22 August 2011

A Short List of Other Perrys Who Might Run for the Presidency

A better kind of Perry? It’s not a dream, it’s a reality!

Hardly had Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination for the White House — ostensibly as the Great Lily White Hope in a field crowded with flawed candidates — when members of his own party began to express misgivings.

I’m not talking only about liberals, who’ve been gleefully digging up old Molly Ivins columns about “Governor Coiffure,”or plaintively wailing about his views on religion, science, capital punishment, taxes, and — well, there’s really not much we do like about the guy, actually. (And in some quarters, that’s a selling point.)

No, the great surprise is how many conservative and Republican commentators have been quibbling about the (widely presumed) new frontrunner. Is Perry conservative enough? Is he too conservative? Is he sufficiently Bush-like, or excessively so? And so on.

Indeed, it seems clear that, though Perry clearly hoped instantly to win over voters who were waiting for “somebody better” to enter the race, there are now many Republicans who would prefer to see a better Perry throw his Stetson in the ring.

Such candidates are hard to find, however, requiring at least ten exhausting minutes on Wikipedia, and that’s not including the time spent on disambiguation. And so, as a public service, I would like to offer a few suggestions, along with my personal assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

Father-son Actors
John Bennett Perry & Matthew Perry
Pluses: And you think Mitt Romney looks presidential? Take your pick of these two! (But Dad used to be the Old Spice guy, and Old Spice guys are popular right now.)

Minuses: Pernicious Canadian influences; may even support health care for poor people.

Composer William Perry
Pluses: Tremendous potential appeal in Mid-America thanks to his career-long interest in the work of ever-popular Mark Twain.

Minuses: Come on! He’s obviously an intellectual elitist. He’d probably make music education mandatory in the public schools, for mercy’s sakes!

Filmmaker Scott Perry
Pluses: Successful businessman with great media savvy. Based in Texas.

Minuses: May believe in evolution. (“Catgirls”? Sounds Darwinian to me.) Strong likelihood that Bill Clinton would endorse him (or at least his movies, anyway).

Naval Captain Oliver Hazard Perry
Pluses: War hero, strong on defense issues.

Minuses: Dead.

Sideshow Luke Perry
Pluses: His face, his valuable face.

Minuses: Depends on how you feel about Dick Cheney. As Sideshow Luke Perry’s Vice-President, Krusty would obviously seek to follow in Dick’s very large footsteps.

Singer Katy Perry
Pluses: Nobody seems to care when she says dumb things. Strong likelihood she’d come up with a catchy campaign song and a really hawt running-mate, possibly Darren Criss of TV’s Glee.

Minuses: Too young. (See Constitution, Article II, Section 1.)

Actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry
Pluses: Strong on family values. Successful entrepreneur.

Minuses: Is rumored to wear men’s clothing.

Football Player Fred Perry
Pluses: Released from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last year, he understands the needs of the unemployed. Also, football is very, very popular.

Minuses: As a black man and an Arkansas native, he may remind Republican primary voters too much of our most recent Democratic Presidents.

Newspaper Editor Perry White
Pluses: Proven leadership skills.

Minuses: Card-carrying member of Lamestream Media.

Perry Logan
Pluses: Great hair. Is a friend of my brother.

Minuses: Is a friend of my brother.

Secret Agent Perry the Platypus
Pluses: Excellent grasp of national-security issues.

Minuses: Birth records unavailable; may have been born in Australia.

Attorney Perry Mason
Pluses: More than half of all U.S. Presidents have been lawyers. That’s got to count for something, right?

Minuses: Is a fictional character portrayed by an actor who’s dead and, what’s worse, gay.

American Theatre Wing
Antoinette Perry Award
Pluses: Virtually no chance that, if elected, it would try to raise taxes or to increase the size of the federal government.

Minuses: From New York. Enough said.

Musician Joe Perry of Aerosmith
Pluses and Minuses: I have addressed these in an earlier blog post, and I stand by that assessment.
Of course, if none of these good folks decide to enter the race, we have this consolation: there’s really nothing to stop us from referring to this guy as “Sideshow Rick Perry.”

My hair! My valuable hair!

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