The title is taken from various Republican attempts to co-opt Team Obama's effective Hope and Change message (which has been shortened by conservative blogs to Hopenchange as in "How's that hopenchange workin' out for ya?"
Today Fox news breaks a story that, if true, would be a real game changer ... for Newt Gingrich.
It's this: EXCLUSIVE: Gingrich-Perry Pre-Convention Ticket in the Works
What Does This Mean?
Rick Perry was supposed to be the anti-Obama Giant Killer. He was an experienced hard-hitting governor of Texas. He had excellent Tea-Party cred as well as a record of sanity that would appeal to moderates. He was likable, had executive hair, and had never lost an election. Big Oil (big money) believed in him. His religious credibility was solid while not being as ... severe as Santorum's.
In short, he was a late-entry block-buster.
He fizzled. He was attacked by Romney for his comments on Social Security being a 'Ponzi scheme.' That hurt him (especially in Florida polling)--but what really ruined him ... was him. Rick Perry was coming off of back surgery which was raised as a potential reason for his lapses on stage. He had a late entry (the same day that Michelle Bachmann won the Ames straw-poll, thus stealing her thunder!). Maybe that was why he wasn't ready?
People speculated he was stupid--an unlikely charge for as successful governor of Texas--but his released college transcripts indicated he wasn't an academic genius.
Whatever the case, his epic "Oops" was the final nail his run's coffin and he dropped out after several bad showings ... and endorsed Newt Gingrich.
Team-Up For TEXAS!
The 'rule' for selecting a VP is that you're supposed to pick a state you wouldn't win automatically (i.e. Rubio in the battleground state of Florida)--but that's a bit naive. Firstly, we're just out of a decade where Al Gore didn't win his own state--so clearly the Conventional Wisdom can be wrong--but secondarily, the totality of the ticket is what has to be managed.
In this case, Rick Perry on the ticket with Newt could be, well, a Game Changer. As I said, Rick has credit in the race that simply put, no one else had. The Tea Party blogosphere loved him. Yes, he was damaged by his missteps--but until he left the race, rehabilitation was always possible. Yes, he now has baggage he didn't have before.
But still? Newt needed a stunning maneuver to come back.
This is it.
What Do I Think?
Assuming this is true--and it comes off--it's the first time I remember that a candidate announced their running-mate this early ... and this far in the hole. What this means, most likely, would not be a Newt victory--that's unlikely--but rather putting him above Santorum because of the conservative cred and maybe increasing the likelihood of a contested convention should support leach from Romney.
Santorum should sign up Rubio right now!