[Note: I get a lot of emails from politicians, political groups, and other inside-the-Beltway types, all the time. Occasionally, I get added to a mailing list that I quite obviously shouldn't be on. Today, the following arrived, from the "Republican Party Establishment." I'm sure they never meant for it to go public, but it was too good to pass up. Perhaps it was some sort of email addressing mistake -- we've certainly all had those, right? In any case, please enjoy the following, in the spirit in which it was written. Heh.]
From: The Republican Party Establishment
To: Governor Rick Perry
Subject: How can we miss you if you don't go away?
Well, it's been great fun and all, but we are sorry to inform you that your viable candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination is hereby over.
Truth be told, we're kind of surprised you haven't picked up on this yet. After all, we've unleashed the Right-Wing Commentariat (both the Punditocracy and the Blogosphere, just so you couldn't miss it) in the past week, and they've been in full-on "obituary-writing mode" ever since, on the subject of your former campaign. We even helpfully ran some of these pieces with headlines of a single syllable, in case the point was too subtle for you to grasp.
We realize the news of the end of your candidacy must come as a blow to you personally, especially because we were so enthusiastic about it ourselves, mere weeks ago. But things change, and we're just not that into you any more. Our apologies for leading you on in this fashion. Tell you what, you can even keep all the gifts we sent -- how's that for magnanimity?
You may argue that you're still doing pretty well with the voters, and in the polls. You may even point out the fact that you've pretty much led every single nationwide public opinion poll of Republican voters, ever since the day you announced your campaign. While this is true, we regret to announce that we have now declared your candidacy dead, and we fully expect the voters will soon reflect this top-level decision.
The Republican primary voters, after all, will always do what we tell them to do. Well, most of the time, at any rate. OK, OK, we admit we've been having problems on this front, what with the whole Tea Party thing, but this time around we're absolutely positive that the voters will vote for exactly who we tell them to vote for -- once we figure out who that is, of course. But we have reached an agreement on one subject: it's not going to be you. Sorry about that.
You may cite the example of John McCain, to prove us wrong. While it is true we didn't ever truly get behind McCain until the voters had decided the primaries, we feel that in 2012 the correct McCain parallel is with Romney. We are planning on doing the same thing with Mitt, after all -- not getting fully behind him until after it is painfully obvious that he'll get the nomination, after which we will half-heartedly accept him as our candidate.
Call us fickle if you must, but our turnaround on your candidacy's chances for success are actually a common thing around the Republican Establishment Headquarters building. Just ask Michele Bachmann if you don't believe us.
Since we are disappointing you in this fashion, we thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer you a consolation prize. No, the Vice President slot is not an option, either, sorry. Instead, we'd like to talk to your people about creating a reality show for you on Fox, which we feel can wind up being more lucrative for you personally than your former dreams of the Oval Office. Call it taking the "Donald Trump" route. Although you will have to choose a different signature phrase than "You're fired!", as we feel this would be too easy for the Democrats to exploit, seeing how so much of your state is currently aflame. Perhaps "You have no heart" could be reworked? We're open to suggestion.
Of course, you could always choose a Fox News job (call it the "Mike Huckabee" route), but after watching Brit Hume sum up your debate performance by saying "Perry really did throw up all over himself," we thought that perhaps this might cause problems in the newsroom. In any case, we'll have our people talk to your people, and we're sure we can come up with something for you to do once you declare your candidacy dead and withdraw from the race.
We had high hopes for you, Rick, but they just haven't paid off. Sure, the actual voters like you better than any of the other candidates, but we'd be willing to bet they'd all desert you right now if Sarah Palin jumped into the race. Not that we're suggesting such a nightmare scenario, of course -- we're already on the public record when it comes to Sarah's chances, as you well know. Right now, we're all pulling for Chris Christie to get into the race, to tell you the truth. Rest assured, we will subject him to the same treatment you have just received -- a loving wave of breathless support, followed only a few short weeks later by public character assassination. As we said earlier, when all of these crushes and swoons are over, we plan to very reluctantly support Mitt Romney.
In truth, we're still searching for the perfect Republican candidate, as we define it. This would consist of someone who was wildly liked by the Tea Party; but who also agreed to be bought, paid for, and controlled by us, the party establishment. We were never all that sure about the second part, in your case, and now you've shown a remarkable ability to annoy the Tea Partiers with your talk of "having a heart" on immigration, and using the sacred word "life" in a sentence unconnected to human reproduction. We're well aware that the polls still show you leading the pack, but we have decreed that this will not continue, so we're pretty sure it's going to stop soon. Trust us on this one, because we know what we're talking about. At least we think we do.
You've had a good run, Rick, and you should be proud of what you've accomplished. You managed to get us all excited once Tim Pawlenty left the race, which we hadn't counted on happening. For a few weeks there, you were the absolute apple of our eye.
But all good things must come to an end. And, sadly, this is the end of the viability of your campaign. Because we said so.
Please, Rick, for the good of the Republican Party (or at the least, the Republican Party Establishment), heed the advice of the old song: How can we miss you if you won't go away?
The Republican Party Establishment
PS. Get back to us on that reality show concept, we feel it could be a real winner for you!
-- Chris Weigant
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant