I wonder if Rick Perry's movie will be any good.
The trailer looks amazing.
Oh, that's not a movie trailer? That's a political ad?
Well, now I'm a little disappointed. For a moment, I thought Perry was going to offer a couple hours of suspenseful, dramatic entertainment. Instead, he's just adding another angle to the political drama that will be unfolding over the next 13-plus months.
For those who haven't seen the ad yet, it uses the word "zero" a lot in talking about President Obama, such as, "Zero jobs created in August, zero confidence, zero hope, zero change."
At the same time, it shows a lot of gloomy skies, dilapidated buildings, empty places of business and other depressing scenes.
Then, it all changes as the ad looks forward to 2012.
Everything is sunny, from the Statue of Liberty to an American cityscape.
"A great country requires a better direction," Perry says. "A renewed nation deserves a new president."
He goes on to say things like, "The U.S.A. really is the last great hope of mankind," and, "It's time to get America working again."
Not surprisingly, the ad does nothing to say how that will happen. That's understandable for an ad. Perry's record must speak for itself, right?
Texas has gained jobs slightly more than 1 million jobs on Perry's watch, but it seems like that is due more to Texas' natural resources and policies put into place before Perry took office.
Looking back, Texas also gained more than 775,000 jobs while Ann Richards was governor from 1991 to 1995 and another 1.6 million-plus jobs during George W. Bush's six years.
So, is it really right for Perry to claim job creation, when his predecessors actually had a higher percentage of job growth?
Maybe Perry does deserve some credit, considering the nation as a whole has lost jobs over the past decade. But, if he's going to take credit for 1 million new jobs, he must also be ready to take credit for an unemployment rate that has doubled from 4.2 percent in January of 2001 to 8.4 percent this July.
Hopefully, people are asking Perry about the disconnect between the number of created jobs and the percentage of unemployment. He'll be asked about it if and when he comes to Spencer.
Perry is also touting the two-year state budget he signed in June that cut overall spending for the first time in 40 years. However, according to the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram, spending increased an average of 16.8 percent every two years, or 4.2 percent when adjusted for population and inflation. The rates under George Bush were 13.3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Perhaps some of the increased spending was due to receiving and spending increased federal funding. Nonetheless, if Perry is going to be tough on Bush's spending record, which he has in the past, he should be prepared for the critiques of his own long-term spending record.
Plenty of people have said Perry overstepped his bounds with a 2007 executive order that required sixth-grade girls be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, but he has already called that decision a mistake.
Nonetheless, he has plenty of other questions he must answer, from long-term solutions for Social Security and Medicare to national security and immigration.
We know he can hire someone to produce an eye-catching advertisement, but can he produce the answers that Americans are seeking?