Reassessing after the Iowa caucuses, Perry decides to head home

January 4, 2012

By JOSH HAFNER, Des Moines Register

WEST DES MOINES, IA. — Sometime around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry sat down with his wife, family members and a small group of advisers in consultant Joe Allbaugh’s hotel room to have a conversation, said campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan.

The topic: Could Perry’s presidential campaign continue despite a 10 percent, fifth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses?

The group of six or seven people phoned Dave Carney, Perry’s longtime Texas adviser, Sullivan said, and partook in “a bunch of talking and a bunch of writing.”

In a downstairs ballroom of the Sheraton West Des Moines, Perry supporters and volunteers from more than 30 states stared at an empty stage and a screen looping Perry’s video ads. They were waiting for their candidate.

At about 10:50 p.m., he emerged.

Perry said at a Sioux City debate last month that he wanted to defy expectations, to become the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses. In Perry’s introduction, his Iowa co-chair Bob Haus said that sometimes even if you’re Tebow, you still “get a little bit of grass in your helmet.”

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