The so-called 11th Commandment was not invented by Ronald Reagan, but was applied to him in the 1966 California Gubernatorial campaign. Liberal Republicans were required to avoid the kind of vicious personal attacks on Reagan that would lose him the general election like the attacks on Barry Goldwater in the primaries seemed to do when he ran in the general election of 1964. Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.
One of the reasons Republican voters never liked Mitt Romney was due to his tendency to violate this rule early and often. The rumor is that his attacks on Mike Huckabee convinced him to draw off enough votes to let John McCain beat Romney. This time around, most of the cross fire had been between Romney and highly financed idiot Rick Perry.
Perry has used Tim Pawlenty’s ad team to go after Obama, but he apparently forgot to hire a debate prep team. He went after Romney to no avail, and they had been slugging it out in the last few debates. Then there was Herman Cain. His ascension was simultaneous to Perry’s slide. Cain is now polling slightly ahead of Romney and Perry is polling in Jon Huntsman territory. When you want to be the Not Romney candidate, you have to take out the other guy who’s not Romney.
If Rick Perry and his operatives are not part of this ongoing Herman Cain non-story story, then he has shown every indication that he was getting to that point. Romney is too unpopular with the motivated base to win. Rick Perry is one YouTube video away from being a laughingstock. If Herman Cain gets the nomination, he may be damaged enough by Politico’s gossip rag tactics to lose the general election, assuming that Romney supporters don’t vote for Obama out of spite.
You don’t engage in a circular firing squad because it does the lazy media’s job for them. The entire Politico staff wants Obama to win, and they will take any Republican tips to meet that goal. It’s not in the GOP’s interest to help them. Rick Perry is toast. He needs to be stopped before he screws up anyone else’s chances.