Don’t Count Out Perry in 2016

In response to Rick Perry’s announcement that he would not seek a fourth term as Governor of Texas, Ross commented that Perry would be an ideal GOP presidential candidate if one wanted the Democrats to retain the White House. But one could certainly have made such a statement when discussing Bob Dole, John McCain or Mitt Romney. 

With that said, I am in agreement with Ross that the odds of Perry winning the nomination are long – especially if fellow Texan Ted Cruz throws his hat into the ring. 

However, I think Ross is off the mark when he says Perry “comes across as mean and not very bright.”

When I think of a Republican with a sour disposition, Perry is pretty far down the list. Rick Santorum is far more acerbic (and I voted for him in the primaries) and look far how he came in the primaries. Unlike Santorum, Perry can laugh at himself. Could you imagine Santorum dancing with ultra-Orthodox rabbis? I think Perry is a good candidate for political redemption.

Now non-Texans and moderates might consider Perry mean but I’m sure these people probably also considered Dole, McCain and Romney to be mean as well. If non-Texans and moderates had their way, Ronald Reagan would never have been the nominee in 1980.

As to the present day, it is true that Perry committed numerous gaffes during the 2012 GOP primary season. He could write a book about how not to run a presidential campaign. Yet isn’t it possible that Perry could learn from his mistakes? Look if Perry was a dummy, he sure as well wouldn’t have been thrice elected as the governor of the country’s second most populous state. Perry has to have done something right over the past dozen or so years in office. 

One could argue the 2012 GOP primaries aren’t representative of the real Rick Perry. As Stacy McCain pointed out, Perry had undergone back surgery shortly before jumping into the race. O.K., entering the biggest political race of your life following major surgery might not have been the wisest move. But perhaps that lesson has been learned. Yet it must be asked if the outcome of the GOP primaries would have been different had Perry been operating on all cylinders.

The one advantage Perry would have if he seeks the GOP nomination in 2016 is that expectations would be low, very low. If Perry can exceed expectations while other candidates fail to live up to theirs, he could become a viable political force for the Republican Party at a national level. 

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