It’s only April 2014, but a minor boom for a Rick Perry presidential candidacy seems to be cropping up online, first in the Fiscal Times and then on Jennifer Rubin’s WaPo blog, despite the Texas governor’s misfire the first time around.
He was the frontrunner in the 2012 campaign before that debate when he could not recall the names of all the federal agencies he wanted to eliminate completely (three at the time, but maybe he should consider doubling or tripling it this go round). A good deal of his forgetfulness, I am certain, was attributable to Perry’s then recent back surgery and the consequent medications. (I’m the author of eleven books but can barely remember my name after 5mg of Ambien.) But he will have to demonstrate that.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of reasons for this Perry boomlet — Jen Rubin gives ten — and I have some of my own. But first, the man needs a campaign song. It’s hard to believe he’s been barnstorming through blue states the likes of New York, Illinois and California, drumming up business for Texas, without one. So here’s my proposal — this oldie by The Silhouettes (1957) that seems to more than fill the bill…
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Okay, now that that bit of nostalgia is out of the way, what are the reasons for giving Perry a second look , which I think it should be a long and careful one? Most importantly, as Rubin points out, pace The Silhouettes, Perry’s number one accomplishment is job creation, something he has achieved through what would seem to be the most obvious of means — lower taxes and fewer regulations — not that that seems to get through a single “liberal” brain in America, including the President’s. Nevertheless, most Republican candidates are sure to mouth that twin mantra in the coming election. What makes Perry different is that he has walked the walked successfully on this for a long time. He’s tested.
He’s also quite an appealing person. I know, having met him rather extensively on two occasions (more of that in a moment). But my principle reason for giving him that long second look is that he seems, at this juncture, the most viable of the possibilities in the room. But before I explain why, I want to make clear that in 2016 I will vote for virtually anyone with an R in front or after his or her name before I would vote for any candidate the Democrats could possibly propose other than a resurrected Harry Truman or JFK – and even then I’m not sure.
So here goes. I have written positively on this site about Rand Paul and I still feel he has a great deal to offer, especially in his outreach (all candidates should take note), but recent events have made clearer than ever that foreign policy will be an important part of the coming election. Our once great country is in an unprecedented state of international humiliation under Obama. It’s terrible for us and the world. More than ever we need a strong leader who can project a strong image abroad to the Putins, Saudis, mullahs, etc. I believe Perry could do that.
So presumably could Ted Cruz, but I am not sure he could be elected. He does not exhibit the common touch, the ability to reach out and bring Middle America with him, at least I haven’t seen it yet. I know there’s been a Jeb Bush boomlet of late. He’s a nice guy, but is that what we need, another Bush? Bush, Clinton — we might as well bring back the Divine Right of Kings and get it over with. I also worry about Scott Walker in foreign affairs. I know “it’s the economy, stupid” but I have a suspicion it’s going to be a lot more than that this time around. The global forces of evil are on the march. We need someone who can stand tall in the saddle as Reagan did.
Which brings us back to Governor Rick Perry. The first time I met him, I was invited down with the late Andrew Breitbart to go “Shooting With The Governor” (video). It was quite an experience. Perry is a deadeye sharpshooter. Not only is he a great supporter of the 2nd Amendment, looking at the linked video now, I’m more sure than ever that Governor Perry is just the guy to take care of Vladimir Putin — personally. Who else have we got who could actually go mano-a-mano with the Russian strongman and win? Hillary Clinton?
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PS: If you haven’t looked at the video yet, there’s some funny, sweet, but now ineffably sad, footage of Breitbart.