Sometimes you can't appreciate how precious something is until you lose it, and that's how we feel about Rick Perry's presidential campaign. All summer he was hyped as the candidate who would destroy skinny nerds Mitt Romney and Barack Obama --- better looking than JFK, more Texas than George W. Bush, tighter with J.C. than Mike Huckabee -- and then we woke up one day and realized he was wearing orthopedic shoes. But in his few months as a presidential candidate before he dropped out of the race Thursday, Perry gave us many memories to cherish. Here are some of those we hold most dear:
He forgot things.
Perry's "oops" moment on live television was so incredible certain bloggers literally found themselves standing up and pointing at the TV screen.
He was blissfully unaware of homoerotic imagery.
Perry knew he was good looking, according to Vanity Fair's Bryan Burrough, and he used that to his advantage in his ads. But sometimes the outcomes were a little odd, like when he toured this sausage factory as Texas agriculture commissioner:
In the Texas legislature in the 1980s, Perry's nickname was "Crotch," Paul Begala wrote on The Daily Beast. Why? Tight jeans which needed frequent adjustment. Plus, Vanity Fair reports that when Perry ran for ag commissioner in 1990, he had a very distinct poster. Lobbyist Bill Miller explained, "[T]here was a poster of Perry they put out, wearing chaps, feet up on a bale of hay, his crotch front and center... I saw that poster everywhere, in every office I went into, and I thought, This guy is hot. In every sense of the word.” At left, a still from another classic Perry campaign ad.
He was a real Real American badass.
Perry claimed that one time, while he was jogging, he came across a coyote, so he shot the thing with hollow-point bullets fired from his laser-sighted .380 Ruger. This story, even to many people who are from Real America, sounded like total bullshit. That kind of bullet from that kind of weapon would turn a coyote into the pile of bloody mush much like what's left when vampires are killed in True Blood. And runners know it's pretty hard to carry much in in your swisher shorts. But Burroughs reports the story is true:
“We were at a Boy Scout function, and I said to him, ‘Rick, man, I have to ask you: Did you really kill that coyote?’” says Don Mauro.
“And he goes, ‘Yeah, I did.’
“‘With a pistol?’
“‘While you were jogging?’
“‘And it had a laser sight on it?’
“And then he showed me a picture of the gun, on his phone. I did find that kind of strange, but you know what? He didn’t. At all.”
And yet he loved fashion.
Macho man Perry is strangely into clothes, including custom cowboy boots, french cuffs, and very high collars.
He was unafraid to be silly.
Perry was so silly during an October speech in New Hampshire that many wondered if he was drunk (the hosts were forced to insist he was not.)
But longtime Perry fans knew he likes making funny voices. He even danced with rabbis in this 2010 video:
With Perry dropping out of the race, and Michele Bachmann, we're starting to run low on entertaining candidates. We can always hope for 2016.