Perry’s Very Telling Decision to Stay in the Race

Bookmark and Share    When it became clear that Rick Perry was going to come in fifth place in the Iowa Caucus, it seemed as though his hopes to recapture the lead that he once held in the G.O.P. nomination contest were dashed.  The only two good bits of news to come out of Iowa for Perry was the fact that he won two of the 99 counties, the only candidate to win any county aside from Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul, and that he did not have a totally embarrassing last place showing.  That distinction went to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, whose sixth place finish put her ahead of only Jon Huntsman, the one major candidate who did not do any campaigning in the Hawkeye State and who summed up his appreciation for Iowa by saying “who cares”.

Then the writing seemed to be on the wall when Governor Perry came out to address his supporters and told them that he was going back to Texas to reassess his campaign.

But a strange thing happened to Governor Perry on his way home.  Between the time he decided to reevaluate his campaign and the time he woke up the following morning, an infusion of optimism compelled him to type a Twitter feed that read;

“And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State,” Perry tweeted, “Here we come South Carolina!!!

The electronic announcement came as a pleasant surprise to his campaign staff and stunned the political world.  Few thought it possible for Perry to continue with his campaign after making an inference to how bad things were by stating the need to “reassess” his chances of winning the nomination.  Most experts agree that given the poor showing and all the time and money that he invested in Iowa,  no sincere evaluation of his campaign have  possibly found any promising reason for Perry to stay in the race.

From my vantage point, I can only assume that  Rick Perry believes that if doesn’t give up too early, the short history of this election which has created a new frontrunner every month, will repeat itself enough times to give him another opportunity to be in that position.  Perry probably assumes that Rick Santorum will not be able to sustain the attacks he is undoubtedly about to face and will not have the money to respond to those attacks effectively.  As a result, he is holding out hope for another opportunity to became the clear viable alternative to Romney.

But there may very well be another reason why Perry has found the strength to continue his fight.

Not long before the Governor tweeted his battle cry and aimed his campaign guns at South Carolina, it was revealed that a group of national evangelical leaders will gather in Texas for the second time in five months and determine who other Mitt Romney, they can all get behind.

Having a very good relationship with these religious and their associates, Perry may know something about what they are inclined to decide and it just might be responsible for his going from the need to take a close look at if and how his campaign could move beyond Iowa, to determining that he still has a chance to make a last stand in  South Carolina.

No matter what was exactly responsible for Perry’s change of heart, it is mainly a leap of faith.  Especially since Rick Santorum’s surprise strength in Iowa makes him the more likely candidate for movement conservatives to get behind.

Iowa Faith and Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats, a leading voice among evangelicals, had already issued a personal endorsement  of Rick Santorum before the Iowa Caucus but now, in its wake, he called on Newt Gingrich to reassess his candidacy, in hopes of mobilizing conservatives to rally behind Santorum.  Gingrich came in ahead of Perry but Vander Plaats’ plea to Gingrich came before Perry surprised everyone by his decision to stay in the race.  Had it been known that he intended to remain in the race, Vander Plaats would have certainly requested the same of Perry that he requested of Newt Gingrich.

So it would be hard to imaging that evangelicals leaders would choose to get behind Perry instead of Santorum, but either way, it would seem that Rick Perry is counting on some kind of divine intervention to turn things around for him.  And as for those evangelical leaders, I have a word of advice.  It took God seven days to create the earth but with less time than that remaining before New Hampshire, if their main goal is stop to Mitt Romney, they better get moving fast.

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Perry’s Populist Proposal: Political Pandering or Realistic Reform?

  Bookmark and Share    As Texaxs Governor Rick Perry desperately tries to keep his poll numbers from falling through the fall, his campaign has adopted a strategy that is designed to capture the attention of voters by injecting politically unorthodox policies and reforms that are meant to portray him as the anti-establishment candidate. 

Perry began his campaign by declaring that he wanted to make government as inconsequential in our lives as possible.  That line drew attack from those on the left who can’t fathom government not being a major factor in our everyday lives, but it sparked hope in those on the right who believe that drastic measures must be taken to limit government.   If the Perry campaign had the discipline to move that message forward from the moment he uttered his presidential  intentions, he would probably be a lot further along among the Republican base and even the TEA Movement. 

For whatever reason, Perry’s stated intention went undeveloped as the campaign failed to focus and articulate that theme.  This strategy did briefly show itself when Perry came out with a flat tax proposal several weeks ago.  But in that proposal he was not alone.  Herman Cain had already his 9-9-9, hybridized flat tax plan and Newt Gingrich had introduced his own flat tax proposal months before Perry did. 

But the launch of his own flat tax proposal was a good, strong first step in the direction he set out in when he first launched his presidential.  It was late, but better late than never. 

However, since then, Perry has found himself spending more of his time making and explaining mistakes and verbal gaffes than he has spent defining himself.  In fact, instead of being able to define himself as the Beltway outsider and reformer-in-chief that he wants to be known as, he has been defined by verbal gaffes.   So much so that he has become a form of political comic relief and established a reputation as the blunderer in chief.

It is amid that backdrop that Governor Perry now tries to get back to being a serious reformer and he does so with an aggressive plan that proposes reforms the judiciary and Congress and the way it does business.

In its entireity, the proposal is a populist plan designed to tap in to the TEA movement-like frustration with government and politicians. 

While the proposal does indeed seem to be a collection of common sense reforms, and in many cases do offer some reforms that are worthy of following up on in general, it is little more than a shallow wish list of pandering political rhetoric.  So much so that, when lumped all together, the plan is rightly or wrongly seen as little more than a desperate attempt to  remain or given the reality of Perry’s campaign, to become a candidate who is not inconsequential in the race.

As I stated, not everything contained in the Perry reform plan is a waste of time.  There several significantly valuable reforms that should and must be pursued. In fact, most of it is quite reasonable.  The problem is that  when combined with some of the unrealistic aspects of the proposal, it is hard to understand how much of this plan is based on perry’s political resolve and how much of it is simply political pandering.

 I have long been an advocate of several of Perry’s suggestions, most notable is the proposal to require a 2/3 majority vote in order to raise taxes.  For the purposes of of a site called U4Prez, I included such a provision in y own Flat Tax proposal (note point #6).

