There are still a couple months left before the primary voting begins. Candidates are everywhere spreading their messages. In debates, it gives them the chance to shine or in Texas Governor Rick Perry's case, go on the defense.
Wednesday night's CNBC debate began with talk of major issues, but Perry stole the show when he couldn't name the third government agency he would dismantle if he makes it to Washington.
This latest gaffe is one of many. Coastal Carolina University Professor Dr. Paul Peterson says Perry's mistake happens to all of us in conversation, but, "That was such a big stage, and it's now all over the world. And it's on top of really incompetent performances in debates leading up to this one, so it just takes what was already a large problem for Governor Perry, and it exacerbates it."
As for the fallout, Dr. Peterson thinks Perry can rebound. "It's going to be very difficult for him to recover. Not simply from this, but it's simply the accumulation of these things that make him look like someone who's not really ready for this level of discourse and debate in American politics."
Compared to 2008 at this stage in the race, Peterson says there are many more debates taking place, and they aren't really necessary. The debates are fueled by the 24 hour news cycle when often there's more time than headlines and a desire to see what will happen next among the candidates.
"It's kind of like having the same people over at your house everyday, kind of like reality TV. And you sit around, you get to know them a little bit, get to know their mannerisms, some sense of their personality. You almost now sit around almost waiting for something odd to come from Governor Perry," explains Dr. Peterson.
With the number of debates not slowing down, showing up and performing well is a must.
Dr. Peterson adds making an appearance at CCU is a little known secret to winning the presidential nomination, since in years past Senator John McCain and President Barack Obama did.
The next Republican debate will be held this Saturday in Spartanburg. Myrtle Beach will hold one in January.