Follow us on Twitter @PolliticsToday for more insight, commentary and updates concerning this blog or “LIKE” us on Facebook (click the links). Seriously, do those things, I’d love to hear from you and for you to get updates on our website. Thanks!
Rick Perry has been Governor of Texas since George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States in December of 2000. So that means for thirteen, and definitely fourteen years, Texans have had the same man as Governor.
But Perry’s reign may very well be coming to an end soon as Perry grapples with his political future. At one point Perry was a rising star and when the Tea Party wave swept through America, it looked like Perry would be one of the few establishment-type figures to rise to a national one thanks to the movement. After beating Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in a contested primary in 2010, Perry’s star began to slowly dim but not fast enough for him to not be seen as a 2012 presidential candidate.
There were fumbles along the way however as Perry entered the presidential race in mid-August (much later than his rivals). He was an immediate frontrunner but after a series of horrendous showings in numerous debates; Perry’s candidacy turned from legitimate threat to laughingstock which was highlighted by his famous “oops” moment. Perry would drop out in the days leading up to the South Carolina primary as polls showed him to be less than an afterthought in the then-thinning field.
However, Perry is up for re-election as Governor in 2014 and some might think that he’s getting a bit longer in the tooth. He’s been practically off the national radar since the Affordable Care Act was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court last summer and instead has taken to going across the country to entice businesses to move to Texas.
Perry has stated that he will make his decision on whether to run for reelection, run for President or maybe just retire from electoral politics altogether on July 1st which coincides with the conclusion of a special session in the Texas state legislature.
Should Perry choose to run again, he might have to deal with another primary challenge this time in Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott, who like Perry has been Attorney General for awhile (he was elected in 2002) and has been raising plenty of money that seems to indicate a possible gubernatorial run. A recent poll sponsored by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune does show Perry beating out Abbott by a 45%-19% margin which contrasts to a late January poll by Public Policy Polling that showed Perry ahead by a 41%-38% margin.
When it comes to presidential politics, it does appear that Perry has been surpassed by Sen. Ted Cruz in his home state. If Cruz, who has been a Senator for all of five months and has sparked controversy throughout his very short tenure, does run; he would probably siphon off plenty of voters who would be interested in Perry. Also, Cruz is much more representative of “newer blood” that conservative voters would rather see than Perry.
Still, we should look at Perry going across the country and trying to build rapports with business leaders in various states as something that might be indicative of a 2016 run. If he does retire from the Governor’s Mansion than Perry will have one last chance to run for the Presidency. However, one would suggest that if Perry wants to run for national office, he should probably stay in the limelight as opposed to drift further away from it.
Either way neither of the plans bold well for Perry’s future. He has had a job for fourteen years, at the least, but if anything was going to happen in terms of a promotion it would’ve happened in 2012 when the landscape was much more favorable to him than what is certainly to be a wide-open race in 2016.
If he wants to stay as Governor, he will likely face Abbott who will somehow run to his right. Abbott might be best remembered for defending the placement of the Ten Commandments to be placed outside of the Texas Capitol. While Texas has a couple rising Democratic stars in Julian and Joaquin Castro in addition to Wendy Davis, the state is still more red than purple today. So the winner of the primary will be heavily favored in the general.
Still though the shark may have jumped for Rick Perry but please don’t feel bad for him, after all remember this clip before you earn any sympathy for him.