Texas Gov. Rick Perry has done some very impressive by-the-book damage control to try and undo the damage from his classic will-be-shown-for-generations brain freeze during the recent Republican Presidential candidates debate. He has explained, in effect apologized to his followers and deftly used humor. Last night he used humor by doing a perfectly delivered Top 10 List on David Letterman. In a scripted bit like this he knows how to use the camera perfectly. Will it undo the damage? Most likely not. But this IS a classic, well-done bit:
UPDATE: Joe Scarborough just beat me to my update. I remember full well when Bill Clinton was an up and coming Arizona Governor. He gave a nominating speech at the 1988 Democratic convention nominating then Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis that was so long, boring and wordy that relieved delegates cheered when it ended, and he became a punch line to not just late night comedians but politicians. He had become a joke — an example of how wrong the conventional wisdom had been. But Clinton then went on late night TV, dealt with it with humor and redid his image.
Perry’s appearances yesterday morning on the morning shows trying to do damage control helped cushion his disaster. The Letterman appearance will help his image. But the You Tube clips and impression from various debates that he is a risky bet for a party that will need to have someone go up against Barack Obama will not be erased. I had just written UPDATE on this when Scarborough started talking about Clinton. I had watched Clinton’s speech that year and could not believe the pundits had said that boring, windy, uninspiring person droning on and on had a national future. I had also watched his damage control appearances.
If there is a dramatic change in political fortunes and Perry gets the nomination, his Letterman appearance will be pointed to as one of the turning points in his recovery — a recovery that seems highly unlikely at this point.