Congressman Ron Paul: Is this his time?

After watching another lackluster debate performance by Texas Governor Rick Perry it’s safe to say the current tea party poster child is the new Michelle Bachmann — a flash in the pan headed for the trash compactor.

Rick Perry on stage stumbled, sputtered and spat.  He started strong then got off script and couldn’t find his way back. Instead of the slick, confident image created by his handlers, the real Rick Perry appeared — a petulant child unable to think on his feet and incapable of dealing with issues or a crisis.

This guy wants to be President?

God help us.

The sad fact that Perry achieved frontrunner status in the GOP circus that masquerades as a political selection process is a worrisome commentary on the state of things in the party of the elephant.  From Sarah Palin to Michelle Bachmann to Rick Perry, Republican desperation to find salvation in style over substance is all too obvious.

Perry supporters — and their numbers are dwindling — sting cling to the fading hope that the GOP race for the nomination is a two-man battle but a new poll in New Hampshire suggest that Rick Perry is not one of those two.  Ron Paul is number two in that poll — not that far behind Mitt Romney and well ahead of other candidates.

By the time the smoke clears, the race could well come down to a contest between moderate Romney and libertarian Paul.

Which wouldn’t be a bad thing for Republicans.  GOP voters would have a clear choice between two candidate with sharply-defined ideologies.

And either would give voters a choice against President Barack Obama as he heads into the 2012 campaign as a born-again liberal.

Romney could appeal to moderate independents who polls show are abandoning Obama in droves while Paul would attract from proponents of less government and more adherence to the Constitution and fundamentals that once drove the GOP.

Some within the GOP still think Jon Huntsman is the sleeper candidate for 2012 and he is third in the New Hampshire poll but the Utah Governor is not igniting any fires among his supporters while Paul has the most impassioned base of fans of any Presidential candidate.

It’s that kind of election year.

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