Other realistic proposals of merit include, Perry’s entire section pertaining to regulatory reform, rreigning in the federal bureaucracy.  Many of these proposals which include such things as , eliminating three federal agencies, restructuring the Department of Homeland Security, auditing all federal agencies, privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cutting duplicative services, and capping federal spending, are certainly what I would  I would consider to be “givens”.  While they are obvious to you and me, they are not obvious to politicians.  That makes them worth mentioning.

Other aspects of Perry’s plan seem to redundancies designed to make his proposal look more meaty.  This is especially the case when it comes to Perry’s numerous calls to audit each agency and to review all federal agencies from top to bottom.

All in all, the Perry proposal is a mix of good ideas and obvious campaign propaganda.  it is up to you to consider which is which and whether Perry is displaying his true political heart, or simply stretching his fingertips in a desperate attempt to hang on the cliff’s edge.

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The Perry Reform Plan

 

Fundamental Reform of the Legislative Branch

•Establish a part-time, Citizen Congress, cutting congressional pay in half and allowing them to hold jobs in their states and communities.
•Slash congressional staff budgets and force lawmakers to do more of their own work.
•Criminalize insider trading by members of Congress.
•Amend the Freedom of Information Act to make it apply to Congress and the White House. 

Fundamental Reform of the Judiciary

•Nominate judges who respect the Constitution and who will not make law from the bench.
•End life-time appointments to the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary through Constitutional Amendment.
Fundamental Reform of the Executive Branch

Regulatory Reform and Reigning in the Federal Bureaucracy

Regulatory Reform

•Halt all pending federal regulations, order an audit of every regulation passed since 2008 and repeal those not affordable, effective and appropriate.
•Pass legislation to automatically end federal regulations unless Congress renews them.
•Require federal agencies to justify every dime every year – including a specified regulatory budget for each agency.
•Develop an online, searchable database of all current federal regulations.

Federal Bureaucracy

•Eliminate the Department of Commerce, Department of Education and the Department of Energy, consolidating key programs into other agencies.
•Restructure and reform the Department of Homeland Security (including transitioning the Transportation Security Administration to a public-private partnership) and the EPA.
•Review all federal departments from the top-down.
•Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
•Order a Full Audit of all federal agencies to identify waste, fraud, and abuse within the executive branch.
•Work with Congress to require that duplicative programs actually get cut.

Fundamental Spending Reform

Balance the Federal Budget

•Fight for a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) that protects against tax and spending increases.
•Cut Congressional pay in half if Congress fails to propose a long-term balanced budget. Freeze federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced.
•Veto any budget bill that contains earmarks, and work with Congress to ban them.
•End federal bailouts.
•Cap federal spending at 18% of GDP and balance the budget by 2020.
•Reduce non-Defense discretionary spending by $100 Billion in the first year.
•Pass a law that requires Congress to reduce existing spending equal to or greater than any new proposed federal spending.
•Work with Congress to institute automatic Government Shut-down Protection.
•Veto bills with new, unfunded mandate on states, local communities, or schools.
•End Baseline Budgeting and require common-sense scoring rules.
•Require Emergency Spending to be spent only on emergencies.
•Pass legislation requiring a two-thirds majority for any tax increase.

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Perry’s Cut, Cap and Balance Flat Tax Plan is a Winner But Will it Make Him a Winner?

  Bookmark and Share  In advance of his announcement of a flat tax proposal that would be the most dramatic tax reform in the nation’s history, Governor Rick Perry penned a summary of his proposal in this mornings Wall Street Journal .

Calling his proposal “Cut, Balance and Grow”, Perry hopes to balance the federal budget by 2020 and explains that his plan will abolish the death tax and give taxpayers the option to pay their current income tax rate or a new 20% flat tax that “preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and  increase the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.”   In addition to a 20% personal income tax, the Perry plan will also adopt a lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% and encourage the swift repatriation of nearly $1.4 trillionthat are currently hidden overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%.  The third part of his flat tax proposal includes what he calls a transition to a “territorial tax system”, that will only tax income earned in the United States.

Perry’s plan also calls for the elimination of the tax on Social Security benefits, a change that will supposedly boost the income of 17 million current Social Security recipients.

Governor Perry argues that without significant changes, our nations will go the way of Europe and be mired in a longterm debt crisis that will only get worse than the one we are currently experiencing and to help avoid that in addition to his new flat tax reform he attempts to cut, cap and balance federal spending habits by capping federal spending at 18% of our gross domestic product, banning earmarks and future bailouts, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Additionally he will freeze federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced and enact an immediate moratorium on pending federal regulations while also mandating  a full audit of all regulations passed since 2008 to determine their need, impact and effect on job creation.

In what is a direct nod to his need to shore up those voters who are fearful about Perry’s past remarks about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme and as such, something which he would seek to eliminate, Perry’s plan touches entitle reforms, an issue which needs to be addressed and which Perry’s plan does not address enough. His proposal merely declares that he will preserve benefits for current and near-term Social Security beneficiaries, by permanently prohibiting “politicians from raiding” the Social Security trust fund.

That part of his plan is the most politically shallow aspect of his proposal.  While he addresses that issue under the category of entitlements, he does not really address all of the entitlement reforms that are burdening the budget now and will bust it in the future.  It is also worth mentioning that it is nearly, if not totally impossible for a President to vouch for the permanent inability of Congress to “raid” any fund.  President’s come and go.  The mentality that relies on political expediency among Congress lasts forever.

In general, Perry’s Cut, Cap, and Balance plan is one of the most comprehensive and promising plans to come down the pike in decades.  One of the most, but the not only one.  Others have proposed similiar flat tax based plans and one of the major differences between those other plans and Perry’s plan is that at 20%, Rick Perry sets his flat tax at a rate significanlty higher than most all others.  That high 20% rate is probably the least attractive aspect of Perry’s plan.

