Politico Asks an Impolite Question About Rick Perry


Whether he’s dumb. It’s probably not a good sign when a reporter needs to devote four pages and talk to multiple sources to answer that one. Of course, it’s also not a great sign that the question was posed at all, or phrased that way. Even “Is Rick Perry smart?” would have been slightly less damaging.

So is he? Well, depends what you think dumb is. (One joke making the rounds: He’s Bush without the brains.) We already know that the governor wasn’t one for book learning. What about street smarts?

Another consultant offered this assessment: “If he should know about John Locke, he’ll know about John Locke. If it’s not on his schedule, it’s irrelevant to him.” Presumably, he won’t dine with the philosopher anytime soon, so he’s off the hook for that one. A shame, really: Locke was a proponent of the tabula rasa theory of human intellect, which would be a good counter for Perry against those questioning his inherent mental capacities.

Perry prefers a different description for his brain, though.

That’s actually a very sophisticated metaphor! With great economy, Perry indicated that he finds Rove cold, briney, and unsatisfying. Rick Perry, poet?

Is Rick Perry dumb? [Politico]