Perry, “oops,” and late-night TV

RICK PERRY’S presidential campaign may or may not be toast, but his prospects for hosting “Saturday Night Live’’ have risen considerably – and in politics, that’s not such a terrible thing. The night after his brain freeze on the CNBC debate, Perry was doing the Top 10 list on “The Late Show With David Letterman.’’ (Number 6: “You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.’’)

In a sense, that “oops’’ moment was the best thing to happen to Perry’s campaign in a while. A string of lame debate performances had him typecast as slow. Those snappy comebacks showed him in new light. Letterman will surely invite him back. And before last weekend, was there anyone complimenting Perry on his delivery?

Chalk up another reason why campaigns are wedded to late-night comedy shows. The benefits for candidates are well-known: a larger and broader audience than they get from political shows, a chance to show the public their human side. But the not-so-dirty secret of late-night TV is that it’s often good for voters, too.

Read the full column from the Boston Globe here.

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