Insofar as reform goes, it is much more solid than the light on detail, 9-9-9, hybridized flat tax proposal of Herman Cain and when it comes to the issue of reform, Perry’s proposal outshines even Ronald Reagan’s, Jack Kemp inspired, lower taxation, supply side economics plan of the 80’s.  That plan simply adjusted the existing tax code and while it was in no way insignificant, Perry’s plan admits that the tax code is not worth tinkering with and needs to be scrapped and replaced by something that will allow America to be competitive in the modern global economy.

In a previous post I indicated that if Perry proposes a good flat tax plan and can market it properly and exploit the promise that exists in a flat tax from a politically strategic point of view, than he can reestablish himself as a frontrunner, or at least within reasonable striking distance of such a status.  Now that the relative details of his plan are out, I can honestly say that despite my belief that his 20% rate is too high,  if he can build his campaign around this plan and make it a focal point of the overall Republican nomination contest, than Rick Perry will have many fruitful themes to touch upon and run on.  Now is just a matter of developing an effective campaign strategy and organization that can force the other candidates to run around his promising, conservative based economic plan and reforms. Bookmark and Share

How Others Have Tried To Make the Case Against Rick Perry

   Bookmark and Share  Rick Perry is currently the longest serving Governor in the nation.  He is also the only person to have ever been elected Governor of Texas three times. Such distinguishing accomplishments are not achieved by luck.  He has to be doing something right.  At the same time you can’t spend over a quarter of a decade in politics and half of that time as the Governor of a state, without making some enemies and some mistakes and no enemies.  However in Perry’s case, it is quite obvious that he still has more friends than enemies in Texas .

When George W. Bush stepped down as Governor to assume the presidency of the United States, Lt. Governor Rick Perry took his place and in 2002 he ran for Governor in his own right. Perry proceeded to handily beat millionaire South Texas businessman Tony Sanchez by a margin of 58% to 40% and that was even after Sanchez spent $75 million of his own money in the race.

By 2006,  Perry was plagued by budget woes, embroiled in battles over school financing reform, and on the receiving end of a controversial and contentious redistricting battle. His approval rating had dropped to 38% during the latter part of the 2005 legislative session and by September of 2006 it had improved but still found Perry in the red with 44% of Texans approving of him compared to 51% disapproving of him.

In that election, Democrat Chris Bell ran an aggressive campaign that relied on uniting Democrats into a coalition that would win a plurality by seeing a divided Republican vote splinter itself among Perry, the G.O.P. nominee and several Independent candidates who were mounting strong campaigns.  One of which included the  State Comptroller of Public Accounts, Republican Carole Keeton Strayhorn.  The strategy did not work.  In the end Perry won but with only less than 40% of the total vote.  A result that made Rick Perry the first person elected to the Lone Star state’s executive office with less than 40% since 1861.

Then in 2010, Perry faced a significant challenge for the Republican gubernatorial nomination from incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.  Despite many powerful negatives to campaign against Perry with, Hutchison didn’t even leave much of mark on Perry and lost the primary with 30.03 % of the vote to Perry’s 51.1%.  He won the primary handily and went on to defeat his Democrat opponent, former Houston mayor Bill White.  But that race did not always look like it would be very easy for Perry.    At one point the highly respected Charlie Cook of the Cook Report moved the Texas governor’s race from the “leaning Republican” column and placed it in the “toss up” side of the ledger.  But Perry wound up besting White with 54.97% of the vote to White’s 42.28%.

So how did Perry do it?

Well in 2010, Perry successfully shut out Kay Bailey Hutchison with a, “if you think I’m bad, wait till you see her” strategy that painted Hutchison, a three term incumbent in the U.S. Senate, as the ultimate Washington insider.  And in the general election, Perry ran as the ultimate conservative in one of the most ultimately conservative states in the nation.  In his 2010 victory speech, Perry stated that Texans were tired of big government raising taxes and added  “I am genuinely optimistic that we’re one day closer to seeing fiscal conservative approaches applied at the national level as well,”  and then he told the audience who earlier that same evening saw nearly 80 new Republicans get elected to Congress that he wanted to “challenge those new faces in Washington to press for change sooner than later”.  He added “I want them to go in there and really go to work.”  Now, a year later, and Rick Perry is trying to go Washington to make sure that they do just that.

But the question still remains if he is the right person for the job.

While Rick Perry’s natural Texas swagger helps to emphasize his conservative language, there are plenty of potent arguments to challenge the authenticity of his conservatism.  They are questions which although they did not keep him  from getting elected in Texas, could help create quite a negative and damaging impression of Perry among conservatives in places like Iowa, South Carolina, Utah Montana, Wyoming, and Florida.

Here is just a brief look at how Rick Perry’s opponents shaped the case against Perry in the recent past.  We will see how effectively people like Cain, Romney, Bachmann and others may be able to do it in the near future.

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Rick Perry’s Attack Ad Ties Romney to Obama. But Does it Help Rick Perry Any?

Bookmark and Share   With some polls showing Rick Perry in fourth place behind Herman Cain and even the doomed candidacy of Ron Paul, the Governor, is at least for the moment, on the ropes.  His immediate strategy is to attack the man  who many polls currently have in first place, Mitt Romney.

The ad is produced by the same young, creative wiz kid that produced Tim Pawlenty’s ads and it ties Romney to President Obama through the  healthcare plans Romney created for Massachusetts and that Obama created for the nation.  The problem is, the ad may not work as well as Perry hopes.  First of all, the comparison between RomneyCare in Massachusetts and ObamaCare in the nation, is not new.  The secret about the similarities with the two plans is out.  Secondly, like Tim Pawlenty, the attack is probably not going to help Perry very much.  When he was running for President, Pawlenty was the one candidate who attacked Romney the most on the issue.  Who can forget the waves he made when he coined the phrase “ObamneyCare”

While Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan in Massachusetts certainly raises enough questions about Romney’s limited government credentials and is perhaps what is most responsible for making him a flawed candidate, it has not been enough to derail his candidacy and as we saw with Tim Pawlenty, it is not enough to help others move ahead of the pack.  Furthermore; Obama’s Massachusetts healthcare plan has nothing to do with Perry’s own precipitous drop in the polls.  On the flip-side, it is not likely to be the cause of an equal precipitous rise in the polls for Perry.

