Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meet Rick Perry, the flavor of the month

Yes, that subject line sounds a bit snarky, and for that I apologize.

But I think you get the point -- the mainstream media cannot stop offering us story after story about the Texas governor, who last week entered the Republican presidential race and immediately jumped into the short list of contenders. (And, yes, this blogger also anointed Mr. Perry as one of the top three -- along with Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann.)

There are significant questions that need to be asked about Mr. Perry, and that is the theme evident in many of the news stories that are out there. I came across one such report from the Washington Post, which asks if Mr. Perry's success in Texas will translate on the national stage.
Perry has served more than a decade as governor of the Lone Star State and knows what it takes to win there. But he is on less familiar terrain as he moves to the national stage. In both style and substance, he will be measured differently from ever before, as the opening days of his presidential campaign have shown.
His candidacy has begun with great promise and anticipation. Overnight, Perry has been identified as the Republican who may be best positioned to challenge the current front-runner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for the nomination.
TIME magazine notes that Mr. Perry's decisions as governor will be reassessed -- by his supporters and his critics -- and what he has done (or not done) will provide fodder for the media, as well.

Politico adds that the conventional wisdom suggesting Mr. Perry's entrance into the race has firmly and finally set the GOP field could be wrong.
Karl Rove, the architect of George W. Bush’s political run, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night that he believes the field is still open—and named New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as two who may take a second look.
The Weekly Standard reported Tuesday morning that Ryan is indeed “strongly considering a run” and is currently on vacation with his family discussing a prospective bid.
“We’ve got a good field. I don’t think it is the end, though, of the field,” said Rove. “I think we are likely to see several other candidates think seriously about getting in. And frankly, they have time to do so. November 22 is the first deadline to file papers to get on the ballot. That’s the last day somebody could get in without starting to lose a place in some of the early primaries and caucuses. I suspect we are likely to see in early September and late August.”
So, the lesson of today might very well be that Mr. Perry could be churned up and spit out, and become a candidate who resembles a firecracker -- big, bright, makes a loud noise and then is done. Or, the lesson might be that Mr. Perry proves to be the kind of candidate that can carry key early states in the nominating process, generating money and endorsements along the way, and becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

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