Perry can win if leadership trumps debates

Hostility to Perry is in large part driven by the same factors that drove opposition to other candidates in recent elections, such as the affable Mike Huckabee. Perry is a conservative evangelical Christian, and although he never plays the victim, a cursory Google search reveals how many media commentators cannot tolerate his conservatism and his faith.

Nor is Perry alone. Other conservative candidates of faith are attacked when they break into the top tier. And as with Huckabee — who was another longtime Southern state governor — media elites ignore Perry’s charisma and connection with audiences.

Perry is a strong and effective leader. He has a quarter-century of executive experience under his belt, including three terms as governor of America’s second-largest state. And though not a great debater, he gives rousing plain-spoken speeches that receive standing ovations and connect with ordinarily Americans.

Republicans who want a good debater should vote for someone else in the primaries. Or they can just wait until next November, and vote for Obama.

America voted for silver-tongued eloquence and sparkling debate performances in 2008. How’s that working out for you?

Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski are fellows at the American Civil Rights Union, on faculty at Liberty University, and authors of Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.