Going negative this early is a sign of desperation.  Perry’s slipping popularity apparently has him trying to find a rung on the ladder that he can grab on to and lift himself up.  But this approach to focus on Mitt Romney.  Besides, at the moment, Perry has to go through Ron Paul and Herman Cain before he can realistically challenge Romney.

In the meantime, Mitt Romney is essentially running a general election type of campaign and building his own candidacy up without having to tear down anyone elses candidacy.  All that the new Perry attack ad does is show that while Romney is gaining ground, Rick Perry is trying hard to compensate for ground he lost.  This is not the way for him to do that.  And by the way, despite all his opposition to “ObamneyCare”, who did Tim Pawlenty endorse for President?  It wasn’t Rick Perry.

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New Poll Shows Perry Has Lots of Work To Do

Bookmark and Share    A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Suffolk University has begun to raise doubt about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s electability outside of the South. According to the poll, Romney leads Perry by 33 points. Even more depressing for the Perry camp is that not only is the gap between him and Romney so wide, but he also trails behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul and even former Ambassador and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. According to the results, Romney takes 41 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 14 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finishes third with 10 percent, followed by Perry with eight percent, Sarah Palin who is not even an official candidate at 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Newt Gingrich at 4%; and Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer at or around 1%.

Perry’s fourth place showing in New Hampshire according to one poll which is not among any of the four that are typically used to gauge how a candidate is doing, is certainly not a sign that things are over for Perry, not even in New Hampshire. But it does suggest that Perry has a lot of work to do outside of the delegate rich South.

Between January and April 24th of 2012, 351 delegates are up for grabs from within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone. In that same time period, Midwest and upper-Midwest states will have 238 delegates in play. This means that unless Perry locks up the nomination with substantial early wins in at least South Carolina and Florida, followed by substantial victories in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota which are scheduled to hold their contests on the same day in February, than Mitt Romney can assure Rick Perry a long and drawn out battle that Romney could easily win.

Currently, while Perry’s strength lies in the South, Southwest and possibly even places like Iowa, Romney has a leg up on Perry in the Northeast, upper Midwest and West. For Mitt, states, like Michigan, which he won in 2008, and Wisconsin and Minnesota are strong territory for him. In the Northeast, states like new York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and others, make it the region that is strongest for him.

And then there is of course California, which is a winner-take-all contest that is closed to only registered Republicans. A win there in early February will earn the victor 172 delegates. That is equal to the number of delegates in play in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida combined.

What this means is that Rick Perry will need to quickly show some strength outside of Iowa and the South. New Hampshire would be the perfect place for him to do that. But asking Perry to win New Hampshire over Mitt Romney is like expecting Mitt Romney to defeat Rick Perry in Texas……..it ain’t gonna happen.

Still, coming in behind both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman is embarrassing for a so-called frontrunner. So Perry is going to have to work at New Hampshire. Even though a Southern strategy that would have him win the early states of South Carolina and then Florida can work, being blown out in New Hampshire will not allow Mitt Romney to stay in the game and survive until the states favorable to him allocate their delegates. At the same time, it must be realized that the earlier we decide who the Republican nominee is, the better it will be for the Party.

Until we have a nominee, the contenders will be beating up on each other. A protracted nomination contest will therefore only help to weaken the nominee up for President Obama to beat on. But a contest that wraps up the nomination decisively and early will allow everyone to focus on beating up on President Obama. As such, having a frontrunner for the Republican nomination blown out in New Hampshire, does not help anyone…..accept for Mitt Romney. Therefore if Perry wants to have any chance of securing the nomination early on in the process, he is going to have to do better in New Hampshire and demonstrate to voters that he can get votes outside of the South.

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Perry Calls Obama “President Zero” and Romney Calls Perry “Governor Sub-Zero” in Response

Bookmark and Share    Ahead of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Florida and the second debate appearance for Rick Perry, the Texas Governor has released a new a ad entitled “Rick Perry – Proven Leadership”[see ad below this post]. In it Governor Perry hammers President Obama on his economic record.

With depictions of barren land, boarded up homes, empty factories, and desolate scenes of decrepit urban ruin, Perry’s ad tags Obama as “President Zero”, a reference to his creating “zero“ jobs since he has been in office. But after the first half of the ad, a more optimistic tone is set with images of a happier, more pleasant America that include horses galloping through the surf , sun drenched cities, American flags, the statue of liberty, and happy factory workers shaking Perry’s hands. Perry’s point is driven home as you hear him describe the type of leadership that will lead to a thriving America as opposed to the ailing America that President Obama’s leadership has created.

The ad is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic, quick cutting imagery, and shaky shots done at angles, with jagged audio cuts, and a booming motion picture-like soundtrack that became a staple of Tim Pawlenty’s web ads that he ran during his short-lived presidential campaign. And that is for good reason. It was produced by Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old video prodigy who was once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Party.  Baino also did ads for the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 he  cut some spots for Hillary Clinton.

When Tim Pawlenty closed shop, Bainao was scooped up by Perry’s campaign earlier this month.

Lucas Baino

For his part, Mitt Romney, the man who is seen as Perry’s biggest rival (or vise versa depending on which side you’re on) issued a press release entitled “Governor Sub-Zero,”in response to Perry’s “President Zero”. In the release, Romney’s campaign alleges that that while the US economy produced zero net jobs in August, Texas produced even less. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul added

In his campaign’s latest video, Governor Perry criticizes President Obama for an economy that added zero jobs in August, yet Texas added even fewer and has over a million people unemployed,”

While Romney’s distortion is less accurate than the exaggerations of Perry’s ad, attacking Perry’s record right now is a political necessity. Perry’s three terms as Governor of Texas have outshined the accomplishments of Romney’s one term as Governor of Massachusetts. However, the better strategy for Romney might be to play Perry up as the career politician and himself up as a successful entrepreneur who understands how government works, or in most cases, doesn’t work. But in order for such a strategy to fly, Romney needs to exhibit anti-establishment positions and make bold proposals that don’t just tinker with out arcane tax code, but instead scrap it and do things like create a flat tax. In order for Romney.

Meanwhile, Perry’s ad effectively sets a tone and while it says more about President Obama than himself, it is a good indication that Perry’s campaign does know the issue that can get him votes.

