Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination before Saturday’s primary in South Carolina. That’s too bad because he missed a fun debate Thursday night.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination before Saturday’s primary in South Carolina. That’s too bad because he missed a fun debate Thursday night.

Perry also suspended his campaign after the Iowa caucuses but resurrected it in time for a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire.

His campaign was not picking up momentum in the South. In fact, he was drawing support from less than five percent of voters in South Carolina polling and he trailed both front-runner Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrinch in polls from his home state of Texas.

In dropping out, Perry joined Todd and Sarah Palin in endorsing Newt Gingrich.
Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Gingrich was tepid at best. She suggested voting for Gingrich just to make the process of selecting a nominee take longer. She didn’t exactly say that Gingrich should win the nomination, but she clearly believes Romney shouldn’t win so easily.

Palin stuck by her pseudo-endorsement of Gingrich even after it was announced that the former speaker’s second ex-wife would be interviewed on ABC before the South Carolina primary – and the dirty laundry she was discussing didn’t have anything to do with him leaving his dirty socks on the floor.

Palin, of course, blamed the media.

“I call them dumbarses,” said Palin in the interview, referring to the media. “They, thinking that by trotting out this old Gingrich divorce interview that's old news -- and it does feature a disgruntled ex, claiming that it would destroy his campaign -- all this does, Sean, is incentivize conservatives and independents who are so sick of the politics of personal destruction, because it's played so selectively by the media, that their target, in this case Newt, he's now going to soar even more. Because we know the game now, and we just won't put up with it. Good call, media.”

I don’t know which is more entertaining; that Palin believes the media is one homogenous entity or that she has apparently taken to using Shakespearean curse words rather than her normal folksy retorts. I also find it entertaining that Palin is probably correct that staunch conservatives will buy into this “rally against the media” defense – a transparent effort to make marrying your second mistress seem like less of a problem than reporting about it – moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents will not be so easily led and view the hypocrisy of attacking Bill Clinton for Monica Lewinsky while cheating on your own wife pretty negatively.

But the conservatives in the GOP field don’t care about all that. It’s “old news” as Palin put it.

In fact, Perry’s endorsement came after the announcement that one of Gingrich’s ex-wives was prepared to drop a few bombshells on the Gingrich campaign in an ABC interview.

Perry didn’t seem to care much about Gingrich’s apparent moral failings, either.

“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?” Perry said of Gingrich, “There is forgiveness for those of us who seek God.”

Apparently there isn’t much forgiveness from his second ex-wife who did not like the idea of an “open marriage” or the fact that he reportedly never offered her any apology for leaving her after she had been diagnosed with multiple scleroses and told to avoid stress. Of course, she couldn’t have been too surprised. Gingrich left his first wife who was battling cancer for her before their divorce was even final.

But what is really ever “final” for Republicans these days.

It turns out that Romney, who became the first Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire when he was not an incumbent, didn’t actually win Iowa – or maybe he did, but probably not.

Thank you, Iowa, for confirming all of our claims that early voting privileges are wasted on you. The caucuses gave Iowans problems this year as a recount appears to show Santorum as the winner even though several sets of votes are lost forever. So Santorum won unless the lost votes would have supported Romney and then he didn’t.

But it really doesn’t matter, since it is just Iowa. But it might have affected Romney’s ability to claim “leader of the pack” status if he only had one early win instead of two.

And now with Palin’s support and shifting the blame to the media for anything he ever did wrong, Gingrich is set to become the third winner in three GOP contests.

I thought we were worried that Romney was winning too easily.

After South Carolina voters going to the polls this weekend, we might know who won that primary. But, like Iowa, we may have to wait for the coaches’ poll to come out to know who “really” won.

Is the college football BCS helping the Republicans pick a nominee? And how did Todd Palin get a vote?  He’s not even a Republican.

At least the GOP has a playoff system.

Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.