Perry's Fragile Lead
Texas Gov. Rick Perry hasin the Republican polls, occupying territory previously held by Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump: the "won't somebody save us from Mitt Romney" slot. Because Perry is a more plausible candidate than either Bachmann or Trump (he is a state governor after all), journalists have readily accepted his surge as the for-real thing. Maybe.
Yet despite his record of raising funds and winning elections in Texas, Perry suffers from the same ultimate problem as Bachmann and Trump: he's an incredibly vulnerable candidate, and those vulnerabilities will come under intense scrutiny during his stint in the spotlight.
Do Republicans really want to run a candidate who has put in writing his opposition to Social Security and Medicare? Do they really want to volunteer to reverse this election from a referendum on President Obama's record to a referendum on Rick Perry's intentions? Is "don't believe my book" really going to impress frightened older voters as much of a talking point? Remember, House Republicans have already voted to end the Medicare guarantee for future generations. So deniability is getting to be a problem here. Or is the plan to follow: If you can't solve a problem, make it bigger?