Posted on | April 2, 2012 | 9 Comments
Perhaps you remember this Sept. 23 headline:
Once more, I give credit to Brian Ledbetter of Snapped Shots for the e-mail tip alerting me that Rick Perry had undergone back surgery in July, thus permitting me to become the first national journalist to suggest that there might be a connection between the Texas governor’s back pain and his problems in the TV debates.
The day after I posted that at The American Spectator, Perry’s campaign denied (to Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post) that the governor’s back pain was a problem. It was nearly three months later — in an interview with the Des Moines Register published Dec. 11 — that Perry admitted he was “pretty fatigued” because of his back problems.
Ah, but it was worse than mere “fatigue,” as I was told during my trip to Iowa and reported on Dec. 31:
Earlier this week, I talked to a well-informed conservative who claimed to know — from sources close to the Perry campaign — that the governor had been prescribed Oxycontin for pain, and was subsequently taken off that medication when it became apparent it was affecting him negatively.
The Iowa source who told me that was speaking off-the-record in such a way that, when he described (but would not name) his source, I suspected I knew the quite famous political operative. However, I don’t burn my sources, especially not in such a way that it would burn my source’s sources, so therefore:
- I only mentioned it once, burying it in a blog post on New Year’s Eve; and
- I made sure the sourcing was vague.
Also, given that this was a second-hand sort of item, I didn’t want to seem to be spreading malicious gossip without substantiation. However, in my defense — another fact that was necessarily omitted from that Dec. 31 item — I knew it wasn’t malicious because the Iowa source actually had a favorable disposition toward Perry, despite being disappointed by the mismanagement of Perry’s campaign in the Hawkeye State. (Note to self: Call source and see if we’ve reached “now it can be told” status.)
OK, so that’s what happened from September through December, from my first speculation until the subsequent confirmation that back pain was a major factor in Rick Perry’s undoing. Now, via Alex Pappas at The Daily Caller, the denouement:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was under the influence of painkillers during televised presidential debates over the last year to help relieve severe back pain, according to a soon-to-be released eBook on the 2012 Republican race for president obtained by The Daily Caller.
“It became an open secret that he was using painkillers in sufficient dosages to keep him standing through the two-hour debates,” write the authors of “Inside the Circus.”
A source provided TheDC with an advance copy of the eBook, authored by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas. The book comes out Tuesday.
Read the whole thing. And keep this little episode in mind next time I tell you something that seems too strange to be true.
Too bad you quit blogging. You could brag about this….
Yeah, thanks, smartass. I would have actually quit, too, if tip-jar hitters hadn’t talked me out of it. So hit the freaking tip jar.