Perry Watch: Texas Governor Rick Perry Stops Short of Announcing His Candidacy for President

Bookmark and Share   When it comes to whether or not Texas Governor Rick Perry will run for President, Perry has himself all but answered yes (see video below). According to the Governor, two months ago the prospect of running for President was not on his periscope. But in several interviews he admits that things have and changed and he lays the blame for that change on his wife and what he calls an;

“organic buildup of people who have basically said, for whatever reason, ‘We’re not comfortable with the host of people who have come forward to say they want to be the next President of the United States” .

He adds:

“God sends messages through a lot of ways and through a lot of messengers. I am very calm that the direction that I am heading is good. I’m not there yet – not ready to announce here on your program that that is going to be the case, but as each day goes by, I get more comfortable that the direction I am headed is the right direction.”

In addition to Perry’s admitted comfort with a run for President, over the past month other indications of the Governor’s intentions have come in the form of preliminary steps to organize a presidential campaign team. After last month’s implosion of Newt Gingrich’s campaign operation that saw many former aides leave the Gingrich team, Perry has essentially picked up their support for his own presidential campaign. This presumably includes longtime Perry confidant and top political advisor David Carney.

Carney was one those involved in the en masse exodus from Gingrich and up till then, many assumed that without his long time advisor and strategist at his side, Rick Perry was unlikely to be a candidate for President.

Another Perry player who left Gingrich was Rob Johnson, Perry’s former campaign manager and as reported by The Blaze, according to a source, upon Johnson’s departure from Newt, Johnson and Perry spoke last week and Perry told him his “old job is waiting for him.” That source added; “I know that for a fact,”

More recently Politico has reported that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad stated that his lieutenant governor received a call from Perry and put out other feelers in the state. He adds “The sense is that it’s very likely he will enter the field,” And in what amounts to the strong possibility of an endorsement of Perry, in that same Politico report, Barandstad volunteered “Texas has been a superstar in economic development. You know, California’s demise has been to Texas’s benefit. They’re out there taking industry and business out of California every day,” Branstad said. “I think Texas has kind of led the way.”

So will Perry actually go for it?

So far it does not look like there is anything to discourage him. Given the overall lukewarm support for the existing candidates, and the very tentative hold on frontrunner status that Mitt Romney has, Perry has a good chance to catch fire and outshine others in the crowded field. One thing that could have discouraged a Perry candidacy was the recent quarterly campaign finance reports of the main Republican presidential contenders. Yet not even the $18.25 million that Romney raised in the past three months, seems to have staved off the ambitions of Perry who has proven himself to be strong in fundraising.

Bookmark and Share

New Polls in Iowa and New Hampshire Make Nothing Very Clear

Bookmark and Share Two new Strategic National polls offer results from Iowa and New Hampshire that mirror other similar surveys.

Of 410 Iowans who are described as typical caucus voters, former Governor Mike Huckabee is ahead of his closest possible rival, Mitt Romney, by 9.02%.

Complete poll results were as follows:

  1. Mike Huckabee 27.56%
  2. Mitt Romney 18.54%
  3. Undecided 17.56%
  4. Sarah Palin 12.44%
  5. Newt Gingrich 12.20%
  6. Tim Pawlenty 4.39%
  7. Michele Bachmann 3.66%
  8. John Thune 1.95%
  9. Rick Santorum 0.98%
  10. Other/Undecided 0.49%
  11. Haley Barbour 0.24%

In New Hampshire a random sample of 940 Republican primary voters offered a result that was almost as equally lopsided between the first and second place finishers as Iowa’s results were, but here it is Romney who takes the lead. The New Hampshire poll played out like this:

  1. Mitt Romney 33.51%
  2. Mike Huckabee 13.83%
  3. Sarah Palin 12.77%
  4. Newt Gingrich 8.62%
  5. Tim Pawlenty 5.21%
  6. Mitch Daniels 1.60%
  7. Rick Santorum 1.28%
  8. Haley Barbour 0.96%
  9. John Thune 0.21%
  10. Other/Undecided 22.02%

Both polls do little more than confirm what we already knew. What we don’t know though is who Iowa and New Hampshire voters will actually be splitting their votes between when it is time to vote and caucus. While we are more than certain that Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty will be running, and pretty sure people like Fred Karger and Rick Santorum are running, we do not know with any certainty if Mike Huckabee or any of the other often mentioned names are running. Furthermore, given the countless number of variables, including who will or wont be in the race and the great potential that the campaigns of many potential candidates have, it would be naive to assume that anyone who is a frontrunner at this moment, will be the winner a year from now.

