Is Rick Perry dumb?

When you have Kinky Friedman, shame on him, lauding Rick Perry’s charms, you must believe with perfect faith that the Politico Arena question of the day can only be answered one way. Read on please and tell me what your answer would have been.

Politico TheArena logo

Arena Asks: Doubts about Gov. Rick Perry’s intellect have hounded him since he was first elected as a Texas state legislator nearly three decades ago. While Texas loyalist reject the suggestion, Perry seems to almost welcome the low bar, even cracking on the campaign trail that there were few differences between he and former President George Bush. Does Perry’s attitude threaten to derail his presidential race if he continues to compare himself to Bush?

My Answer: Dumb like a fox.

Never “misunderestimate” the wily charm of West Texas good ol’ boys. Nor the American voter’s preference for charm over smart.

Anybody remember how Al Gore won the debate with George W. Bush on substance but lost it on intellectual arrogance?

Let’s heed the adage “Once burned, twice careful,” and take Perry seriously. Don’t be fooled by those Aggie jokes that will inevitably be told about him. This man is no joke; he is a serious danger who would lead America to the extreme theocratic right where intellect is never a match for ideology.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.


  1. Kel Madison on August 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Dumb? No… “Never UNDERESTIMATE the wily charm of West Texas good ol’ boys.”
    He scares the hell outta me…

  2. Jodi Lustig on August 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    When you close your eyes and listen to Rick Perry you hear George Bush! How that doesn’t send shivers down most Americans’ spines is beyond me. Yeesh!

    And not to snipe, but doesn’t everyone remember how charming Obama was once upon a time?

  3. Facebook comments on August 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Comments made on Facebook too good not to share here!

    Kathryn Irby Ignorant. Ignorant, Ignorant, and then some!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kelly L. Gullickson Madison Ignorant but dangerous…


    Sheila Luecht Indeed.

    Michael Druckman Pots calling the ketel black.

    Pat Wood Dumb is a good way to say it—however, do not make the mistake of underestimating him—as big an ignoramus as he is, there is some craftiness in his exercise of politics—as the late great Molly Ivins said, “He’s got some Elvis….” (knows how to work a room).

    Sheila Luecht Swiveling his hips and shaking them?

    Pat Wood Wish it were that simple—I think it is more like being able to make himself the center of things, wherever he is.

    Sheila Luecht Time to challenge him on his weakest point, publically. Gather some activists to visit him everytime he is in public and ask him some questions that he dosen’t have the capacity to answer, or how about posters or some sort? Right to lifers get away with a lot, why not turn the tables?

    Pat Wood Could not agree more. He is all over the place if you put facts in front of him and probably the worst hypocrite in politics—much to work with there. The truth squad needs to stay hot on his heels and make him pay for these horrendous policies/ideas he promotes.

    Sheila Luecht The smartest thing we could do is hire a PR firm for each of these candidates to work against them with press releases, exposure and the truth. A reputable firm dispatches individuals to each campaign and manages the rebuttals to all the bs and creates news and gets it out there. Surely some incredibly rich person or persons, liberal and truth focused would be willing to pick up the tab?

    Michael Druckman Pat, where was the truth squad on all the bullshit forth coming from the current President.

    Laurens R. Hunt Is Rick Perry really that dumb? Or could it also be that the lethal combination of Kinky Friedman and Rick Perry is that dumb? Putting both together they have hurled countless epithets about gender, race, age, ability, LGBTQ orientations, and religions that if I posted them here they would be taken down. The main issue is that they are vulgar, unrefined, and void of any accountability about the diatribes that they say. They are both two peas in a pod, and their stupidity compliments one another.

  4. Dave on September 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Did you ask this same question when you were being charmed and wooed by the chosen one? Talk about a dud!

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