The Spectacle Blog

Does Pain Explain Perry’s Poor Debate Performances?

By on 9.23.11 | 11:04AM

Many observers have remarked that Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears to grow tired during the course of debates, which seemed to happen again last night in Orlando. What could explain this? Brian Ledbetter, who blogs at Snapped Shot, e-mailed me to suggest that Perry's debate fatigue may be a result of his having undergone back surgery in July:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is considering a run for president, is working from home in Austin after minor surgery on his back . . .
Perry, an avid runner, spent two nights in the hospital after the surgery on Friday to "correct a reoccurring back ailment," Miner said. "The procedure included a small nerve decompression and small fusion."

If you know anything about back injuries (and I do, because my wife once worked in a hospital physical therapy unit), you know that chronic pain sometimes becomes worse after back surgery. If Perry is continuing to suffer serious pain issues, that certainly might affect his debate performance.

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