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Best One-Liner About Rick Perry

March 10, 2012

There are times when a line jumps off the page and demands an audience.  Such was the case in Ryan Lizza’s article “Life Of The Party” which tries to make some sense of the nominating process now playing out in the Republican Party.

But sometimes activists don’t have a candidate like that, and they’re willing  to risk defeat by backing someone far outside the mainstream. (This strategy can  have its own payoff: in 1964, Barry Goldwater lost in a historic landslide, but  he changed American politics.) “Parties want to be optimally extreme,” Zaller  says. “They are like the frequent air traveller who believes that if he never  misses a flight he is getting to the airport too soon.”

This dynamic may help explain the ups and downs of the Republican primaries.  Backing Mitt Romney is like showing up four hours early and sitting at Cinnabon;  backing Rick Perry would have been like arriving at Newark International in the  early evening for a flight that left LaGuardia at noon. And maybe, just maybe,  backing Rick Santorum is like getting on the plane right before the doors  close.


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