This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

How Perot '92 Will Affect Election 2012

"He's one of my favorite characters, and it's so remarkable because it's so forgotten," Posner says. "1992 is like ancient history now by Internet standards, but if Twitter, Facebook and things like that had existed when Perot was around, he would have been a more powerful force. Though he might not have been using social media, social media would have loved him."

So why isn't there a Perot for the Internet era? Though he probably wouldn't share Perot's enthusiasm for the war on drugs or his tax plan, Texas Congressman Ron Paul may be the closest the current field comes. His huge online following that delivers both presence and "moneybomb" financing mirrors the Perot campaign's enthusiasm. What they lack is Perot's deep pockets, which nullified the professional fundraising of the major parties.

"What he has that Ron Paul doesn't have and that nobody's really had since is an enormously fat wallet," Posner says. "He scared the hell out of the Democrats and Republicans not only because he tapped into the discontent as Paul does, but because he could write a check to compete with the Democrats and Republicans if he wanted to."

Conversely, Paul also lacks the Perot persona. That plain-spoken, straight-talking Texas delivery made him relatable to a disgruntled American public despite his millions, but also made him a vulnerable and mercurial candidate. It helped draw volunteers, push unorthodox campaign strategy such as buying up half-hour blocks on major networks to spell out his economic plan with graphs and a pointer and win debates by parrying questions about his political experience with quips such as "Well, they've got a point. I don't have any experience running up a $4 trillion debt."

"In 1992, there was such a great opportunity to create a real-life third party if you had a charismatic leader," Barta says. "You had that leader in Perot ... right now the same sentiment exists with the American people, but there isn't a charismatic leader who can capitalize on it."

That personality also made him extremely sensitive to the suggestions of campaign advisers such as former Jimmy Carter adviser Hamilton Jordan and former Ronald Reagan campaign adviser Ed Rollins, who drew Perot's ire for demanding that he increase ad spending. The latter was accused by Perot of being tied to the CIA and running information for the Bush campaign. Though Perot was also bothered by the revelation he'd funded a private investigation of the Bush family in the 1980s and by a rumored Republican plot to disrupt his daughter's wedding, his insecurities about starting the race too soon resulted in his withdrawal from the campaign by July and his re-emergence in October.

2 of 9

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs