Carl Cameron just said it on Fox. The campaign acknowledged to him that it had been backing away from making that announcement Saturday night (which lines up with what I’ve been hearing), but not anymore. The smoke is in fact fire, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Tatler contributor, is running for president.
Announcing on the heels of the Ames straw poll makes a great deal of strategic sense. The winner of that poll is likely to be Ron Paul, not because he leads in the real polls but because he’s good at straw polls. So Perry’s announcement upstages that poll, which is really a local fundraiser anyway, and sets him up as the alternative to whoever comes out of tonight’s debate plus Ames looking strongest.
More: According to CNN’s latest poll, Perry enters the race in a virtual tie with frontrunner Mitt Romney.
According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 15 percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP pick Perry as their first choice for their party’s nomination, just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who’s making his second bid for the White House. Romney’s two point margin over Perry is within the survey’s sampling error.
That is not a bad place to get started in the race. My guess is after this weekend, the field gets not larger, but smaller, as Perry muscles in near the top and some lower-tier candidates find their oxygen supply cut off quickly.
Update: Perry spokesman Mark Miner confirms to the AP’s April Castro.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for president, a spokesman confirmed Thursday, a move certain to shake up the race for the GOP nomination much to the delight of conservatives looking for a candidate to embrace.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor would make his intentions known on Saturday while visiting South Carolina and New Hampshire just as most of his presidential rivals compete in a test vote in Iowa.
Official word of Perry’s entrance into the race came just hours before eight candidates, including GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, were to appear on stage during a nationally televised debate.
Gotta tip my hat to the strategy once again. The Ames straw poll and tonight’s debate are rendered far less important because of who is not there but is making news. And if you’re a second or third-tier candidate, you now have to recalibrate your strategy to take shots at Romney, who will be there, and perhaps at Perry, who will not. And what does Romney do with this? Ignore it and hit Obama, probably.
Update: More, from Dwayne Horner at Townhall.
Sources revealed to Townhall yesterday that the Governor’s children, Griffin and Sydney, have been told to clear their schedules starting Friday so they could be “with their father at this special time.”
When reached for comment this morning on if the decision had been indeed final, a senior advisor to the Governor said nothing was factual about what was to be reported this morning breaking the story.
Friends of the Governor who have previously raised money for gubernatorial campaigns have been soliciting pledges for a Presidential run for weeks, but “haven’t picked up the checks yet.” They are being asked to commit to raising a minimum of $100,000 through their own personal network.