Give Texas Gov. Rick Perry this much: He’s got a sense of humor.
In a new television ad that will run in Iowa, a clip of Perry forgetting the third department he would eliminate if elected president is shown. Then Perry himself appears on screen and says “department of Energy”. (That’s the department he forgot.)
“We’ve all lost our train of thought before but not many have done it on national TV,” Perry says. “If you want a slick debater, I am obviously not your guy.”
The Texas governor goes on to tout his support for a balanced budget amendment and a flat tax before fake-forgetting the ad’s disclaimer. “I’m Rick Perry and...what’s that line again,” he jokes before saying he approves of the message.
It’s a remarkable ad that speaks to the damage done by Perry’s “oops” moment and the strategic corner into which that flub has backed him.
So widespread was the coverage of “oops” that Perry and his team obviously felt the need to address it — albeit it a comical way — in hopes of turning a net negative into a neutral or maybe even a positive for his campaign.
Will it work? It’s tough to say. The “oops” moment was a symbolic last straw for lots of Republican voters who had fallen in love with Perry but grown more and more skeptical of him as his lackluster debate performances piled up.
Perry now finds himself mired in second-tier candidate status and, given that, throwing the ball way down field — in a figurative sense — is probably worthwhile. Occasionally, Hail Marys get caught.