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Set to Endorse Rick Perry for President

Bookmark and Share   On a day that began with what seemed to be big news about Tim Pawlenty endorsing Mitt Romney for President, Texas Governor Rick Perryquickly moved to bury that story by allowing sources to leak the pending endorsement of him by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Sources state that the announcement will be made before this evenings TEA Party/CNN Republican presidential debate in Florida. The same sources state that Jindal will be attending the debate as a guest of Governor Perry.

The news quickly stepped allover Tim Pawlenty’s  endorsement of Mitt Romney. Romney had been getting some mileage out of having a formal rival for the nomination who was a popular Governor, suddenly throw his support behind him. But the news that Jindal, a popular incumbent Governor was throwing his considerable clout behind Perry quickly changed the story of the day. But beyond today, Jindal’s endorsement will still have much more weight than does Pawlenty’s.

While Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination contest because of a lack of popular support, Bobby Jindal turned down a run for President that did have popular support. Instead, Jindal is seeking reelection to his second term as Governor of Louisiana. More important still is the fact that as a sitting Governor, Jindal has the influence and control over the state Party apparatus that can help sway the outcome of a statewide Republican primary. This is especially the case when it comes to the all important Get Out the Vote Operation.

Jindal’s endorsement also could be a signal of a solid South that lines up behind Perry.

While Pawlenty’s endorsement of Romney does little for any regional strength to the Romney camp, Jindal’s endorsement of Perry has a great deal of influence in the South. Particularly with neighboring states such as Mississippi and Arkansas. It will even have a positive effect on the all important nearby state of Florida.

The Jindal endorsement should not come as a surprise. In the past, the Louisiana Governor has had nothing but praise for his neighboring Governor. Jindal has particularly commended him for always being a friend for Louisiana to count on during the slew of natural disasters that Louisianans has had to deal with. The real surprise would have been if Bobby Jindal didn’t endorse Perry. But as with al things, timing is critical and in this case, Perry’s timing was impeccable.

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Can Perry Win by Describing Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme? Ron Johnson Did? What Do You Think? Take the White House 2012 Poll

Since last week’s G.O.P. presidentia debatem the first one which Texas Governor Rick perry participated in, there has been

consternation about his calling Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme”. The description even compelled Mitt Romney to declare victory in the debate and to suggest that Parry all but lost the presidential nomination.

The truth though is that an important part of Perry’s Ponzi Scheme description seems to be constantly left out by his critics. That part is where Rick Perry states that is a Ponzi Scheme for future generations. On that he is right. Furthermore; Perry points out that his desire to reform Social Security does not change it for those who are already being funded and for whom the funds exists. The same goes for those who expect to be on it in the relatively near future. His changes are directed for future generations for which the money will not be there to fund under the current system.

Nonetheless, the truth Perry speaks about the “future” of Social Security has been controversial. Fir that reason, this week, White House 2012 asks readers if it is possible for Governor Perry to win the nomination with his opinion of Social Security. To participate in the poll click here or just vote in the poll question box in the top portion of the column to the right of this blog.

As to the question itself, whether Perry’s view of Social Security is risky or not, it should be understood that despite the issue being a political third rail that the left electrifies with propaganda designed to scare senior citizens, it is possible to address the issue of Social Security reform in a campaign and still get elected.

In the recent 2010 midterm elections, underdog Republican businessman Ron Johnson successfully defeated once heavily favored liberal Senator Russ Feingold.

After a hard fought campaign in which the issue of Social Security was often raised, Johnson and the left once again tried to use their Social security scare tactics. Johnson, who like Rick Perry had once referred to Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme, put out the following ad.

Ron Johnson a, is now Senator Johnson and Russ Feingold is now a shocked and angry former Senator.

So don’t write off Rick Perry.  If he plays his cards right and deals with the issue of Social Security reform properly, his Ponzi Scheme definition could help him.

Rick Perry Picks Up Important Endorsement for President

Bookmark and Share   Early in the evening on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry picked up a valuable endorsement in a critical early primary state. Republican Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Dean Cannon, endorsed Rick Perry for President. One of the major stated reasons for Cannon’s endorsement was Perry’s highly successful record of job creation in Texas.

A statement released by Cannon read;

“America is at a crossroads. Time and time again, President Obama’s agenda has damaged the confidence of the private sector and made it harder – not easier – to create the jobs Americans desperately need,” Cannon said in a statement. “The President has failed, and it’s time for a different approach.”

“Governor Perry knows that we must reduce government spending. You cannot tax your way into prosperity, and you cannot borrow your way out of debt. Governor Perry’s record of creating jobs and cutting spending is exactly what we need to get our country back on track, and I am excited to support his campaign to get America working again,”

For his part. Perry declared:

“I know that with Speaker Cannon’s help, we will win Florida’s primary, the Republican nomination, and ultimately, the Presidency. “

How much weight Cannon’s endorsement will directly have among Florida voters statewide, is questionable but indirectly this endorsement means much. In addition to opening up the coffers of deep pocketed Floridians who want to remain well connected to the political process in Florida on the state level, Cannon’s decision will also influence the decisions of other local Florida state legislators who want to remain in the good graces of their leader. This will in turn provide Perry with a wealth of volunteers from the local, grass root Republican organizations which each state legislator controls or at least holds significant sway with. After Cannon’s endorsement, those legislators who endorse anyone else are in essence going against the will of their leader. Rightly or wrongly, that doesn’t play well for them. Legislative leaders have long memories and they have a way of making sure that certain bills never see the light of day, if you what I mean?

So while nationally, few know who Dean Cannon is, he could be a critical player in influencing who the next President of the United States is.

In addition to being one of the earliest states to hold a presidential nomination contest, Florida also has the third largest delegation count and is seen as a prelude to the results of the rest of the all important South. As such, it can either solidify a candidates frontrunner status, or take it away from them and give someone else the opportunity to claim that mantle and the momentum that will come with it.

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Is It Wise For Rick Perry To Campaign on Making Government Inconsequential?

