Kevin Drum says that Rick Perry has screwed up the debates because he hasn’t bothered to put in the work to get better:
But there was a bigger problem: Perry looked like he didn’t think he needed to even care about any of that stuff. He muffed his attack lines because he hadn’t bothered to study them. He wasn’t prepared for the tuition fight because he figured that he could just repeat the same old explanations and flash his thousand-watt smile at the audience. He didn’t know what to say about Pakistan because he figured any sort of good ol’ boy BS would do. It always has before, after all. So he’s apparently spent the past month doing….nothing.
That’s just way too Palinesque for the political pros. He looks like a guy who’s had such an easy time in Texas that he doesn’t really think he’s going to have to work for the nomination — or the presidency.
It may well be that his meteoric rise in the polls when he announced his nomination gave him a false confidence that told him he didn’t need to work at it. But it should have been obvious that the reason for that rise had far more to do with dissatisfaction among Republican voters for the candidates that had already announced. So when Perry announced he was greeted as a savior, as the candidate that can unite both factions of the party. Didn’t last long.