Rick Perry

The gist: Perry dredges up his own widely mocked gaffe where, during a debate, he couldn't remember the third government department he wanted to abolish. He fills in the blank—the Department of Energy—and tells us to vote for him if we want a flat tax and a part-time Congress.

The theory: Americans don't care whether a candidate is knowledgeable and eloquent. (Remember that other Texas governor?) Plus, they can be always plied with jokes. See also: "I'm a doer, not a talker."

The money shot: The ba-dum-ching moment where Rick Perry "forgets" the final tagline.

The verdict: "Slick debater" (and ad creator) he's not. But at least he has a sense of humor.

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