I’m old enough to have been paid staff on both the 1992 and 1996 Clinton Gore campaigns in Ohio, and remember Ross Perot well.? As teabaggers are now the flavor du jour, I thought it might be time to step into the ol’ time machine.

Teabaggers are the same people as Ross Perot voters.? Exact.? Same.? People.

They poll well in exactly the same places Ross Perot polled well, at almost precisely the same levels Ross Perot polled at his height.? If you’ll recall, there was even a point in the summer of 1992 when Ross Perot led the three way presidential race.

In fact, the dynamic which has produced the teabaggers is almost the same as the dynamic that produced Perot voters.? In 1992, economic recession was the dominant force – “it’s the economy, stupid.”? Remember that?? Perot tapped that anger and directed it at “big government” and the budget deficit.? Remember that?

What did all that deliver for Ross Perot?? Nothing.? Perot got to 19% in 1992 nationally, and in Ohio, I think he won Trumbull County that year (correct me if I’m wrong, please).? And as teabaggers do now, Perot voters took way more votes from Republicans than they did from Democrats, likely electing Bill Clinton president.

The only difference between teabaggers and Perot voters is that teabaggers are now even more angry because the guy in the White House is a black man.? Which means their moment in the political sun will probably be a bit shorter.? Ross Perot flamed out with a flurry of crazy.? Teabaggers already got their crazy on, and have plenty of crazy left in the tank.

So when someone tries to tell you teabaggers are the new political movement of our time, just ask them if they remember this guy.

Tagged with: