As I reported here this morning, Texas Governor Rick Perry will leave the GOP presidential race today.
And now it seems that Perry will endorse Newt Gingrich.
What's going on here? Why is Perry moving to Gingrixh? How did this happen?
The fact that Perry's campaign never really caught on is already established. But, why Gingrich and why now?
Here's what may have happened:
Facing possibly devastating revelations from his ex-wife (to be aired by ABC-TV tonight) Gingrich knew that he had to move quickly. His main thrust today (in advance of the interview) had to be diversionary. Somehow, he had to turn the spotlight away from the interview tonight and jump in feet-first with a possible game-changer today. It wouldn't be enough to win the debate tonight. Gingrich needed something sooner -- something bigger.
Perhaps Gingrich's people were courting Perry behind the scenes all along.
And maybe, within the past 24 - 48 hours these efforts were accelerated. Timing is everything.
It's hard to say what kind of a deal may or may not have been cut between Gingrich and Perry but both are hardscrabble street fighters and there's no love lost between them and Romney.
With regard to Romney, Perry feels outclassed by a man who he perceives to be an elitist. Gingich is simply being Gingrich -- he's smells power and he's out to grab it at any cost -- any cost. This really is his last chance; his final stand.
Also, Perry and Gingrich would be happy to elbow out Santorum. Perry sees Santorum as sanctimonious and has been referring to him again and again (rather snidely) as a "good Catholic but not a good conservative" Gingrich simply wants to go head-to-head with Romney, so he'd dismiss Santorum without a thought if he could.
So, Gingrich needs a Big Moment. And he turns to Perry. And Perry knows he suddenly has bargaining power.
This is the naked, bare-knuckled world of Big Time Politics.
It has nothing to do with ideology or conviction or even ideas. This is all about expediency.
We may never know what deals have gone down here. But we do get to be the ultimate deciders of all this in the end.
That's called democracy.