However, when it comes to New Hampshire and Iowa and Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, a combination of name recognition from their 2008 presidential runs and demographics, Romney and Huckabee are where they should be in New Hampshire and Iowa and are naturals to win those state respectively.

If they did win in these tow states, the Republican presidential nomination contest is likely to be wide open well into the primary and caucus season.

Following Iowa and New Hampshire are Nevada and South Carolina. Here too a split decision is as natural as it is in the results of Iowa and New Hampshire. Demographics and established name recognition make Nevada a natural for Romney to win and South Carolina a natural for Huckabee to take. Of course with South Carolina being more of a sign of how the South goes than Nevada is of the way the West goes, Huckabee’s win in South Carolina would put him in a much better position for him than Romney.

South Carolina is where Romney has to draw his wall of fire. It is where he has to establish the “Big Mo” that George H. W. Bush thought he had behind him in the 1980 primaries against Ronald Reagan.

Of course as noted in previous White House 2012 posts, if enough candidates who are attractive to the evangelical vote, jump into the race, Romney could be the beneficiary and have the chance to walk right up the middle.

For now though, it really is too early to base any wagers on any of these polls. None of the potential candidates campaigns can be underestimated and there are so many possible players at the moment that it is too difficult to predict which way any one demographic or state will fall.

If Newt Gingrich were to run, not only will his command of the issues be undeniably impressive, but between the unique and numerous ideas he brings to the table, combined with a personality that will surprise many and the ability to reshape his image, he could quickly become an appealing figure to many, including evangelicals and TEA Party energized people.

If Sarah Palin were to run, her ability to campaign in a way that can broaden her base should not be underestimated and given the enthusiastic support that she already has from a loyal base of voters, such an expansion of her base could effect the primaries and caucuses profoundly.

But many other names also have the potential to establish powerfully effective campaigns that can attract the attention and support of any combination of influential wings of the G.O.P.. Texas Governor Rick Perry is building a solid foundation for a possible campaign that highlights states rights which appeals to TEA Party priorities. He has also built a record around anti-abortion measures and other social issues that are attractive to evangelicals and social conservatives. And on economic issues, his tax cuts, spending cuts and jobs record in the Lone Star State, appeal to all wings of the Republican Party.

Indiana’s Mitch Daniel’s is another figure whom could take the Party by storm. His American Heartland appeal and economic prowess will shine brighter than most. The entry of Mississippi’s Haley Barbour could quickly round up a large portion of the G.O.P. inner circle, raise oodles of money, count on many favors owed to him, significantly coalesce Southern support and dilute Huckabee’s Southern strength, while also surprising people with his own strategic abilities and appeal to conservatives in all four corners of the country.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota will be force to a contend with if he runs. While the addition of his name in to the field may not initially turn the race on its ear, he will quickly gain steam. Then there are other names like Rick Santorum and Mike Pence. All of these names will sharply divide the conservative vote, thereby give people like Tim Pawlenty, as well as Mitt Romney and maybe even Rudy Giuliani a better shot at racking high delegate counts.

And through it all may also be the likes of libertarians Ron Paul and former new Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as well as those dark horse candidates, such as Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and maybe even Donald Trump.

Right now, all that we can be sure of is that while some names like Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and outsider Fred Karger have all but made their campaigns official, everyone else is watching what each of the other names are doing. And until people like Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Thune and Sarah Palin, make up their minds, people like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Jon Huntsman and more, will be waiting to make up their own minds.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: