To Win This, Rick Perry Needs to Look Less Angry
Conservatives can't afford to be painted as radicals, Peggy Noonan writes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2011 3:12 PM CDT
In this Aug. 20, 2011, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to supporters at Tommy's Ham House in Greenville, SC.   (AP Photo/Richard Shiro, File)

(Newser) – Rick Perry appears to be a “natural conservative, Texas Division,” and that’s awfully appealing for the Republican base, but he’s also got a glaring flaw, writes Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal. Perry has “a chesty, quick-draw machismo that might be right for an angry base but wrong for an antsy country,” she laments. “Americans want a president who feels their anger without himself walking around enraged.”

Gaffes like flirting with the idea of secession, or suggesting certain Fed decisions could be “treasonous” smack of bad judgment. And that matters, because “presidential temperament has never been more important. We can’t escape presidents now, they’re all over every screen.” Americans elected Ronald Reagan—then a very conservative candidate—because he was so good-natured and even-keeled. “In 2012, the Republican candidate will be called either mean or dumb, or both,” Noonan warns. Perry can’t afford to look the part.