It’s fitting that Perry’s bringing in a former FEMA director to try to rescue his campaign from the brink of disaster. Joe Allbaugh – who also ran Bush-Cheney 2000 –and a handful of other establishment-type figures have just been hired as senior advisers. But is the shakeup too late, and too little, to save him?
Herman Cain is rapidly cementing his position as the non-Romney frontrunner. And the latest CBS/NYT poll shows Perry trailing not just Romney and Cain, but also no-shots like Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.
If there was ever going to be a comeback, today’s flat-tax proposal seemed like a good start. Perry gave a great speech, outlined a plan that’s attractive to a lot of conservatives, and managed to get it a ton of media attention. But he fell face first on it when he brought up the “birther” issue for the second time this week. The big story of the day could have been Perry’s tax plan. Now it’s whether or not he believes Obama was born in the U.S. This was a completely unnecessary, self-inflicted injury.
It doesn’t hurt Perry to have some new and experienced campaign advisers on board. But there’s only so much they can do. Perry’s biggest problem so far hasn’t been campaign mismanagement; it’s been his own words. From the early campaign trail gaffes, to the incoherent debate arguments and “birther” comments, Perry’s mouth has been his worst enemy. If his new advisers can somehow help him manage that, then he may have a shot.