Rick Perry for President?

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) announced yesterday that this will be his last term in office; he will not run for re-election in 2014. From almost the moment of his announcement, the pundits were telling us that he’s preparing to run for president in 2016, though they were also very good at telling us what a disaster his attempt in 2012 turned out to be.

Your Editor got on the bandwagon early, endorsing Mr Perry for President in August of 2011. Texas prospered under Governor Perry, and has continued to be among the top growth states in the country for several years running. Mr Perry’s record as governor clearly outclassed Barack Obama’s record as president. But, in an article I very realistically entitled He’s not just toast, he’s the toast which fell off the table and, as always, lands buttered side down, I noted that the skills which make someone a good executive, a good governor, aren’t the same skills which make someone a good candidate. Mr Perry won three elections to be Governor of Texas,1 but he was already Governor at the time, having been Lieutenant Governor when Governor George Bush resigned to become President. He won a race in which he had a head start on everybody else.

As one of the two “résumé” candidates in the 2012 primaries, Mr Perry proved he wasn’t nearly the campaigner that the other résumé candidate, former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) was, nor even as good a candidate as people like former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) were. Mr Perry flubbed early, and often, and flubbed himself right out of the campaign, a campaign he was (supposedly) leading right up until he had to actually campaign. At least in 2012, he couldn’t win a race in which he didn’t have a head start.

And President Obama proved that being a great campaigner outweighed having a good record; Mr Romney’s record was far better than Mr Obama’s,2 winning re-election fairly easily despite having over 8% unemployment and a recession which had lingering effects far longer than any since the Depression.

It is sort of assumed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the 2016 Democratic nominee,3 and while no one has any real idea who the Republican nominee will be, it’s a bit difficult to see Mr Perry defeating Mrs Clinton. Then again, Mrs Clinton was just an absolute shoo-in for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, wasn’t she?

I still believe that Mr Perry would make a good, solid President; I just have major doubts that he has what it takes to become President.

  1. In 2002, 2006 and 2010
  2. Barack Hussein Obama has been the worst President of my lifetime, and my lifetime includes Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.
  3. Your Editor is on record as stating that he does not believe she will run in 2016.

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