On the afternoon of September 11, 2015, former Texas Governor Rick Perry became the first of the GOP presidential hopefuls in the 2016 race to call it quits. This decision comes on the heels of a brutal few months of low donation numbers and seeing very little, if any, traction with the media. While Perry was a heavy favorite before his catastrophic collapse in 2012, the Governor just was background noise during the”Summer of Trump.”
Unable to crack into the high single-digits and realizing that there was no sense in trying to continue barely making the “JV debates,” Perry did the sensible thing and decided that his Presidential ambitions were through.
While Perry’s national campaigning for two elections cycles in a row have been studies in how not to run for President, it should be noted that he was Governor of Texas during a period of unbridled economic advancement for the Lone Star State. Perry’s social conservatism was a selling point for him in the 2012 race, but with many of the “culture war” issues being absorbed by bigger names and fresher faces, Perry never really was able to get off the ground.
Expect similar concerns to mount for former PA Senator Rick Santorum who has been mightily overshadowed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Similarly, politicians who are seemingly “past their prime” like NJ Governor Christie (who, the consensus seems to say should have been the nominee in 2012) and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal should also take a long look at the field and wonder if their message has the power to reach voters over the cacophony of the current race.
And so the winnowing process begins in earnest until the Republican race for the White House comes into focus.