Saturday 3 December 2016

It's the greatest show on earth -- lots of razzmatazz but little sanity

Rupert Cornwell

Published 17/08/2011 | 05:00

The greatest political show on earth is under way in earnest. With last weekend's official declaration of Rick Perry, and the Iowa straw poll that sealed the ascent of Michele Bachmann and the demise of Tim Pawlenty, the battle to secure the Republican nomination to face President Barack Obama has come into focus.

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A few loose ends of course have yet to be tied up, chief among them being, will Sarah run? But even a Palin-less race will be intriguing enough.

Mitt Romney is front runner, but an uncommonly vulnerable and unconvincing one. Ms Bachmann, the surprise of the campaign so far, now has to raise her game even further, while Mr Perry -- ordained by the media as the third "top-tier" candidate in the field -- must prove that what sells in Texas sells across the rest of America. He must do this, moreover, a mere four years after voters bid his predecessor in the governor's mansion in Austin a profound good riddance from the White House. In short, fascinating stuff. Alas, however, a show is all it is.

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