Grits predicted Gov. Perry would receive positive press from his parsimonious clemency record if the campaign played up the issue[and] could use Christmastime clemency to separate himself from the other presidential candidates ... By granting more-than-usual clemencies this December, Perry would likely generate good media with little near-term Wille-Horton-esque risk, while setting the story up inevitably as comparing Perry and Obama (since none of the other GOP candidates can grant pardons) and thereby making the governor appear more presidential.See full, unedited post here.
I'm not confident Perry will do that, but if he doesn't he'll have missed an opportunity to separate, even elevate himself in a controlled, positive media moment from the other GOP contenders and the president ... it would be a wasted political opportunity if the governor didn't use the Christmas pardon ritual to his own public-relations benefit, especially now that the campaign can see how the issue plays in the national media.
Grits' prediction: Governor Perry issues 10 or more pardons between now and Christmas day, making the national news cycle for a day or two with mostly positive press. That said, if he really wants to use the issue to trump the president, Gov. Perry should issue at least 23 pardons, a number he surpassed in 2003 and 2005. That would also be one more than President Obama has given out since he took the reins of power three years ago: A sure-fire news hook.
Monday, December 19, 2011
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