Bookmark and Share    When Rick Perry ended his presidential announcement by vowing to work hard to make government inconsequential in our lives, he set in motion a bumpy national drive down the road to the White House. Those words were chosen very carefully. They were reviewed by conservative test groups. They were compared to other similar tag lines and they were settled upon only once a team of talented strategists armed with positive research results to support their opinion, agreed that they were the right words to speak if Rick Perry wanted to win a plurality of the Republican vote.

Publicly stating that you want a job so that you can work hard to make sure that less is done with it is quite bold and a big risk. But not when it comes to the Republican presidential nomination. Republicans want government to do less. They want it to mange less of their lives, make less decisions for them, create fewer limitations and regulations on their lives, and take and spend less of its money. Indeed, as made evident by the rise of the Taxed Enough Already movement, quite a  number of Americans have come to echo this sentiment. So it can be said that Rick Perry’s call for a government that is as inconsequential in our lives as possible, is a good way to win the Republican presidential nomination. The quote is powerful phraseology that allows Republicans and voters fed up with government, to understand that Rick Perry gets it.

But will the collective thought process of the American general electorate get it in November?

That is the risk that Rick Perry takes in his bold statement.

Perry is banking on the thinking that after seeing an extremely activist, liberal government in action, they have come to understand that government can in fact go too far and do too much. It is essentially an ideological argument. And while the argument has been settled by the Republican and conservative base vote, it has not yet been completely established by the general electorate as a whole. But supporting Perry’s position is some yearly polling done by the nonpartisan Gallup organization.  It has shown that except for three years in the early 2000’s, most Americans identify themselves as being conservative.

Recently, in a years worth of nationwide surveys, Gallup found that there are more self-identified conservatives than liberals in every single state in America. The study even found that Rhode Island is the state with the largest number of self professed liberals at 29.3%,  but even there, 29.9% of the population define their political persuasion as conservative.  That’s a .6% lead over liberals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more registered Republicans than Democrats but it does demonstrate that the conservative brand has far more positive connotations than the liberal brand does and is much easier to sell than the liberal ideology.

Based upon his powerful statement, Rick Perry is willing to bet that those numbers will hold up next Fall when the American electorate has a choice between possibly him and President Obama.

Rick Perry seems to be ready to make the 2012 election an ideological battle, a referendum between libertarian conservatism and socialist liberalism. Based upon the numbers, on its surface the gambit is a good one.  Or is it?

It did not work for Barry Goldwater in 1964, but it did work for Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988. Then again, in 1964, Barry Goldwater’s conservatism was up against a relatively strongly positioned Lyndon Johnson. In 1980 Ronald Reagan’s conservatism was running against the not so well positioned, wounded presidency of Jimmy Carter. and in 1988 George H. W. Bush was opposing a weak candidate with a poorly run campaign.  Under the circumstances, President Obama is probably closer to the Carter position than the Johnson position.   Yet President Obama is actually hoping to make the 2012 election a referendum on ideology.

Doing so will take the focus off of his record, which based on its results, will surely lose. So the distraction of ideology is just what the President wants. And he is probably correct in wanting it that way.

While most Americans identify themselves as conservative, they are also compassionate, hence former President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign introducing himself as a “compassionate conservative”. It is this compassion that President Obama hopes to distract us from his record with and if allowed to do so, he could win. It is for that reason that President Obama will not let the electorate ever forget Rick Perry’s quote to make government inconsequential, if Perry were to be his opponent. President Obama would appreciate the chance to try to paint conservatism as selfish and greedy ideology that is heartless and inconsiderate and therefore not the America we want to live in. He will paint the conservative ideology as the one of and for Wall Street and big business and the liberal ideology as the Party of the people, the Party that has your back.

To be sure, the Democrats will do this under any circumstances. Their appeals to our emotions rather than our logic is the key to their success and it often works. But Rick Perry is confident that the liberal extremism of the Obama Administration has been a lurch so far to the left that it has given the American public ideological whiplash. He is hoping that the extremist activism of the Obama government has highlighted such an abundant degree of liberal thinking that the American people clearly see how antithetical liberalism is to American democratic principles that voters are willing to lurch quickly and sharply to the right in an attempt to take corrective measures that restore balance and gets the nation back on track. That is exactly why in the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans picked up historic gains in the House.

If things keep going in the direction they are, President Obama’s last hope may be a Hail Mary pass to the emotions that tries to distract the American people, but if Rick Perry can keep the electorate’s eye on the ball, he will be able to intercept the ball and it run it back for a touch down.

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Palin Disappointed that Pawlenty Dropped Out

Bookmark and Share    Sarah Palin told  NBC’s Alex Moe  that she was disappointed by Pawlenty’s exit from the presidential race.  She adds that Pawlenty is a good man and his staff team is filed with talented people.  In Palin’s statement, while she thinks highly of Pawlenty, she obviously does not think very highly of the Iowa Caucus process and refers to it as “internal political machinery.

According to Plain

“I think we will see more people coming and going” in this campaign cycle. “I hate to see that internal party events would be seen as the barometer for somebody to stay in the race or not. I would love to have seen Pawlenty stay in there and allow the voters to decide not internal political machinery decide who should be in the race and who should not. So I am disappointed that he has dropped out. Pawlenty, he is a good man who worked very hard, had a good record as a governor. He knew how to get along with the boys in the sandbox. He knew when and how to compromise in order to get things done in a blue state – a Republican in a blue state being effective. I have great respect for him and a lot of his staff members too, good guys, good gals. He has a great family. So I really, really hope the best for Gov. Pawlenty; he is a good man, and disappointed that he dropped out.”

Insofar as whether or not Pawlenty’s departure from the race will have an effect on her decision to run or not, Palin stated;

 “No, I think this is more illustration of the comings and goings of a campaign in a very long season of politics. We still have many months to go, and I think we will see more people coming and going.”

In the meantime,  I am going to go out on a limb here and predict that Palin does not run for President but that she eventually comes out and endorses her friend Rick Perry.

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Rick Perry Makes it Official and Steps in the Race as a Responsible Libertarian

Bookmark and Share    The announcement of Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy (see the announcement in the video below) on the same day that the field of opponents were dealing with the Iowa Straw Poll, has met mixed with mixed criticism. Some have suggested that timing the announcement for the same day as the major event in Iowa was poor judgment. Most of those who say that though, come from Iowa.

