Skip to comments.The Rick Perry I Know
Posted on 08/07/2011 4:24:22 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
In 1986, I was running the Texas Democratic Party primary, and in walked an attractive rancher who submitted his filing to run as a Democrat for state representative for a district in rural West Texas. That rancher is now the states Republican governor, Rick Perry. I have known him for 25 years off and on, and I know his staff very well. And Perry is about to become a dominant force in the Republican nomination process for president.
Nearly a year ago, I wrote a column for National Journal saying that we need to watch out for Perry, that he would make a formidable presidential candidate, even though he had expressed no interest at the time in running. But the political environment and the Republican field made me think that Perry could have a legitimate shot.
Many people have asked me what kind of candidate he will be, or how I think his campaign will do if he makes the leap and enters the race.
Having observed and known the governor, both as a Democrat and as a Republican, through 13 election cycles, I offer a primer on Perry in five key points:
1. He is an extremely astute politician with a keen sense of where voters are, and he has great instincts on message. Perry has ruthless discipline and communication. They say in politics, Dont let your boot off an opponents neck till Election Day. Perry doesnt take his boot off till a year after the votes have been counted and the opponent has faded into oblivion. He is actually a better campaigner than George W. Bush (Perrys predecessor as Texas governor) was when he first entered the national scene.
2. Perry has surrounded himself with a very loyal staff. His aides believe in him, and he in them. He is involved in campaign decisions, but he delegates well and doesn't stop being loyal because a mistake might be made. This is a huge advantage in the ebb and flow of presidential campaigns.
3. His statements related to possible Texas secession actually helped him in his recent race in 2010, and will help him in a national campaign in the Republican primaries and caucuses. In an environment where Republican voters despise the federal government, anti-Washington rhetoric is music to their ears. Conversely, this talk will hurt him in a general-election race. Moderate voters in the Midwest will see it as off-putting.
4. Although he has run many times for both district and statewide office in Texas, Perry has never been fully vetted by the media. He underwent some scrutiny in his races for governor, but he has never endured the full-court press that happens in a presidential race. What the media discovers will not be as important as how he and the campaign handle the intense spotlight for the first time. Perry and some of his staffers are known to have thin skins. They will need to grow calluses if they are to succeed in the show.
5. Perry has never lost a race. While many immediately list this as a positive (and it is laudable and suggests huge talent), losing at some point in your career makes you better when the inevitable problems hit. I have learned more from my losses in life and politics than from my victories. Its the losses that really cause self-reflection and growth. President Obama and former Presidents Bush (father and son), Clinton, Reagan, and Nixon learned enormous amounts from setbacks in their political careers, and those losses eventually helped them win the White House. We know Perry can win. The real question is: Can he suffer defeat and rise to the next battle?
Its anyones guess how Perry will do if he enters the race for president. So far, he has risen in the polls and been applauded more and more by Republican activists while he stays on the sideline. So its hard not to wonder whether hes better as an abstract proposition than as an actual candidate. We shall soon find out. My guess is that Perrys trajectory will go in one of two opposing directions: He will march consistently and strongly and become the nominee, or he will crash in a spectacular manner. I dont see any middle ground. Either way, this is going to be great theater. And interestingly, looking ahead to a possible run against President Obama, the last really close general-election race Perry had was in 1998 for lieutenant governor, and the media strategist for his Democratic opponent, John Sharp, was a familiar name--David Axelrod.
In those terms, I can understand his thinking, but that doesn’t make it okay, especially when he insulted Arizona and was so dismissive of their anti-illegal bill. He could have done something more. he didn’t. And he just recently caved to big donors on illegals. So don’t think that excuses for NOT doing anything works here. It is precisely BECAUSE Texas has such a huge border with Mexico, that priority number one should have been to shut it down, close it off, and stop the bleeding.
I told you I was gathering information on ALL the candidates. Making a list. Checking it twice. Most of the obvious rinos are already crossed off...so I am trying to find the Conservative in the haystack.
I am not looking for perfection, but I do have high standards and THIS is one of the most important elections in the history of this country. DON’T lie to me. Is that really so much to ask of someone who has to bring this country back from utter disaster?
I don’t think so. And DON’T pander. I am going to be VERY choosy in who I support. VERY.
What seems important to me is that the State of Texas approved a massive curriculum change in public school Social Studies last year. In this revised curriculum, no longer does left wing propaganda dominate. Instead, the course reflects the contributions of Americans whose reputations have been suppressed for decades due to a liberal bias. Certainly, there has been a great deal of criticism from liberal leaning think tanks and from Hispanics who angrily declare that the revision is yet another white dominated assertion, leaving “minorities” as afterthoughts. From what I read, the progressives want to villify everything traditional and white in favor of everything race centered. I am not sure how long this “old fashioned” curriculum will be in place without some fool suing the state of Texas, but its appearance in the first place says, to me anyway, something good about the Governor of that state.
“I don’t know why it would. Perry knows how to bring people together.”
How many muslims do YOU trust? Where is Fort Hood?
