The big takeaway moment from last night’s political rumble in the gambling jungle of Las Vegas is obviously the so-called ‘brawl’ that that Mitt Romney got into with Rick Perry.
Perry attempted to go after Romney by dragging up an old 2007 report that Romney had employed illegal immigrants to care for his lawn.
Perry got hammered after September’s Orlando debate for saying that “if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”
Presumably he hoped to would Romney in a similar fashion…and this worked! There was a tussle! Romney got so riled up he put his hand on Perry’s shoulder and got so riled up he came close to yelling.
The world is thanking you Rick Perry. One of the biggest challenges Romney has always faced as a candidate (and much of the reason Herman Cain has been so popular) is that he’s deadly boring. (See Calvin Trillin’s brilliant poetic sum-up here.)
Last night we were introduced to non-boring Mitt Romney a what a relief! The man has a temper! He has emotions! Presumably he has a heart.
These will all be key things in the coming election year. Americans don’t elect extremists (be they left or right) but they do require a certain charisma quotient from their candidates. Or at least proof of a heartbeat.
New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait thinks we came close to seeing the actual Romney in that exchange.
To be sure, watching Mitt Romney and Rick Perry talk over each other about Las Vegas debate rules is not exactly awe-inspiring. In fact, if Romney were any other candidate it would probably be entirely worrisome.
However! Where Romney is concerned it was merely some much-needed proof he is actually alive. So thanks Rick Perry for giving the GOP some hope they are not doomed to nominate a robot.
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