Insiders are wrong: Rick Perry won't be the first to drop out
It's been a long time since a real post.
I actually wrote a few real posts over the past months, but got distracted by the kids and never got around to hitting publish. Instead I'm going to do a quick combination of two of those posts "Rick Perry 2016: Quixotic" and "The financial constraint has been removed."
Politico's poll of insiders:
This is in reaction to the news that Perry's campaign is essentially out of money and are no longer paying staffers.
Forty percent of early-state Republicans and nearly half of early-state Democrats believe Rick Perry will be the first candidate to drop out of the presidential race.
Look, as the title of my unpublished post says, Rick Perry running for president in 2016 is quixotic. Perry 2016 always has been impossible: if you couldn't win in 2012 against the weakest field of candidates with the wind at your back, how are you going to win the White House in 2016 running against the strongest ever Republican field of candidates with the wind in your face?
It just ain't gonna happen. Never was. But per the title of the second post: there's no longer a financial constraint.
Though the Perry2016 campaign might be out of money, essentially nothing has changed in the strategy that might make him a contender. From the beginning, his one shot has been to go to Iowa and meet as many caucus participants as possible. Focus on farmers and veterans and hope you're under the radar enough that they don't target you for not supporting ethanol subsidies. Spend all your money in Iowa and see if you can make a go of it.
The financial constraint has always been what ended presidential campaigns. But with the rise of Super PACs, not only is it possible to make a real go of it in a few states, you also have the assurance that you can raise money if you can pull off a surprise and prove yourself viable.
The Super PAC has raised more than $15m, and shouldn't be burning any money right now, so they should have a solid $15m to fund campaign-like activities that don't cross the FEC's fancy legal line. So all the Perry presidential campaign has to do is really fund his travel expenses and maybe a bodyman. Given the email/direct mail lists and relationships he's accumulated over decades of running for office, covering those expenses should be easy. It's not much money.
So is Perry going to be the first to drop out? Dropping out comes down to the candidate's psyche -- but rationally, if you're Rick Perry then you stay the course through Iowa. Nothing has changed: may as well give Iowa a shot. It ain't gonna happen, but then again: a governor from Paint Creek wasn't gonna happen either.
UPDATE: Rick Perry was the first presidential candidate to quit the 2016 campaign.
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