I sympathize with Governor Perry. I have made some bloopers in my day. I have said some things that probably it would have been better to have left unsaid, or at least said differently. I have forgotten important information at the very moment I needed it most. And frankly, I am glad there is not a video cam recording everything I say.
So, when the Governor could not remember the name of the third government department he wants to shut down, I sympathize. After all, if you’re already on track to eliminate two other major departments–firing tens of thousands of government employees and cutting hundreds of billions in spending–what’s one more agency?
But, and this is a big but, the moment leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Does Governor Perry really believe the stuff he says? Oh, its okay if he doesn’t know all the details–who could? Surely no president, including the present one, knows everything about all the stuff he says.
But I do expect presidents to have a command of their basic proposals–and the center of Governor Perry’s agenda is to radically reduce the size of the federal government. I did not agree with former President Bush (#2) on many things, and I know he said some stupid things at times, but I never doubted that he understood his agenda and the main points of it. The man believed it, and I had no trouble believing him–even when I disagreed, which was, I admit, most (but not all) of the time.
I do not doubt Governor Perry’s intelligence, or his ability to lead (being Governor of Texas requires skill and dedication), but I do wonder if he really wants to BE President of the United States. If he does, he will get himself integrated–from the inside out.