Why I'll Miss Rick Perry

From the day he entered the 2012 race until the day he left, Rick Perry continued to destabilize the GOP field.

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He had the Tea Party charisma of former Gov. Sarah Palin, the thoughtless Lone Star swagger of former President George W. Bush, the secessional political instincts of Jefferson Davis, and now Gov. Rick Perry's out of the race for the Republican nomination.

For some reason the man who was elected not once but three times as a Democrat, voted for the largest tax increase in modern Texas history, and served as state chairman of Al Gore's first run for president just couldn't win over the Republican base.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP hopefuls.]

Of course, those issues were hardly raised during this long, drawn-out Republican primary. No, Rick Perry was not a victim of GOP friendly fire in 2012. He only has himself to blame for one of the most disastrous national campaigns of all time. Such a horrible showing has not been seen since the likes of Herman Cain in ought-eleven.

Perhaps the only thing of consequence to come of Perry's effort is that in his withdrawal he breathes new life into the presidential prospects of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whom he endorsed, and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

From the controversy over "N-word head Ranch"—his family vacation destination—to his inability to remember the three federal agencies he'd shut down (oops!); from his notoriously homophobic campaign ad that became the most disliked video on YouTube to his many failed attempts at reviving his impotent campaign; I'm at a loss—it really is hard to pick what I'll miss most about this guy.

[See the Top 5 GOP Candidate Gaffes of 2011]

When Rick Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination he destabilized a large field of candidates just as the base looked to be solidifying behind Rep. Michele "pray the gay away" Bachmann.

He leaves the race in much the way he entered, destabilizing the field so the crazy train can continue for weeks, perhaps months, to come.

  • Read the U.S. News debate: Can Anything Stop Mitt Romney?
  • See pictures of the 2012 GOP candidates
  • Read about why conservatives ditched Rick Perry for Rick Santorum.