As late as 1988, when Perry supported him, Al Gore had a feeble 9% rating from the American Conservative Union, making him more liberal than Patrick Leahy of VT and numerous other liberal Demonrats. He also cast pro-abortion votes that year.
Quit lying about Al Gore being a “Southern conservative Democrat” and “pro-life.” He was a typical extreme liberal. Perry flip-flops depending on the situation. He panders to Muslims, La Raza, and anyone else who might vote for him. He is not a reliable conservative at all.
“Either way, this is going to be great theater”
I’m intrigued that Matthew Dowd can so trivialize an election that will define the future of the United States of America.
Just the opposite of Sarah.
The author of the article says that.
Maybe one man's "thin skin" is another man's "boot on the neck."
Perry had to get out of academic probation to be a student leader. According to Perry's transcript, he rarely earned grades above C with C in U.S. History, D in Shakespeare, and D in economics. In his animal science major, he got a D in veterinary anatomy, and F in the second semester of organic chemistry. He received A's in world military systems and "Improv. of Learning".
We've heard about the intelligence and sheer genius of obama ad nauseum, just as we've heard about how stoopid Reagan, GWB and Sarah Palin was/is over and over again.
You know more the same will be coming for Perry if he gets in, so be ready for some answers and snappy comebacks.
Perry's case is completely different. He has been a politician most of his adult life. He was elected as a Demonrat, then switched when it became clear that TX was moving to the right. After 8 glorious years of the Reagan Presidency, Perry remained a Demonrat and supported sociopathic liberal punk Al Gore for President, showing a horrendous lack of judgment regarding character. That's a fatal flaw in someone who would make hundreds of appointments as President. Even after turning Republican, Perry continued to favor liberals, supporting ultra-RINO 3x-married pro-abortion Rudy Giuliani in 1998.
Did you know Rick Perry was a captain in the air force and flew the C-130?
Perry Awarding Iraqi Service Medals
Gov. Rick Perry participates in ceremonies at Camp Mabry to redesignate the 49th Armored Division as the 36th Infantry Division. The former 49th Armored Division, which consists of approximately 12,000 soldiers, makes up almost two-thirds of the Texas National Guard. The division's redesignation as the 36th Infantry Division is part of the Texas Army National Guard's transition from a heavy armored force to a more versatile infantry force.
Texas Gov. Perry receives a warm greeting from Ghazni Provincial Governor Dr. Usman Usmani at the flight line minutes after landing at Forward Operating Base Ghazni by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Perry led a delegation of four other governors to visit
Lt. Col. Thomas J. Kleis (R) briefs Texas Gov. Rick Perry (C) as Command Sgt. Maj. Peter P.A. Collins (L) listens on the intelligence gathering successes the 636th Military Intelligence Battalion has achieved during their last six months of duty in
Texas Gov. Rick Perry stands with Texas service members from the 636th Military Intelligence Battalion, 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and the 136th Military Police Battalion on July 20th under the Texas flag he presented to the 636th.
Rick Perry served in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Texas A&M
Crew job: C-130 aircraft commander
Served in the Air Force: 1972 to 1977
Dyess AFB tour: March 4, 1974, to Feb. 28, 1977
His story: Way back before he was governor of Texas, Rick Perry had two choices as a young member of the Air Force.
He could either follow his dream and work toward becoming an instructor pilot in the sleek T-38, or he could fly the hulking C-130, planes that affectionately were referred to as "trash haulers" by Perry and his cohorts.
"It was one of the great adventures of my life," Perry said. "I had a fairly pedestrian life until I was 23 years old."
Perry sounds absolutely presidential in that 2001 speech.
Thanks for the link!
I know a lot of people find that photo shocking but hardly anyone knew what was going on with ACORN in 2005, or that it was being subverted beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.
We all do now.
Rick Perry looks as if his original name was Enrique Peraza or Peron or something like that and was anglicized.
Matthew Dowd is a Liberal Liar.....when did Obama EVER have a political set back? NEVER...he has COASTED on his COLOR!
This is blatantly, verifiably false. Perry was always described as a fiscal conservative and dubbed a "pit bull."
See there? You learn all kinds of things in Free Republic you don’t find elsewhere.
This is a revelation to me.
What is it with politicians and Muslims?
The whole point of the Muslim political-religion is to destroy, enslave , or convert any non-Muslims.
Why is that so hard to understand ?
If Axelrod is so good, why do they need the media to cover for Obama at every single turn?
Learning a lot about Perry this morning.
So far it’s a pukefest.
Where the hell is Sarah?
No way to say this polite, but Matthew Dowd is a gay fag!
Sort of hard to tell from the photo. The reason I thought that was because I had heard the name Rick Perry long before I ever saw any photo of him. When I did, I was reminded of my college friend from San Antonio and the brothers of a post-doctoral colleague who is first generation American, all of whom are of Mexican ancestry.
I was a Dem in '88 also. I voted for pro abortion, pro criminal Willie Horton Micheal Dukakis.
