Texas Gov Rick Perry has one of the best lines at the Republican presidential candidates' debate in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday night. He said that he hoped to be the Tim Tebow of Iowa politics, according to RealClearPolitics.
In saying this, Perry associated himself with two things Americans find very important-religion and football.
Who is Tim Tebow?
Tim Tebow is the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. According to his website, he was a first round draft pick in 2010, the winner of two NCAA championships, the first college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, along with a number of other sports awards.
Tebow is also known for being a very public Christian. WBUR, Boston's NPR station, notes that he is the namesake of "Tebowing," which consists of publicly falling on one knee and praying after running a winning play, This has caused some controversy that has resulted in student athletes in high school and college games to be sanctioned for indulging in the practice. It seems too much like spiking the football for the taste of some people. Tebow has been Tebowing a lot lately, as he runs a lot of winning plays, especially at the last minute of the fourth quarter.
Why does Rick Perry want to be the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucus?
Besides the association with religion and football, Tebow is the master of the come from behind win. In several recent games, Tebow has run winning plays that have put the Broncos over the top at the last moment in the fourth quarter. Like Tebow, Perry is behind-in fact far behind in fourth place in most polling, though he has started to rise slightly. To be sure the embarrassing debate performances of November have been replaced by solid showings in December. Indeed in the same debate in which he pronounced his affinity to Tebow, Perry also announced that he was starting to like debating.
What are Perry's chances?
A lot of Iowa voters will make their final decisions at the last minute, possibly as they enter the caucus venue, according to a recent Des Moines Register piece. Perry clearly hopes that more recent debate performances, an advertising blitz, and a bus tour through small town and rural Iowa will help to pull out a Tebow-style win or at least a good enough showing to allow his campaign to last a while longer. He has about two weeks to accomplish it.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network .