This rumor comes straight out of Austin, and the circumstances of a bill signing on Tuesday:
Perry’s remarks Tuesday were similar to a statement the governor gave to reporters last week — namely, that he won’t get “distracted” by talk of a presidential campaign. Perry is, after all, in the throes of the 2011 legislative session, where weighty matters like sweeping budget cuts and immigration restrictions are being considered.
But Perry’s non-denial denial is a little more significant this time because he was asked specifically if he would “rule out” running for president. Here is how the longest serving governor in America answered that question:
“I’ve got my focus on where it’s appropriately supposed to be, and that’s this legislative session,” Perry said. “I’ve said multiple times I’m not going to get distracted from my work at hand, and I’m not going to get distracted today, either.”
But the legislative session is almost over. True, a special session may yet happen, and if it does, Perry is unlikely to make any presidential moves without dealing with that session first.
Just a week ago, I made the case here for why the Texas governor and fellow Tatler blogger should run. Since that time, another data point has emerged in his favor, a data point that can be summed up in a number: 732,800. That’s the number of jobs Texas has added over the past 10 years, while no other state manages to top 100,000. In the teeth of the great recession, Texas is doing something right.
Texas fatigue (or Bush fatigue) is probably the strongest argument against a Perry run. But come 2012, Obama fatigue may be the single most prevalent affliction in the nation, and the Texas governor just might hold the cure.