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The Rick Perry I Know
National Journal ^ | August 5, 2011 | Matthew Dowd

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 state’s 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, “Don’t let your boot off an opponent’s neck till Election Day.” Perry doesn’t 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 (Perry’s 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. It’s 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?

It’s anyone’s 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 it’s hard not to wonder whether he’s better as an abstract proposition than as an actual candidate. We shall soon find out. My guess is that Perry’s 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 don’t 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.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012; amnesty; conservatism; formerdemocrat; gopprimary; openborders; perry; rickperry; rinoperry
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To: Ditter

Good explanation. Back in the day when Perry entered politics a Texas Democrat would be considered politically conservative today. They bore no resemblance to the liberal plague that infests politics today. My father’s politics were about as right leaning as you could get yet he was a Democrat until the JFK years.

101 posted on 08/07/2011 7:28:16 AM PDT by McLynnan
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Your two posts were removed for being grossly misleading. Palin supporting a Perry nomination is purely speculative at this time, but your link label indicated otherwise.

102 posted on 08/07/2011 7:28:36 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
A fence will NOT keep people from crossing into the U.S..

I said multi-tiered plan including a fence. If you don't believe a fence is warranted, then we have nothing to discuss. I live where there is proof that a good fence works!

Sorry, but Perry's stance on illegals and his association with La Raza is enough to keep me away.

103 posted on 08/07/2011 7:29:47 AM PDT by CAluvdubya
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To: shield

Lets just keep it simple then...Perry is only 2nd best to Gov Palin, why settle for 2nd best, when we have the once in a generation candidate in Gov Palin.

104 posted on 08/07/2011 7:36:32 AM PDT by Friendofgeorge (DID I MENTION...SARAH PALIN OR FLIPPIN BUST)
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To: Admin Moderator
Thank you for explaining. I'll fix that.

A poster had asked, "Where's Sarah?"

I linked here

105 posted on 08/07/2011 7:37:06 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: shield; Friendofgeorge

May 2, 2011 - The Best Cities For Jobs

..........”Once again the best places for jobs tended to be smaller communities where incremental improvements can have a relatively large impact. Eighteen of the top 20 cities on our list were either small (under 150,000 nonfarm jobs) or mid-sized areas (less than 450,000 jobs).

But no place displayed more vibrancy than Texas. The Lone Star State dominated the three size categories, with the No. 1 mid-sized city, El Paso (No. 3 overall, up 22 places from last year) and No.1 large metropolitan area Austin (No. 6 overall), joining Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood (the No. 1 small city) atop their respective lists.

Texas also produced three other of the top 10 smallest regions, including energy-dominated No. 4 Midland, which gained 41 places overall, and No. 10 Odessa, whose economy jumped a remarkable 57 places. It also added two other mid-size cities to its belt: No. 2 Corpus Christi and No. 4 McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission.

Whatever they are drinking in Texas, other states may want to imbibe. California–which boasted zero regions in the top 150–is a prime example. Indeed, a group of California officials, led by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, recently trekked to the Lone Star State to learn possible lessons about what drives job creation. Gov. Jerry Brown and others in California’s hierarchy may not be ready to listen, despite the fact that the city Brown formerly ran, Oakland, ranked absolute last, No. 65, among the big metros in our survey, two places behind perennial also-ran No. 63 Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.

One lesson that green-centric California may have trouble learning is that, however attractive the long-term promise of alternative energy, fossil fuels pay the bills and create strong economies, at least for now. Even outside of Texas, oil capitals did well across the board, not surprising given the surging price of gas. Our No. 2 small metro, Bismarck, N.D., which also No. 2 overall, is the emerging capital of the expanding Dakota energy belt. Also faring well are Alaska’s two oil-fire cities, Fairbanks (No. 10 on our small list) and Anchorage (No. 3 on the medium-sized list)....

July 6, 2011 - The Next Big Boom Towns In The U.S.

..........”Many of our top performers are not surprising. No. 1 Austin, Texas, and No. 2 Raleigh, N.C., have it all demographically: high rates of immigration and migration of educated workers and healthy increases in population and number of children. They are also economic superstars, with job-creation records among the best in the nation.

Perhaps less expected is the No. 3 ranking for Nashville, Tenn. The country music capital, with its low housing prices and pro-business environment, has experienced rapid growth in educated migrants, where it ranks an impressive fourth in terms of percentage growth. New ethnic groups, such as Latinos and Asians, have doubled in size over the past decade.

