The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Problem Perry’s Campaign Denied in September, Confirmed in December

Posted on | December 12, 2011 | 12 Comments

Nobody seems to remember who first raised this issue:

Does Pain Explain Perry’s
Poor Debate Performances?

That was Sept. 23, the day after the Orlando debate, and I’d gotten an e-mail tip from blogger Brian Ledbetter that Rick Perry had undergone back surgery in July. The next day, a top Perry adviser denied to Jennifer Rubin that the governor’s back was causing any problem. But now, in an interview with the Des Moines Register, Perry says it was a problem:

I think part of the reason you have seen a somewhat different candidate on the debates is my health, and (I’m) both physically and mentally just back in the game. You have fusion on your back, and it takes you a while to get back on your game. . . . I would suggest to you that I was pretty fatigued.

So today — now that the story is at Memeorandum, Hot Air and PJ TatlerI’ve got another question:

Why did Perry’s advisers deny the problem in September, if Perry evidently was willing to admit it?

It doesn’t make sense.

UPDATE: Some people on Twitter have decided this as an occasion to renew their ax-grinding against Jennifer Rubin who, as I mentioned Saturday, has been accused of being in the tank for Mitt Romney — and not without reason. But why the ax-grinding on a story that has nothing to do with Romney?

Rubin did due diligence in asking Perry’s people about this story in September, and got a denial that now appears to have been misleading. Rubin’s alleged bias aside, she did valuable work in reporting that story. It would seem that the real disservice to Perry was done by the aides who tried to cover up a problem which — had they been willing to admit it at the time — might have put Perry’s troubles in a more sympathetic light.


12 Responses to “Problem Perry’s Campaign Denied in September, Confirmed in December”

  1. chuck coffer
    December 12th, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

    Ahhhh….the old fusion on your back story eh?

  2. Adjoran
    December 12th, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    Well, if he was on the good meds, they shouldn’t have let him jump in the race at the time.  I remember wondering about that at the time, the way they were saying, “Okay, Perry has to have a little pre-scheduled back surgery, no big deal, he’ll be up and around in no time.”

    That’s pretty much what everyone I’ve ever known who had back surgery was told, and none of them experienced that as the reality of recovery.  It takes longer, involves more pain (medicated or not), and in the end never is as carefree a final result as the cutters would have you believe.

    Nonetheless, a guy going through that has no business running for or serving as President.  Texas has a weak Governor constitutional system and a part time legislature, so he should be fine to stay on that job, but the idea of a national campaign is a whole ‘nother kettle o’ fish.  And, as Barry Obama always says, “Presidentin’ bees hard ‘n sh*t, y’all!”

  3. Anonymous
    December 12th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    Actually, I had a 2-level cervical fusion in 2006, and  “That’s pretty much what everyone I’ve ever known who had back surgery
    was told” is exactly what I experienced. No pain meds after a week or so, no rehab, no issues since. Maybe I should send Gov Perry the name of my doctor in Plano TX.

  4. ThePaganTemple
    December 12th, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Maybe its not so much that Rubin is in the tank for Romney as she is dead set against Newt Gingrich and realizes Romney just isn’t going to be able to take him down. So why not try to rehabilitate Perry?

  5. Charles
    December 12th, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

    Pain pills would explain that over the top NH performance too.

  6. Zilla of the Resistance
    December 12th, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    I have noticed that Jennifer Rubin often has kind words for Rick Santorum, perhaps she’s not as in the tank for mittens as people say?

  7. Mike Rogers
    December 12th, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    Sure makes sense. Half the time, especially mornings, he’s sharp and on message, like when he addressed the NH house two weeks ago, and half the time you wonder where he left his brain, like the widely reported NH dinner event last month.
    A little strategic rest beats the heck out of sounding doped!

  8. Bob Belvedere
    December 13th, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    I suspect it’s because she doesn’t see him as a threat – yet.

  9. Bob Belvedere
    December 13th, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    As someone who takes Vicodin every day for chronic pain, I can tell you that if you don’t manage it right (1), it’s very easy to crash on it and (2) all it takes is one cocktail to make you act like he did in NH that evening [Vicotini’s anyone?].

  10. SVT
    December 13th, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    So what’s your point?  That you don’t believe that Perry’s back condition was the cause of some of his debate performance problems and this is after the fact excuse making?  Or that there is something nefarious in denying it at first, then confirming it?

    If it’s the latter – it’s hard to believe that anyone would be surprised that Perry would first minimize or deny a problem only to have to admit later that it was worse than he thought.  That’s what men usually do.

    If it’s the former, have the stones to say so.  That’s what men usually do.

  11. nottd
    December 13th, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    Oh, and the song was written and performed first by the Amazing Rhythm  Aces, so don’t bother with Kershaw’s lame take.

  12. nottd
    December 13th, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    Cancel that.  Wrong post.