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.