Perry's appearance at the fair, where he challenged reporters on whether they were "tough" enough to walk with him, chomped on meat and a hard-boiled egg and struck rugged poses was a well-staged political triumph. (The word "manly" got thrown around a lot, with varying degrees of irony, in the press pack.)
Ann asks: "He ate a hard-boiled egg and 'meat' and somehow that gets macho points with these characters?"
So Perry's "manliness" was discussed, but only ironically. Does the press pool have a problem with manliness? What does the word even mean when inserted into a presidential race in the year 2011?
The left has already started a "Rick Perry is secretly gay" whispering campaign (a smear campaign I never understood. If "gay is okay," then why are they always trying to whip up the gay panic? cf. John Kerry and John Edwards both mentioning "Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian" in the 2004 debates.)
The left also jeered George W. for being a cowboy. Rick Perry will certainly receive the same taunt. But maybe the great mass of voters outside the Washington corridor want a cowboy in 2011.
The most interesting part of Ann's blog entry is the commentariat (as usual); Rick Perry seems to have taken over the Chuck Norris meme. ("Rick Perry's tears cure cancer. Too bad he's never cried." "Rick Perry didn't shoot the coyote. The coyote saw Perry, gently borrowed Perry's gun, and shot itself to save Perry the trouble.")
Do we have a "manliness gap" in Washington? Or in America in general? Is there a "manliness void" in the White House? How many points will a candidate's perceived manliness be worth?
If this is going to be a factor in the Presidential race, how do you see it playing out?