BlogBook

Campaign Notes: Perry's Promise

By John Barron

November 6th, 2012. Paint Cr. Texas. President-elect James Richard Perry of Texas has promised to end the partisan gridlock in Washington DC and bring the nation together after one of the most divisive periods in recent American political history.

The Texas Governor greeted thousands of well-wishers and the world’s media which gathered outside the old abandoned high school building in the tiny town of Paint Creek, from where Rick Perry graduated in 1968.

“No longer will this country have a government of the Elites, for the Elites, by the Elites,” proclaimed the youthful-looking sixty-two year old, “The era of big-taxing, big-spending, get-in-the-way government is over. It is time for a new birth of freedom for all Americans and time for government to BACK OFF AMERICA!”

Yet President-elect Perry also had praise for his predecessor Barack Obama; “I just got off the phone with President Obama, who was very gracious. I thanked him and Michelle for their service and him for his historic Presidency. While President Obama and I disagreed on many things during this campaign, I never once doubted he only wanted what was best for America. And it is in that spirit that I can call on all Americans to unite this evening in the common cause.”

As the crowd chanted the now-familiar campaign refrain of “BACK OFF AMERICA!” the next Vice President of the United States, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota appeared on the stage with every one of her five children and twenty-five foster children, joking “How’s this for family values?”

That news report (or something a bit like it) is the dream of tens of thousands of Republicans who are less than fully satisfied with the current crop of Presidential candidates, led by Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. After months scouting around for a more conservative “anti-Romney” among declared candidates, and twisting the unwilling arms of sideline-sitters like Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey, they finally think they have their man — Rick Perry.

Handsome, with an easy-going likeability that could provide a welcome contrast to the too-cool “Professor Obama”, Rick Perry comes from the same central casting-call as Mitt Romney but reads his lines much better. If Romney is as wooden as the steps on the front porch, Perry has the relaxed air of a Top Gun pilot driving the family SUV on vacation in Florida.

Perry is expected to announce his candidacy in the next few weeks — probably shortly after the Ames Straw poll in Iowa on August 13th. The Iowa GOP has left Perry and another potential late-entry Sarah Palin off the ballot in Ames — although they will be permitted as write-in candidates. That takes the heat of them, and puts it all back on the likes of Bachmann and Pawlenty to get thousands of supporters into buses to take part in the fundraiser-cum-ballot.

Rick Perry’s promise is that he could be the candidate to draw together a winning coalition of the GOP establishment: social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. But the danger may lie among the latter group, because although Perry has been associated with the Tea Party Movement since its first stirring in fellow Texan Ron Paul’s 2008 Presidential tilt, it remains a fractious and unpredictable group of voters. Keeping the Tea Party raging through to next November could be Perry’s greatest challenge.

2 August 2011