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Daily view: Is this the end of the road for Rick Perry?

Host | 14:11 UK time, Thursday, 10 November 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry's moment of forgetfulness during a nationally televised Republican presidential debate in Rochester, Michigan, has left US political commentators asking if it has fatally damaged his campaign.

Howard Kurtz of the Daily Beast says that Mr Perry's blackout is symbolic of his whole campaign:

Rick Perry was the biggest loser. The man simply cannot memorize his talking points. It was the only Perry moment anyone will remember, and a metaphor for his erratic campaign.

At the Huffington Post, Jon Ward agrees Mr Perry's freeze could do lasting, even fatal, damage to his election prospects:

Perry has already been beset by unforced errors in his less than three months as a presidential candidate, but this topped all of his previous gaffes. It was a moment that very well might have extinguished his chances of coming back and competing with Romney... Perry's jaw-dropping memory lapse created a solid minute of full-color video memorializing the governor as a bumbling joke.

Writing for the New Yorker, Jon Cassidy suggests that Wednesday night's blunder was the final nail in the coffin for Mr Perry's campaign:

Before we all forget about him and consign him to history, I have one request: Can somebody in authority please appoint a bipartisan commission, or send a team of investigative reporters, to find out how this buffoon became the governor of the country's second largest state by population and area?

The New York Times Caucus blog was slightly more forgiving, with Michael Shear saying it was a mistake anyone could have made.

It was a human moment (that, indeed, was his campaign's defense as soon as the debate was over) but it was also a political nightmare that extended nearly a minute but seemed to go on forever. The reaction was fast, furious and unrelenting in its conclusion that Mr Perry's stumble was not only embarrassing, but quite likely devastating to his candidacy.

But Molly Ball at The Atlantic says it was just the latest in a string of mistakes for Mr Perry:

For Perry, this was more than just a meaningless gaffe. It seemed to sum up his entire candidacy: a candidate maddeningly unable to consistently perform at the level of basic competence. Ever since he entered the race, Perry has made unforced error after unforced error, from threatening the Federal Reserve chairman with physical harm to accusing conservatives of heartlessness to seeming possessed by a number of alien personalities during a speech in New Hampshire. And now this.

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