As his thought process continues evolving from “think about it” to giving it “serious thought,” Texas Governor Rick Perry now feels “called” to run for president of the US, and some in the mainstream media are lining up for a coat tail ride.
After seeking advice from numerous leading Iowa Republicans in recent weeks, Perry late last week told the Des Moines Register someone or something has called him to run for president. “I’m not ready to tell you that I’m ready to announce that I’m in,” he said. “But I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”
Still reeling from the catastrophic policies of the last president in this country who leapt from the Texas governor platform, America must now deal with the stark reality of another cowboy mentality positioning itself for the White House.
Huffington Post, apparently infatuated with the governor’s style, writes Perry is
a skilled politician with TV anchorman looks, a Southern preacher's oratory and a cowboy's swagger, matched by a disarming candor and sense of humor.
A former media director for President Ronald Reagan and a public relations consultant from Texas, Merrie Spaeth thinks Perry’s attraction is in his looks, and his humor. “Years ago, people criticized him as being too cute,” she said, the Register reports. “Now, that’s become an asset. And in a day and age where we virtually demand that our national candidates understand how to use humor, he is a star.”
Sounding his horn on the state of Texas’ economy, Perry added, “If anybody tries to argue the fact that we have not created an economic juggernaut in the state of Texas, then they’re either politically naive, they have a political agenda, or they’re just not paying attention.” What Perry, or fellow state Republicans, will not touch upon, is what the hourly wage of those reported jobs created actually is.
Texas, tied with Mississippi in leading the nation with minimum wage jobs, is likely to see a deterioration of its job base as the education, health care and government sectors continue feeling the punch delivered with the well of federal government stimulus money running dry.
Adding to the jobs problem the state is now beginning to cope with is recent action by its state legislature, an “especially cold-blooded” budget passed over Memorial Day weekend which will cut state spending by 8 percent for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, “perhaps the leanest and cruelest budget in state history,” the Texas Observer writes.
On the chopping block are teaching positions as state funding for public schools is reduced. Additionally, those graduating from high school with the hopes of a college education may have more than just a staring-in-the-face decision of where that post-high school education will take place. The new budget cuts more than one billion dollars from the higher education program, a move likely leading to higher tuitions. Don’t forget the attack on state grants the Perry-led Texas Republicans helped push into the books.
Texas lawmakers will also get credit for slashing cuts to such vital health care programs as Medicaid and family planning. How much of the impending doom will be directed to Perry remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Perry’s shrewd style of politics has placed him in an enviable position, if you’re a Republican seeking a presidential bid. With Perry’s announcement to run would come an immediate shift of momentum. Few athletes, or teams, can claim momentum even before the game starts, yet Perry will give Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, supposed front runner Mitt Romney, or any other Republican with dreams of sweet scents from the White House rose garden a new odor to deal with.
“I get the definite impression he’s very likely to run,” said Iowa’s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, Huffpo reports. “I think he becomes a significant factor if he becomes a candidate. It could change the whole complexion of the Iowa caucus race.”
Not yet mentioned by anyone covering this developing story is the massive oil and gas industry in Texas, a highly likely supporter of Perry, should he make the decision to run. As most Americans are familiar with by now, the oil and gas industry knows no state lines, so we’re talking a national, possibly international, uprising of support for the Texas governor who is unafraid to mix religion with his politics, another trait he shares with George W. Bush.
“I think he will push Sarah Palin and (Michele) Bachmann down the stairs so hard and so fast that he will emerge in the next three to four months as the darling of the fundamentalist religious right,” said Rep. Lon Burnam, a Texas Democrat and critic of Perry, the Register notes.
With Texas a perennial top-of-the-list state in poor air quality, it’s no secret Perry believes global warming is more closely related to weather variations than humanity’s impact on the planet.
After a legal challenge against the EPA last year, Texas emerged as the only state refusing to accept the environmental agency’s new rules on carbon dioxide and heat-trapping gases regulation. “The state’s legal action indicates EPA’s Endangerment Finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited by evidence of key scientists’ lack of objectivity, coordinated efforts to hide flaws in their research, attempts to keep contravening evidence out of IPCC reports and violation of freedom of information laws,” Perry said last year, according to Energy Business Daily.
On the subject of freedom of information, the Texas Supreme Court recently ruled much of Perry’s travel details will be kept secret, overruling decisions by two lower courts. The public’s right to know how tax dollars were being spent was usurped by a sense of safety for the governor.
Emerging for Republicans is a dog-and-cat fight unseen in political history. For Americans, higher education, life-sustaining social programs, transparency and clean air will be the ongoing battle cry.