Two advantages Nashville and other rising Southern cities like No. 8 Charlotte, N.C., possess are a mild climate and smaller scale. Even with population growth, they do not suffer the persistent transportation bottlenecks that strangle the older growth hubs. At the same time, these cities are building the infrastructure — roads, cultural institutions and airports — critical to future growth. Charlotte’s bustling airport may never be as big as Atlanta’s Hartsfield, but it serves both major national and international routes.

Of course, Texas metropolitan areas feature prominently on our list of future boom towns, including No. 4 San Antonio, No. 5 Houston and No. 7 Dallas, which over the past years boasted the biggest jump in new jobs, over 83,000. Aided by relatively low housing prices and buoyant economies, these Lone Star cities have become major hubs for jobs and families.

And there’s more growth to come. With its strategically located airport, Dallas is emerging as the ideal place for corporate relocations. And Houston, with its burgeoning port and dominance of the world energy business, seems destined to become ever more influential in the coming decade. Both cities have emerged as major immigrant hubs, attracting on newcomers at a rate far higher than old immigrant hubs like Chicago, Boston and Seattle.”........

106 posted on 08/07/2011 7:44:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Kartographer

Ha ha!

107 posted on 08/07/2011 7:46:13 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Cincinatus' Wife


108 posted on 08/07/2011 7:50:40 AM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: Friendofgeorge
I have ALWAYS supported Sarah Palin. She has always been my NUMBER 1 CHOICE....having said that...let's keep facts correct...and that comparison was NOT. Sarah doesn't need to have someone putting out something not boost her up. She MUST stand on her if they'd put up a fair Perry's first 32 months in office and Sarah's 32 months in office which is the length of time she served as governor...

We also need to remember that Perry is also very decisive...he doesn't give in to his opponents in a race or in office...that can't be said about Sarah...she has gone to the other side much more than Perry ever has...she was the dems darling as governor...they only turned on her when she became McRino's VP candidate...that troubles me a lot...

109 posted on 08/07/2011 7:58:42 AM PDT by shield (Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

I voted for Lieberman in 2004 during our February SC primary.
W was running unopposed and Joe was the only Democrat on the list not hopelessly damned to eternal Hell by God.

110 posted on 08/07/2011 8:09:51 AM PDT by Happy Rain ("11/4/2008: The day America elected a pyromaniac in the middle of a fire storm.")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I'd be interested to hear what Perry believes regarding three or four issues. It would also be nice to see how he has acted on those beliefs i.e. does he really believe what he professes.

I've not paid that close attention and know nothing about him.

111 posted on 08/07/2011 8:15:30 AM PDT by stevem
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To: conservaterian

I honestly don’t see any president doing what we need them to do, so it really doesn’t matter. If we are going to win this war against Big Government I doubt very much the actual fighting will be in Washington.

We are instead going to have to undercut and cripple Washington from the outside. To that end it really doesn’t matter whom we elect as long as it is someone not predisposed to resist us we might have an easier time.

112 posted on 08/07/2011 8:51:43 AM PDT by Monorprise
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To: McLynnan

Same at my house. My father was extremely conservative but he considered himself a democrat until LBJ changed dad’s mind about that. He didn’t want to be part of a party that stood up for that slimy SOB!

113 posted on 08/07/2011 9:04:59 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: shield

Who is the Dems darling now? First it was Bachmann now they are switching to Perry.

To the Dems/MSM/Rep Est it`s all about Sarah Palin to them! They despise/fear her and for a time they will back Perry now.

You know a enemy of my enemy is my friend...NO Perry and Palin are not enemies, but will be running against each other, all it means to the MSM.

When the phony polls started pushing Bachmann, all that CNN saw in it was this headline...MOVE OVER PALIN, and now for a time they are pushing Perry in their manufactured polls just to try and push out Palin. First it was MB,now they are concentrating on propping up Perry FOR A TIME!!! And only because they hate/fear Palin

114 posted on 08/07/2011 9:12:04 AM PDT by Friendofgeorge (DID I MENTION...SARAH PALIN OR FLIPPIN BUST)
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To: sillsfan

Hmmmm....let’s see what Sarah says if/when Perry tosses his hat into the ring.


I CAN say that if Perry joins the race and no other good candidate is added, I WILL go with him. I want Obama DEFEATED!

115 posted on 08/07/2011 9:26:58 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: stevem
I've not paid that close attention and know nothing about him.

When you reach the bottom hit "next page"

116 posted on 08/07/2011 9:40:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Friendofgeorge
Who is the Dems darling now? First it was Bachmann now they are switching to Perry.

I don't know if Perry can handle all this love that is making the rounds of major newspapers today

117 posted on 08/07/2011 9:44:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Perry has never been fully vetted by the media.

