and Romney–who almost pulled it off–change their positions all of the time.

Mourdock may have lost even without the gaffe. The unions were furious with Republicans over the right to work law. Mike Pence, who had a weaker opponent than Mourdock, received 49% and barely squeezed out a victory for the governship.

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 20, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

Well, Roger Rivard, an incumbent Wisconsin state senator, joined Akin and Mourdock with the comment “some girls rape easy.” He lost, by 527 votes out of 27,000.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 20, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

Mourdock and Akin deserved the reaction that felled them, but they are neither so callous nor so stupid as they have been made out to be. As a constitutionally pro-choice citizen who tries to engage in serious dialog with those who call themselves pro-life, until they throw a tantrum and shut me out (which has happened 3-4 times), I have an idea how they walked into this trap.

First, they sincerely believe that a woman who is pregnant, no matter how she got that way, should bear the resulting child. They sincerely believe, as Henry Hyde used to say in public, that while rape is a tragedy, abortion is a greater tragedy. They also sincerely believe that somehow “science” fully backs their beliefs, and refutes any opposing belief. Further, they know a majority of the public doesn’t agree with them all the way — certainly not to the point of FORCING a raped woman to bear her assailant’s child.

So, various contrivances have been developed to tip toe around the moral uncertainties… one being, what Akin enunciated, that when a woman really is raped, not just foolishly yielding to seduction, there will be no pregnancy. Moral dilemma solved, nothing to worry about folks. A law criminalizing abortion won’t impose on a woman who legitimately claims to have been raped.

Of course, its not true. Most voters, educated or uneducated, know its not true. Some other pro-life narratives glorify women who, after being brutally raped, did choose to bear the resulting child… which, uh, means she got pregnant by a “legitimate rape.” The bare biological mechanism of reproduction is supremely indifferent to how the female got impregnated. Male dragon flies grab females in pincers and poke holes in them!

So Akin and Mourdock were more than anything the victims of their own contrived narrative. Science has come to occupy a sufficiently exalted place in our culture that EVERYONE wants to claim that “the science” backs their preferences, even creationists. Its not unlike EVERY new cause wrapping itself in the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement… PETA, pro-life, gay marriage… among others.

But most moral, ethical, and political questions are not about science, or competing scientific theories. They are about value judgments different human beings make about the data. For example, we all know that a new, unique, genetic blueprint is formed from the moment of conception. But it is a value judgment, not science, whether this new single cell, or eight cells, floating through the uterus seeking a place to rest, is a person deserving of full legal protection, equal to that of the woman in whose body it seeks to grow.

Mourdock and Akin sincerely tried to square the circle. They failed, because facts are stubborn things, and voters could tell the difference.