Apparently, Texas governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry married someone just as skillful at thinking before speaking as is he. Soul mates, as it were. Anita Perry, campaigning on behalf of her husband in South Carolina Friday, commiserated with a man who spoke of losing his job in the present economy. She noted that her family understood the pain of the unemployed in America, because her son was recently unemployed due to policies of the Obama administration.
“My son had to resign his job because of federal regulations that Washington has put on us,” she told the man, who had recently lost his $100,000 job and was now working as a $12 per hour handyman, according to CNN.
“He resigned his job two weeks ago because he can’t go out and campaign with his father because of SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] regulations,” she added, referring to her son, Griffin, who until a few weeks ago, worked at Deutsche Bank. “He has a wife… he’s trying to start a business. So I can empathize.”
“My son lost his job because of this administration,” she insisted a few moments later.
This is where sound effects of screeching tires or a visual of someone doing an overly melodramatic double-take — or both — occur in a satiric relating of the story. Followed, of course, by the obligatory, “She said what?”
Did Anita Perry, obviously unaware of her gaffe, actually compare her son, who voluntarily resigned (that is, “quit” his job) his position as a well-paid banker to go to work for her husband’s campaign (which he is undoubtedly being paid with monies from the campaign), to a man who had lost his job due to economic conditions, a man who has been forced by the lack of jobs to work for far less than he has become accustomed to, a man who did not voluntarily walk away from a position to do something he apparently wanted to do? Did she actually compare her millionaire son to who chose to leave his job — and who did not “lose” anything — to a man forced to leave his job, which was most likely his and his family’s livelihood?
And then did she just go that illogical presumption one better by attempting to blame it on the Obama administration? Security and Exchange Commission regulations aside, what Griffin Perry did was a choice, although CNN noted that the SEC did enact a regulation last year that was aimed at limiting political activity among its members. Still, one acts within the given rules and policies of one’s vocation, industry, and/or company — or not. Apparently, Anita and Rick’s son chose not to and decided to work for his father.
In any event, it was his choice. The economy did not force him to do anything, unlike the gentleman who had shared his story. And it is doubtful that her millionaire son felt the pain of unemployment like the South Carolina handyman, the uncertainty of not knowing what might be coming next, the inability to find a job in his chosen profession, and being forced to move into another vocation due to the economy and the circumstances of providing for himself and his family. No, because unlike the handyman, Griffin Perry knew exactly what he was doing, why he was doing it, what he would soon be doing, and all cushioned by the fact that he had plenty of money to fall back on.
In fact, Griffin Perry was never unemployed at all — save perhaps a few short hours or days in the transition from banker to daddy’s little helper. He resigned his position to take up another position. In layman’s terms, it is generally referred to as “switching jobs.” That is not unemployed the way the South Carolina handyman and tens of millions of Americans have understood unemployment in the last several years (and throughout history).
But perhaps Mrs. Perry’s gaffe can be understood in the stress of her current position — a wife watching her husband fail. Her once presidential frontrunner husband has seen his national poll numbers plummet in recent weeks, mostly due to exceptionally poor debate performances in September. Where he was commanding a double-digit lead in the 2012 GOP race, he has now slipped to third. Still a contender, it would seem, but fading.
Besides, not 24 hours before her oddly equating her son’s switching jobs with forced unemployment, she told reporters that she felt her family had been “brutalized” by the media for their religious beliefs, referring to the controversy brought about by a Perry supporter, a Dallas pastor, who had exhorted fellow Christians to vote for Perry as opposed to Mitt Romney, who he said was a Mormon and member of a “cult.”
She said in a speech at North Greenville University (per MSNBC ) that it had been a “rough month.” She went on: ” We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today. We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”
Her husband is the only true presidential candidate chosen by God and the other candidates only “feel” they were “called” upon to run for president. At the same time she has has a job-jumping son, which makes her family empathic to the plight of America’s unemployed.
Mrs. Perry should steel herself for another month of being brutalized…