My impression was that he was just trying to joke around with the audience, but there’s some media speculation that Rick Perry was under the influence of something during this New Hampshire speech on Friday. His demeanor in the video is definitely a far cry from his halting and uncomfortable style during the debates, though, as you’ll see, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great improvement:
Perry gets way too silly at certain points, like during his jokes about the 9-9-9 plan around the 3-minute mark. But this isn’t, as some have called it, his “Howard Dean” moment — mainly because there wasn’t a blatantly cringe-worthy part that can be replayed over and over by the media. But the slurred speech that one would normally associate with inebriation was absent. Assuming Perry’s sudden personality change wasn’t brought about by too many cocktails, it could just mean he’s just starting to relax on the national stage. That’s a good thing for his campaign, as long as they make sure he tones it down significantly next time. Over-the-top, goofy performances like these are the last thing he needs if he wants to win over Republicans looking for a respectable alternative to Romney.