Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rick Perry for president


Rick Perry for president
Rick Perry for president. Discontent with the current crop of Republican presidential candidates has caused people to cast about for a fresh face to energize the election contest. Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Mitch Daniels of Indiana have been mentioned.
Some political operatives, according to Real Clear Politics, have mentioned another governor's name -- Rick Perry of Texas.For the time being Perry is not sullying his hands with actively testing the waters. Surrogates are quietly sounding out the possibility of a Perry for president campaign in Iowa, the site for the first caucus in the 2012 primary season.
Perry, a third-term governor, is busy trying to close a huge deficit in the state of Texas' budget. After that job is accomplished, it is possible he would want to seek new worlds to conquer. The presidency would be just the next rung on America's political ladder. And it is not as if electing a governor of Texas was entirely unprecedented.

Perry would have appeal to social and fiscal conservatives. On the latter, his struggle to get some kind of control over the Texas budget could be used as a plus. As a border state governor he was have some cred on the immigration issue. Perry can boast that Texas has had an easier economic time of it than the rest of the country.

However, like any other governor, Perry is a little light in the foreign policy department. This has not proven to have been an impediment for all of the other state governors and former governors (Bush 43, Clinton, Reagan, Carter) who have ascended to the presidency.

If Perry were to run and get the nomination, look for the Obama camp to strike at him on two fronts. First, Perry has made some intemperate remarks about "secession." The remarks were not serious and were made for rhetorical effect to highlight the importance of maintaining 10th Amendment separation of powers between the federal government and the states. Perry can emphasize this and turn the issue around.

The other front will be the fact that he is from Texas period. The Obama campaign will try to tie him to George W. Bush, who left his own presidency somewhat unpopular. Unfortunately, that strategy might be dated. Bush's popularity is on the rise, while Obama's is in decline, despite the brief post Osama bin Laden execution bump.

President Rick Perry? Stranger things have happened. And they probably will.

Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
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