But insofar as the other 49 states go, I fail to see how Perry’s move will hurt his chances in them. At the same time, with his relative late entry into the race and a virtually non-existent organization in the Hawkeye State, Perry’s decision to announce his candidacy while the Straw Poll was taking place, was smart. It assured that whoever won the Straw Poll would have an asterisk next to their win which states “The win was achieved before Rick Perry entered the race”. This diminishes the victory, which went to Michele Bachmann.

As it relates to the Republican presidential nomination, under the set of circumstances that Perry is confronting, this announcement was technically perfect and in every way.

In addition to diminishing the effect of Bachmann’s win in Iowa. The location of Perry’s announcement and the venue used to do it at were politically shrewd for at least two reasons. First, he chose to make his announcement at what is the third annual Red State Gathering. It is a convention of sorts for conservative activists and attending it this year were 500 highly motivated activists. The gathering is sponsored by the blog “Red State“, which is one of the most widely read right of center blogs there is,  and is widely considered one of the most influential voices of the conservative grassroots . That means that the conservative blogosphere has been and is a buzz about the potential and promise of a Perry presidential candidacy. In addition to that, Perry’s willingness to embrace hardcore conservative activists like those who follow Red State, shows guts, and an unwavering devotion to the conservative cause. Few if any mainstream politicians would choose to introduce their candidacy from something that is so politically partisan that it would call itself “Red State”.   While many haven chosen to announce their candidacies in front of some Norman Rockwell-like backdrop of a farm in Iowa or picnic ground in New Hampshire, Perry came right out and held no punches regarding  his commitment to conservatism and willingness not to hide from it. That sends a strong, positive signal to the Republican base.

The second thing about the location of the announcement was that it took place in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina is currently seen as wide open with no clear frontrunner. And while Michele Bachmann has the inside track on the Iowa Caucuses, after that the race turns to New Hampshire where Mitt Romney is expected to come out on top. After those two states, the race turns to South Carolina which has a Republican electorate that is closer to that of Iowa’s Republican demographic than New Hampshire’s. This makes South Carolina  more fertile for Bachmann than it is for Romney. But New Hampshire’s Republican base is not great turf for Bachmann and after a win in Iowa, a bad showing behind Romney and anyone else in New Hampshire could begin to convince voters that Bachmann may not be all that electable.  This all means that South Carolina could be a cakewalk for Perry.   If so, that will have a big effect on nearby Florida which holds its primary soon after. And with its compliment of 99 winner-take-all delegates, the third largest delegation of all states, Florida could be the state that finally determines who the real frontrunner is as the nomination process moves on from there.

But there was much more that was right about Perry’s announcement on Saturday.

While all of the candidate’s are using TEA Party talking points, Rick Perry’s talk about not exchanging “less freedom for more government” and “time to get America working again” seemed much more convincing than the others who have spoken similarly. Perhaps what makes him more believable than the others on these issues is his standing as Governor of the “Lone Star” state a state known for independence, and the fact that he has ruled over a state that has recently accounted for nearly 40% of all new jobs in that nation?

Be those the reasons or not, in his speech, Rick Perry demonstrated an ability to connect with voters and to electrify a room quite naturally. Nothing was forced in the way that Tim Pawlenty often seems to do, or stretched as Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann seem to do. With Rick Perry it all seems natural and genuine and based on his record, you can understand why.

In the final analysis, Perry’s announcement was a good start and as for the timing, South Carolina’s popular Governor and a national TEA Party darling, stated:

“I think his timing was brilliant. I think to turn around and do this the same day you’ve got the Ames Iowa poll really just lets us all know that it’s game on time for all the candidates and I love that,”

But there was much more to Perry’s announcement than the timing. The words he spoke rang quite true with the conservative base that will be decisive in the nomination process. Perry struck critical chords in lines such as these;

“The people are not subject to the government, the government is subject to us.”

And his closing line;

“I will work every day to make sure that Washington DC is as inconsequential to your lives as possible.”

That line in particular could be a key to Perry’s winning over of conservatives and those in the Taxed Enough Already movement. It was extraordinarily bold and in direct contradiction with the liberal logic that pushes government to be one of the biggest consequences in our lives. The left may try to use that line against Perry if he is the nominee, but in the Republican nomination process that will get you to the general election, that line demonstrates that Perry gets it and when pieced with all his other initial stances it makes him an adult version of Ron Paul……… a  “responsible Libertarian“, an image that can unite both the conservative base and the growing libertarian Republican base.   It shows that Perry is not only in touch with the right and the TEA movement, but that he is one of them and a part of the  movement. 

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Will Announce His Candidacy on Saturday

Bookmark and Share  Rick Perry is running. 

Carl Cameron reports that officials have confiormed that Texas Governor Rick Perry will officially decalre his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination this Saturday, August 13th. 

The three term governor will not announce an exploratory committee or any testing-the-waters phase.  Instead he is going to jump right in to the race.  As stated by White House 2012 in a previous post, Perry is sure to make a big splash, but the ripples will effect the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Tim Pawlenty is still questionable.

Those three will probably pose the greatest challenge to Perry.  Unless of course Sarah Palin decides to jump in to the contest too.

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Make Checks Payable to “Perry for President Campaign”. Perry Prepares to Make It Official.

Bookmark and Share    The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has obtained an email from Gene Powell, a key Perry supporter and  one of  Texas Governor Rick Perry’s appointees to the University of Texas board of regents.  In it Powell claims that that the Governor  “is expected to announce his presidential plans shortly after the Ames Straw Poll this coming weekend, and his supporters are already soliciting contributions for the campaign.”

The email states 

“We expect that announcement in a week to ten days” and according to the Post, it  tells people to start writing checks today.

Powell’s missive also claims that the first Perry fundraiser will be held in San Antonio on September 1st.  It adds  that checks should be made out to the “Perry For President Campaign.”

Perry adviser David Carney denies that a final decision about Perry’s president bid has been made and he claims that the timeline indicated in Powell’s email is “not hard and fast”.  Translated in to non-bureaucratic language, that means Rick Perry is running but they have not yet determined exactly when the right time to make it official is.

