Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s candidacy has failed to clear a basic bar with elites and some donors, and his shoddy debate performance in Orlando has only highlighted the window for someone who Republicans searching for a Mitt Romney alternative can rally around. – Christie back in spotlight as Perry sags

Never once did I buy the Rick Perry boomlet. Of course, that doesn’t mean Mitt Romney, who has never fully relinquished his frontrunner status, is beloved by anyone. So, with Perry having peaked the moment he actually started campaigning, Chris Christie is being pushed and prodded yet again, with the piece I wrote back in March remaining relevant today.

Perry, the latest passing flavor, paled to Mr. Trump’s more successful run of it. The Donald at least started out raising hell against China, which hit a chord. He also could think on his feet, though we’ll never know his true entertainment value, because he bailed by declaring victory, just like a politician, when Obama produced his birth certificate (again).

Perry’s problems also give Rep. Bachmann another shot in Iowa, though it doesn’t change that she’s out of it, and I suspect Sarah Palin’s fans to start squealing in 3… 2… (wait for it)

When Bill Kristol takes to titling his editorials “Yikes,” you know the establishment is freaked. He’s still pining for Gov. Chris Christie to enter the fray. This snippet is priceless:

The e-mails flooding into our inbox during the evening were less guarded. Early on, we received this missive from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

To say I’m enjoying the widespread Republican panic is an understatement.

This piece has been edited, title changed.