In every single Perry bashing thread that I see about Perry, the trolls and Ron Paul-bots use this as a negative.
They leave out the fact that he was never a liberal. Gore wasn't a "liberal" in '88, either.
I liked Zell. He wanted to duel Chris Mathews.I like anyone who would want to kick his fat butt on live TV.
Why don’t you write the governor and ask him?
Say it aint so Joe.
Reagan was a Dem who switched parties. ((gasp)) He was also the head of a union. (Screen Actors Guild).
Plus there are many FReepers who were Dems when they were younger and dumber about life in their 20's. I voted Dem in '88. Do you "inherently distrust" us all?
Doubtful after retweeting his spending record.
She is announcing Sept 3rd, and btw she re treated a article about how great Alaska was under her governorship, compared to other States....Perry`s Texas was far down the list.
At any rate she is running and announcing on Sept 3rd or thereabouts.
“Learning a lot about Perry this morning.”
Yeah. Me too. AND about some of his supporters. Wow.
My “and you say...” was rhetorical, and was indeed directed at the article’s author. Sorry if I confused or annoyed you. Will try to improve my clarity next time.
“Learning a lot about Perry this morning.
So far its a pukefest.
Where the hell is Sarah?”
Sarah resigned, Perry’s a sitting governor. Question answered, case closed, if yer askin’ me.
Sarah was governor a little over 2 years...there is NO comparison in their records...Perry has been governor over 10 years. Forbes just issued the 8 top boom towns in the US 4 of those cities are in Texas. Alaska had NOT one of those slots....if there is to be a comparison...it needs to be apples to apples not apples to oranges..
Texas also had a number of good Democrats, however, I must add that they were Texans first.
Bob Bullock. Travis County prosecutor and crapweasel Ronnie Earle even tried a fishing expedition against him, so this is a credit to Bullock. Bullock shot down a bill banning term limits in city governments, even though he personally was opposed to term limits. Why? The local voters passed it as part of their local governance.
John Sharp, attorney general.
But those are in the past, even if the recent past. The Democratic Party has been completely taken over by moonbattery, even in Texas.
There is no doubt he is far and away better than what we have now, but that could be said of almost anyone.
A this point we are not at “the lessor of two evils” stage. We are looking for the most Conservative candidate to support. Rick Perry is not it.
Sure I would support Rick over Obummer, But that is not the point. If we elect Rick Perry; I am telling all you people who have not lived in Texas under his reign; prepair to be disappointed.
Rick Perry will do only what is good for Rick Perry. He will change like the wind once elected. His number 1 “Core Value” is: Do what is good for Rick Perry.
Yes, I did know that. But, I bet a lot of people don't.
“I especially admire RPs recent open display of Christian passionnothing more totally irks the Godless Left than thatthough I’m not saying that is why he held the prayer meetbut it don’t hurt to irk the Left if you wanna get on the good side of the Tea Party.”
You know, it is an interesting question as to why he held the prayer meet. And, though I’m not a big Perry fan (though he’s looking better and better relatively speaking) it occurs to me that if he were operating for political gain, a big, public, in-your-face kind of prayer meet would have been one of the last things a politician would have done. He might have met with “religious leaders” in a private venue, for instance.
Anyway, it makes me wonder if it weren’t a genuine thing after all. Could be, could be...
This right here is one of my biggest problems with Perry.
I live within 30 miles of the largest border crossing plus, we have a great, partial fence (built by Congressman Duncan Hunter).....and it works. We just need more of it.
We need a multi-tiered plan that includes a strong fence, penalties to employers, and the halting of benefits to ever stand a chance of overcomming all the damage.
CA is already ruined because of illegals and what we have to pay to support them.
No problem. I just figured you didn’t know who wrote the article.
Rick Perry will do only what is good for Rick Perry. He will change like the wind once elected. His number 1 Core Value is: Do what is good for Rick Perry. Spot on. Gov Good Hair "Gardasil" Perry is another republican slick weasel from the same mold as Cornyn and KBH. Look elsewhere for conservatism.
Zell Miller was the only time I ever voted for a Democrat. He was as conservative as any Republican and the best Governor we ever had in GA. Great guy!!
From this article and the assembled graphs, it doesn’t appear that Perry is very fiscally conservative at all:
I’ve had enough of politicians who can’t control their spending habits.
A fence will NOT keep people from crossing into the U.S.. We all are paying the price of having a 1250 Texas-Mexican international border that the federal government won't secure. And all the social programs designed to encourage people to cross the border are magnets and a wall isn't going to stop them. It's conservative ascendancy and the roll-back of LIBERAL incentives, along with stronger presence on the border (Perry's asked for drones and 3000 people for starters -- well you know how that goes over in D.C.).
And Perry has said:
If you show up illegally, without your card or youre here as a criminal element, Im for throwing the book at those folks, but the issue of people who want to legally, thoughtfully and appropriately come to America to work and help us build our economy we should quickly come up with a program and an identification card to do that. [end excerpt] Source