Not that anyone paid it much mind, Rick Perry’s Iowa sign-off last night was of a piece with his goofy, if not daft performance in the Republican primary. So it’s not surprising that no one’s really noticed that his fifth place showing in Iowa ended his undefeated streak in political elections. And no one is much surprised that instead of withdrawing as he essentially signaled he would he now says he’s going to compete in South Carolina. My only question is whether there’s any politician anywhere who would have included such a tribute to himself as Perry did when, in his short-lived valedictory last night, he read from devoted Perry volunteer Colt Smith’s letter to him, which included these words: “He said, ‘I know you were a good man, but I never realized what a great man you were.'” Naturally, Perry teared up as he read this testimony to his own greatness.
But again, who could hold it against him? Certainly it was preferable on the likeability scale than Newt Gingrich’s utterly classless promise to kick around Newt Romney all he can until there’s nothing left of the GOP’s chances this year. To think that just a few weeks ago Newt was preaching Republican unity against the one opponent that matters, Barack Obama. At this rate, Rick Perry will finish well ahead of him in South Carolina.