WPost: Anti-intellectual, but spiritual, Rick Perry

Someone posed this question to me last night: If Rick Perry is to the GOP as Howard Dean was to the Democrats in 2004, does that make Mitt Romney the eventual nominee from Massachusetts? And does that mean the incumbent will probably win? I don't know, but the comparisons between Perry and Dean are being made, and it's interesting to see how much coverage he is getting. The Texas governor spoke at Liberty University this morning, and I had a fun Twitter exchange with Tennessean religion reporter Bob Smietana about some TV coverage.

Oh boy. Which network? RT @bobsmietana: Reporter on tv reporting at Liberty U. Is unaware Jerry Falwell is dead

@spulliam didn't see. Was in line at airport and glanced at screen

@billydinpvd: @spulliam @bobsmietana @ShanaSmiles4You Someone should go check his grave, just to make sure.”. Falwell not Lazarus

@Barthsnotes: @spulliam @bobsmietana Maybe he means Jerry Falwell Jnr? Or he's conflating the two?” Was talking about elder Falwell

Let us know if any of you happened to come across that TV report this morning. Anyway, one of the initial reports of Perry's visits comes, of course, from the nearby Washington Post, which juxtaposes his intellectualism with his faith.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered himself here Wednesday as a decidedly anti-intellectual candidate, making light of flunking out of some of his classes at Texas A&M University, and instead casting his life and presidential aspirations in deeply spiritual terms.

...Evoking Moses and David of scripture, Perry added: “God uses broken people to reach a broken world. The mistakes of yesterday say nothing about the possibilities of tomorrow.”

Does this opening paragraph bother anyone else? It's unclear whether Perry or the Post casts him as "decidely anti-intellectual," since Perry does do a little self-deprecation when it comes to his educational background. Also, isn't Scripture capitalized per AP Style?

(Indeed, Perry’s transcript shows he received an “F” in organic chemistry, a “D” in veterinary anatomy and a “C" in animal breeding.”)

“Four semesters or organic chemistry made a pilot out of me,” Perry joked.

As he prepared for Wednesday’s visit, Perry said, “I got my Webster’s out and I just looked up the word ‘convocation’ to make sure I knew what I was walking into here.”

The way the story opens, though, is that Perry is spiritual, not intellectual, almost as though someone can't be both. The rest of the piece is fairly straightforward, quoting mostly from Perry and Falwell Jr. There is this description of Liberty that appears unattributed.

It has been tradition for Republican presidential hopefuls to make a pilgrimage here to Liberty University, founded 40 years ago by the late Falwell to educate a generation of students in the fiery preacher’s strict brand of evangelical Christianity.

Who decides that Falwell was "fiery" and held a "strict brand of evangelical Christianity"?

Over at the LA Times, we have a report that ends on two poor notes.

He then reminded the students that god “doesn’t require perfect people to execute his perfect plan.”

Liberty University was founded in 1971 by noted evangelist Jerry Falwell and his son serves as the current chancellor.

First, why isn't God capitalized? Second, why is Falwell described as an evangelist? I assume these are rushed out versions for the web, but it's interesting to see some basic mistakes and assumptions on first draft.

Image via the Texas governor's website.

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