And obummer has?? Give me a break. The [mostly local] media never backed down from blasting every comment Perry made in public, and were singing praises for Elmer Fudd, since he was a businessman.

When he shot the coyote while jogging, they went ape. They ridiculed him (and still do) for living in the house out in the Westlake area (I think), instead of an apartment or duplex.

118 posted on 08/07/2011 10:04:07 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, please let it rain in Texas. Amen.)
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To: Friendofgeorge

Palin was the darling of her in state dems...had nothing whatsoever to do with the national scene....I’m waiting for the sassy lady to step up to the plate and announce...she has laid out a fine ground work...I will support her...I want the person who can beat the fag in the WH...if it’s not her...then I will jump to’s that simple...

119 posted on 08/07/2011 10:24:22 AM PDT by shield (Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: Ditter

Our dads would have been political kindred spirits. Mine used to practically stroke out discussing LBJ’s Great Society and the creation of food stamps, Medicaid and Medicare. Not one to mince words, he said it would encourage people to be parasites and be the ruin of our healthcare system and he was right. My mom and I often talk about how he must be spinning in his grave over Obama.

120 posted on 08/07/2011 10:34:32 AM PDT by McLynnan
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To: McLynnan
My parents both died in 1984, I wish they were still here so they could vote against obama (and other reasons as well).
121 posted on 08/07/2011 11:18:52 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Venturer

ALMOST anyone is better than what we have, seriously, I cannot think if a single person that I would not vote for that ran against that monster.

122 posted on 08/07/2011 12:49:28 PM PDT by mojitojoe ( 1400 years of existence & Islam has 2 main accomplishments, psychotic violence and goat curry)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I hear ya, but it`s more complicated than that...good cop bad cop whatever. Listen closely,look harder and you will find these same folks that are bashing Perry are saying stuff least he is a serious person compared to Gov Palin.

Who do you think operates the polling companies? It aint the Boy Scouts, and they want Perry on top or close to Romney, and they are still pushing Bachmann as well, yes while at the same time bashing her.

These same folks will also say that fruity Bachmann is more serious that Gov Palin

Palin is the one they hate/fear most

123 posted on 08/07/2011 1:12:36 PM PDT by Friendofgeorge (DID I MENTION...SARAH PALIN 2012 OR FLIPPIN BUST)
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To: Friendofgeorge

I won’t do tit for tat with you.

Obama must be a one term president.

The MSM is not being nice to Perry or Palin and neither of them are putting up with it.

124 posted on 08/07/2011 2:16:27 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The Hill newspaper? There was no info there, that writer was just filling up paper, she knows nothing.

Sarah campaigned with many many people, what she did for Perry was no different than Nicky Hailey (sp) in SC.

Just saying...thanks for the link just the same.

Perry supporters are whistling past the grave yard if they really think Sarah is going to endorse him...LOL

Also word today that Perry may have begun a Ed Rollins type move through one of his own flunkies...????? If true then he is not expecting and endorsements.

125 posted on 08/07/2011 8:34:14 PM PDT by Friendofgeorge (DID I MENTION...SARAH PALIN 2012 OR FLIPPIN BUST)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Hey! Thanks for all the info you put out on Perry. I really don’t have time to dig it out right now. Sarah is my girl, but I am leaning toward Perry if that doesn’t work out. I just don’t see anybody else.

I worry about the Supreme Court picks and Perry will do alright there for sure.

126 posted on 08/07/2011 9:52:46 PM PDT by bluecollarman (searching .......)
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To: Ditter
John Tower was elected a Republican Senator in TX in 1961. Texas had a Republican Governor in 1979. Some people in TX knew that the Demonrat Party was corrupt long before Rick Perry did. Once they did the pioneer work, Perry decided it was convenient to change labels. The same situation prevails today; Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain have been campaigning on a Tea Party and conservative platform, while Perry hides out in Texas, sending his cronies among the money men and insiders.

The recent budget crisis shows that we cannot trust career politicians. We need a revolutionary house-cleaning. We will not get that from the likes of Perry

127 posted on 08/08/2011 5:52:30 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: hellbender

Those Republicans, I feel sure, were elected by city Republicans. During most of those years Perry and I were both rural and I am telling you country people were almost all conservative democrats.

128 posted on 08/08/2011 7:17:46 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Very interesting Texas political history.Kudos.
Lots of petty/practical little “Cross-currents” at play in
these elections.....all the more reason Rove, not to
mention (all) Bushes should absent themselves from
the political process from here on in.

129 posted on 09/08/2011 1:58:59 PM PDT by supremedoctrine
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