Perry is one of two names that many voters have been waiting to hear a decision from.  The other name is Sarah Palin.  Palin has recently stated that she has not yet come to a final decision on a race for President.  According to her, she is waiting to see what the full field of Republican candidates have to offer and suggested that if the Republican field does not offer a suitable conservative, she may just run. 

Perry’s now probable entry in to the race may just be enough to answer Palin’s question.  Few candidates can compete with the Texas Governor’s conservative credentials, especially on fiscal matters, the economy and among the religious right who make up a large portion of the Republican base and whom Perry recently courted at a statewide prayer rally that called upon Americans to pray for our nation.

Perry’s entry in to the race will produce one of , if not the biggest splashes we have seen so far in the 2012 political waters.  His fundraising capability is seen as vast enough to compete with such people as frontrunner Mitt Romney, and his record on the number one issue of the day…..the economy, is to say the least, impressive.  Texas is one of only three states which has actually gained jobs since the recession began and under Perry it continues to have one of the few truly balanced budgets as well as a large rainy day fund.  And all without raising taxes. 

While Perry’s record as Governor of Texas may be enough to propel him to the White House, it is also one of the things that could keep him from winning the Oval Office.  For many voters, Rick Perry is seen as Bush-lite.  Perry was former Texas Governor George W. Bush’s Lieutenant Governor before Bush left Texas to become President. 

The most interesting shifts that Perry’s addition to the race will immediately has will be how he effects the poll numbers of Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney.  Up to now, Romney has been the longstanding frontrunner but ambivalence about his conservative credentials have allowed Minnesota Congresswoman to gain significant early ground.  Which one Perry initially takes support away from could be very telling and in the case of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty whose campaign is stuck in perpetual stagnation in the back of the field, Perry’s entry in to the race could be the death knell. 

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Rick Perry Discusses His Possibe Run For President With Neil Cavuto

See the interview below this post

Bookmark and Share   Fox News’ Neil Cavuto conducted the first interview with Texas Governor Rick Perry since he indicated that he is considering a run for President.

In it Perry claims that six weeks ago a presidential run was not on his “radar” but after conversations with several people he trusts, including his wife, he has come around to giving the possibility a good look.

The interview was one of many candidate-like opportunities that Perry took advantage of on a trip to New York City. The trip was made for the purpose of delivering a speech to the Manhattan Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner. Donald Trump was originally scheduled to deliver the events keynote address, but he pulled out after rejecting his own for President. But Perry maximized the impact of his trip to the Big Apple by taking advantage of several opportunities to address some major New York based media outlets that have broad national reach. That includes the Wall Street Journal of which Perry requested to meet with its editorial board.

In the video of Neil Cavuto’s interview with Governor Perry (see below) to invite him to speak to them, Perry replied;

I think it’s the right thing for them to do to pick the Governor of state that’s got a great story to tell. When you look at we’ve done, seriously on the job creation side, you said in you’re opening, ‘what’s the secret’, the fact is it really is not a secret. You just keep those taxes low and your regulatory climate fair and balanced”.

He added that tort reform which protects from frivolous lawsuits also goes a long way in creating the right climate for job creation and a strong economic climate.

Generally, the clip below gives a good indication as to why Perry is seen by many as the strongest candidate left that can possibly run against President Obama.

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Governor Perry Seeks Sit Down With Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Before Giving a Speech to NY Republicans

Bookmark and Share   Texas Governor Rick Perry is in New York today to give a speech to New York City Republicans. He’s filling in for Donald Trump who was originally scheduled to deliver the speech but after pulling out of the race for President, also passed on the speech. A conservative addressing New York City Republicans is like a vegetarian trying to convince people at a rodeo to give up meat. Still, New York has a large Republican delegation to the Republican National Convention and a win its relatively early primary can give a candidate a decent lead in the nomination contest. But the news that Perry is filling in for Donald Trump at this event is not as major as the revelation that while in New York City, Perry has requested a meeting with the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

Such a sit down could have an impact on a potential Perry presidential candidacy that is 100 times more important than the speech he will give to the Republican gathering later in the evening. Furthermore, the request for an interview with a leading newspaper that is world renowned for its professional economic analysis and coverage, is not likely meant for the purpose of discussing prayer in schools or abortion. Perry’s request is most definitely intended for the purpose of discussing the economy or some specific issues related to it. Such an interview is also likely to highlight Perry’s superior stewardship of the economy in Texas, a stewardship that has made Texas number in job creation and created the most business friendly environment of all the fifty states. The latter being of particular interest to a publication like the Wall Street Journal.

With far too many potentially promising Republicans presidential hopefuls bowing out of the race for President, I hate to speculate about the chances of another one jumping in to the race, yet as pointed out by WH12 several months ago, the chances for a Rick Perry running for President are good. There is absolutely nothing that we know of which offers Perry a reason why he can’t run. In fact, it is just the opposite. And after Monday’s presidential debate still leaving many looking for a conservative hero, Perry may now have even more reason to run. That is probably one reason why Governor Perry wants to speak to the WSJ today. Coming from the WSJ editorial board, a positive assessment of his ideas for job creation, taxation, balanced budgets, and the creation of a regulatory environment that is pro-growth instead of pro-suffocating, has legs that can take Perry far in a race for President. And apparently Rick Perry knows it.

Perry knows that if he were to run, his conservative credentials in the primary and caucus contest will be unassailable. So he need not over emphasize them, especially since he knows that in a general election, those same unassailable conservative credentials will be used against him by President Obama among the broader electorate. So Perry is wise to try to speak to the WSJ on the main topic of the approaching presidential election…….the economy. That is where the election is on track to be won or lost. If Perry can seal the deal on his ability to turn around the national economy and make it run as strong as the Texas economy, not only will that earn him another feather in his cap among the Republican primary voters he needs to win the nomination and who want a candidate they believe can beat the President in November of 2012, it also takes the edge off of what would be President Obama’s attempts to distract voters in the general election by painting Perry as a right wing radical.

So it appears to me that while Perry may not actually be running for President, he is certainly making sure than he can win if he decides to run.

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