Could it have been anyone else? If you haven’t seen his disastrous debate performance, here it is:
I called this October 12th by the way.
The reality is that his campaign was over before it started. When he got into the race SOOOO late he was compared with Fred Thompson. Most shook it off as there were some key differences. Rick Perry was a sitting popular governor in the most conservative state in the union, he had a massive nationwide fundraising network, and was well liked by conservatives in the GOP. Of course those Fred Thompson similarities obviously outweighed the differences.
If you are an aspiring GOP presidential contender you need to understand that you cannot mail in your campaign. It takes years of preparation to lay the groundwork. Even then it still isn’t always enough (see: Haley Barbour).
If you get into the race in January or February then you have a chance to overcome initial gaffes. People have a short memory and they can forget early blunders if you stick to your guns (see: Newt Gingrich). But if you get into the campaign too late then you don’t have that recovery time in. The beginning of the end for Rick Perry was his immigration gaffe. Immigration is a hot button issue that primary voters, namely conservatives, feel very strongly about. The only bigger death knell would be a pro-choice candidate (see: Gary Johnson).
So anyway, Rick Perry is done. He’ll go back to Texas and run out his term probably shortly after Iowa. He’ll wait until South Carolina if he really can’t let it go and is a sucker for punishment.
You would have to believe that Newt Gingrich is the only person left who can catch Mitt Romney. Chances are slim, but it’s still feasible. Since Gingrich is the only guy who hasn’t launched a full out assault against Romney at some point, I’m sure he’s on the short list for VP as well.
Next up on the presidential campaign death watch: Herman Cain.