An hour or two ago, Rick Perry announced that he is suspending his presidential campaign. It’s too bad: Perry was a tremendously successful governor, and is a good guy. His failure to get traction perhaps tells us more about flaws in the process than in his qualifications.
Earlier today, Paul speculated about whether another hugely successful (and thoroughly conservative) governor, Scott Walker, is on the ropes. Ultimately, the ability of a candidate to keep going when he hasn’t made much of a dent in the polls depends on fundraising. If Walker continues to have adequate financial support, there is no reason he shouldn’t stay in the race and see what happens in the upcoming debates.
I agree with Paul that Walker has made some mistakes. His campaign has reoriented its approach around the slogan that Walker will “wreak havoc” in Washington. Obviously they felt the need of a more aggressive image. Whether the unflappable Walker–a quality that would serve him well as president–will be able to distinguish himself enough to rise out of the pack remains to be seen.
In a field of 17, it is inevitable that there will be some early dropouts. Personally, I would prefer that the casualties not be governors with great records. Bobby Jindal is another in that category who may not be around for the long haul. My own preference would be to see Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Jim Gilmore and Lindsey Graham fall by the wayside. For some of the individuals on that list, it may not be long, but we can expect candidates like Huckabee and Santorum, who have more or less made a career out of running for president, to stick around as long as possible.