There’s a joke about a cop who comes home and finds a note from his wife: “I’m leaving you for anyone else.” (More)

With no guest writer today, Morning Feature takes a nutshell look at Texas Governor Rick Perry’s dive into the GOP presidential candidate pool. He made a big splash, but so does a belly flop.

Barely 24 hours into his presidential run, Gov. Perry threatened Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, questioned President Obama’s patriotism, implied military service should be a prerequisite for the Oval Office, and warned of a big black cloud hanging over our nation. Here are his statements, verbatim:

If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.

“I think you want a president who is passionate about America – that’s in love with America.” Asked if President Obama loves America, Perry replied, “You’ll have to ask him.”

I think the military men and women respect the commander in chief regardless of who it is. I think they really like to see a person who’s worn the uniform in that office and, you know, I think that’s just a true statement and I wouldn’t back up off of it an inch. Go ask your veterans if they’d rather see somebody who’s never served as the commander in chief.

I am a pro-business governor. I don’t make any apologies about it, and I will be a pro-business president. Getting American back to work is the most important issue that faces this country – being able to pay off 14-and-a-half or 16 trillion dollars worth of debt. That big black cloud that hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous, there’s only one way you get rid of it that’s practical, that makes sense, and that is to free up America.

The responses were swift. Former Bush White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove said:

You don’t accuse the chairman of the federal reserve of being a traitor to his country. Of being guilty of treason. And, suggesting that we treat him pretty ugly in Texas. You know, that is not, again a presidential statement.

In a later interview, Rove also noted that the Federal Reserve Board is an independent body and Gov. Perry would have no choice but to work with Chairman Bernanke if elected.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney agreed:

When you’re president or you’re running for president you have to think about what you’re saying because your words have greater impact President Obama and we take the independence of the Federal Reserve very seriously and certainly think threatening the Fed chairman is probably not a good idea.

But President Obama is willing to cut a newbie some slack:

You know, Mr. Perry just got into the presidential race. I think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn’t like running for governor or running for senator or running for Congress, and you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say. But I’ll cut him some slack. He’s only been at it for a few days now.

And The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart offered this take:

Comparisons to Fred Thompson have already begun. In 2008, Thompson was the GOP’s Most Desirable Someone Else. But when Thompson finally declared – and was no longer Someone Else – he almost immediately slid into irrelevance.

Back in 1984 I read a newspaper column on the Democratic primaries. That was the last time the Democratic nomination was undecided all the way to the convention. I don’t remember the columnist’s name and I can’t find the column online, but the columnist described the primary process that year as “looking for Someone Else.” Each new entry basked in enthusiasm and attention, until voters got to know them. Then the voters wanted … Someone Else.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was the first Someone Else of 2011, and his campaign soared until its launch. Then came Donald Trump, who rode high on birtherism until the president revealed his birth certificate and then coolly skewered Trump at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, while the Bin Laden operation was underway in Pakistan. Now comes Gov. Perry. And after just two days of seeing Gov. Perry on the campaign trail, rumors were already spreading that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan might be this year’s next Someone Else.

It seems there’s really only one thing Republican voters are certain about. When it comes to the 2012 race, they want Anyone Else.


Happy Wednesday!