If you smelled roasting meat and delicious pies over the weekend you weren't crazy. GOP big money donors were busy stapling a buffet to a podium to try to attract New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run for their party's nomination. The application of lard to the microphone was made all the more desperate by Rick Perry, their fading great white hope, fading a little more with a scandal involving a leased property and a rock painted with the name, "Niggerhead."

Texas Governor Rick Perry blustered into Iowa just after its straw poll and slapped the microphone out of Michele Bachmann's talons. Despite his impeccable pro-secession credentials and Reaganesque swagger, Perry has proven to be something less than inspiring. True, his groin thrusting and his plainspoken threats of random violence appealed to a party that can't decide whether to boo a gay soldier or go looking for him on Craigslist, but Perry's debate performances have soured the right wing on him.

His defense of maybe the only two humane things he has done, HPV vaccines and college help for immigrant scholars, came across as an attack on the hyper-conservative audiences of the debates. A later attack on Mitt Romney spilled out of Rick Perry like Snowden's guts in a bomber over Italy.

Now there's Niggerhead.

In the early years of his political career, Rick Perry began hosting fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at his family's secluded West Texas hunting camp, a place known by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.

"Niggerhead," it read.

Perry has been asked about good ol' Niggerhead before, but he brushed aside questions by stating his father painted over the Niggerhead rock shortly after leasing the property. Not so, say the seven people interviewed by the Washington Post.

Another local who visited the property with Perry and the legislators in those years recalled seeing the rock with the name clearly visible.

"I thought, 'This is going to embarrass Rick some day,'?" said this person, who did not want to be named, fearing negative consequences from speaking on the subject.

"This person, who did not want to be named, fearing negative consequences" is my favorite source in modern journalism. He gets around a lot and has all the best info.

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