Perry's Desperate Quest for Relevance

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Rick Perry is pitifully determined not to fade out.

This week, Perry sought permission to transfer his remaining campaign funds into a new PAC or Super PAC. With no respect nationally, giving out money to Republican candidates must seem like Perry's best option. We all know how Perry lost his national influence: for more than three months, Perry dragged his reputation through the mud with constant gaffes and a terribly-run campaign.

This week, POLITICO revealed new information about just how reckless the Perry campaign was. POLITICO reported that the campaign spent eight times more than it raised in January, “an ultimately futile effort to regain relevance and momentum he squandered late last year amid poor debate performances and ill-fated campaign strategy.”

Perry has been trying to regain that relevance from the moment he exited the race. On January 19th, the day Perry dropped out, the campaign asked big donors to reassign their general election contributions “to redesignate their contributions so that they may remain in the committee's account and be used for … the committee's proposed new” PAC. Even Perry's donors don't much believe in him anymore: they have approved the transfer of only about $30,000 and have asked for $100,000 to be refunded to them, according to PAC request.

Of course, Perry is right that despite his reputation, money talks in politics and candidates will be happy to receive a Perry PAC's money.

But what about Perry's personal political influence itself? After dropping out of the race, he endorsed Newt Gingrich. Even Gingrich, who is bordering on utter irrelevance in the GOP primary, has had the foresight not to invite Perry on the campaign trail. Perry's first appearance with Gingrich will not be much of an appearance at all; at Wednesday's Arizona GOP debate, Perry will simply be in Gingrich's spin room.

Most humiliatingly, Perry is talking about making another run for the White House in 2016.In an interview, ABC host Jonathan Karl said, “You may run again,” to which Perry replied, “Absolutely.” Perry later said, “debates have absolutely nothing to do with governing,” but that it was “great practice, for, I guess…” Karl jumped in to add, “for 2016?” Perry smiled. “Yeah, could be,” he said.

Either Perry is seriously confused and under the impression that running for president again is a good idea, or his ego is so hurt by his downfall that he's saying anything to stay in the news. Whether he's serious or just trying to stay relavant, Rick Perry is still a complete joke.

Unfortunately, the Rick Perry joke is on Texans, who have to endure his awful administration for two more years.

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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