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Perry Exit Should Humble the "Experts" Perry Exit Should Humble the "Experts"

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Perry Exit Should Humble the "Experts"

As Rick Perry ignominiously departs the presidential race and sheepishly returns to Texas, his oh-so-short campaign should serve as a humbling reminder to those who prognosticate about politics. For when Perry burst on the scene with an Aug. 13th announcement in South Carolina that overshadowed the Iowa Straw Poll, no one foresaw that he would crash and burn only 159 days later, not even making it to the South Carolina primary.

The experts inside the Republican Party, political analysts and journalists were aware of potential pitfalls for Perry when he announced. But they were all more impressed by his executive experience in Austin, his ability to raise money, his influential backers and a jobs record he could highlight in an election that all expected would be dominated by the economy. Fueled by the high expectations and advance reviews, everything seemed to be falling into place. Only ten days after his announcement, Gallup reported "Perry Zooms to the Front of the Pack for 2012 GOP Nomination." He was beating second-place Mitt Romney by 12 points, 29 to 17 percent.

But the collapse was almost as quick and agonizingly inexorable. Accusing the head of the Federal Reserve of treason; calling Social Security "a Ponzi scheme"; aligning himself with the already-discredited birthers. And all that long before that "oops" moment or any of his other missteps in the many debates.

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