Leaving aside for now the "Curious History of Republicanism," let's assess the current status of our conservative potential Presidential candidates.
As the Iowa Caucus date of January 3, 2012 draws near, Rick Perry has attempted to reboot his Presidential campaign with a media blitz.
When he first announced his campaign, he jumped to the head of the Republican slate of candidates. As a successful governor of a large state, Perry seemed to possess the skills, experience, and the record that other candidates lacked. The only reservations voiced by skeptics was how his so-called "Texas swagger" would play outside the South. (I do not recall anyone asking how Mitt Romney's "New England Prissiness" would play outside the Northeast).
Dismal debate performances and a series of "shoot-from-the-hip" (Texas swagger?) comments, however, sent him plummeting in the polls. Whether he is a bad debater or simply uninformed about national and international issues, voters quickly lost confidence in him.
Perry first attempts to revitalize his Christian core support with this ad:
This ad will play well among his core evangelical supporters, but among few others. It is difficult to discern the alleged war on Christianity after last week's lighting of the White House Christmas tree and Christmas greetings from the first family . Perhaps Obama's incompetence as a chief executive is exceeded only by his incompetence as the commander-in-chief of the war on Christianity.
Then Perry adopts the strategy that has worked so well for Newt Gingrich--attack Obama.
Whether or not well-crafted commercials can overcome the debate failures and the conviction of voters that Perry lacks preparedness for the Presidency, time will tell. Right now other Republican candidates can safely ignore him. This might be enough for his continued marginalization. If he does begin to surge in the polls, those debate clips will no doubt receive extensive replay.
Probably only strong debate performances in the future can insure his reemergence as the "Not-Romney."