|"I'm Rick Perry and I'm not runnin' for President. Yeehaw!"|
Big name Republicans like Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Mike Huckabee have ruled themselves out. Others, like New Jersey governor Chris Christie, are playing coy. But, time's a-wastin'. At this point in the 2008 election cycle, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were already sparring for the Democratic nomination. (Back then, everyone thought that Hillary had it in the bag.)
Well, add another carcass to the refuse heap! As recently as yesterday, the buzz was that neo-confederate Texas governor Rick Perry might jump into the race. Check what the Washington Times reported about a meeting of Republican leaders in Dallas recently:
“I would love to see a movement to draft Rick for the nomination if that’s the only way we can get him to run,” said Republican National Committee general counsel Bill Crocker after Mr. Perry delivered a luncheon address that had several hundred party officials attentive throughout.But then, just this morning on the Greta Van Susteren show, Perry killed the idea. "I can't say I'm not tempted, but the fact is, this isn't something that I want to do," Perry said.
“The comments I got after his speech made it clear I am not alone,” Mr. Crocker said at the meeting of GOP state chairmen and other RNC members.
Interviews with more than two dozen people after Mr. Perry spoke produced a highly unusual degree of consensus about the third-term governor’s potential prospects as a candidate.
The party officials had been meeting here since Sunday, all the while bemoaning the chances of the current field of Republican candidates to raise the pulses of voters and mount a formidable challenge to President Obama.
It's just as well. Governor Perry hasn't proved to have any more control over his mouth than any other loud-mouthed redneck. (Newt Gingrich, for example?) Some of the governor's public remarks come right up to the edge of sedition. There is a loud secessionist movement in Texas, and that movement is a significant part of Perry's political base. The Governor's rootin'-tootin' rock-of-the-westies talk plays well with those folks, but I don't know if many Americans outside of Texas would take a cotton to a presidential candidate that advocates secession.
The old adage about beggars and choosers applies here. When the alternative is Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin, a Rick Perry candidacy must seem like a good option. Perry enjoys the respect of conservative big shots and pundits. He's a hero on Fox News. And he has three times been elected governor of a populous state. That's more than Newt or Sarah has ever done.
But Perry is smarter than those two. And while the GOP desperately needs someone to carry the flag, Rick Perry apparently has no desire to lay his head on the chopping block.
It's too bad. There is nothing I enjoy more than kicking a Texan's ass.