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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rick Perry Update

Rick Dunham writes at The Houston Chronicle:

Over the past decade, he has been a political money machine, raising more than $100 million for three gubernatorial campaigns and another $50 million for GOP candidates as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2007-2008.

But the Texas governor's fundraising prowess will be tested as never before if he runs for president in 2012. While he's raised more campaign cash than anybody not named Bush in Texas history, Perry faces different rules and greater demands should he set his sights on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

"In order to have a realistic chance of winning the Republican primary, Perry will need at least $200 to $250 million in the form of direct contributions or independent expenditures on his behalf," said Mark P. Jones, a political science professor at Rice University.

Perry has a host of assets that could make him a strong candidate for the GOP nomination: An enviable record of Texas job creation during a roiling recession, a consistent conservative record on economic and social issues alike, and an undefeated record as a political candidate.

But one longtime Perry supporter and donor says the governor has to answer "yes" to two questions before he says "yes" to a presidential candidacy: Is he willing to undergo the grueling demands of a campaign, from the nearly 24/7 schedule to the media scrutiny of every aspect of your life? And is he willing and able to raise the money to compete first with Republican Mitt Romney, a wealthy businessman with a nationwide fundraising machine, then with President Barack Obama, who broke every record for presidential fundraising in 2008 and is aiming to top the $1 billion mark in 2012?

Dave Montgomery writes at The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The just-concluded 82nd Legislature has armed Gov. Rick Perry with a host of red-meat issues to present to conservative Republican voters if he jumps into the wide-open presidential primary race.

But analysts say some of those issues could carry consequences down the road in reaching broader constituencies in a general election matchup against President Barack Obama.

Texas' longest-serving governor burnished his conservative profile with legislative victories that included a no-tax-increase budget with $15 billion in cuts, property rights protections, voter ID legislation and a bill requiring sonograms before abortions.

Two other Perry-backed issues -- an immigration measure to ban so-called sanctuary cities and legislation to prohibit intrusive airport pat-downs -- could also enhance the Texas governor's stature among conservative activists, though they ultimately died in the Legislature.

Even without declaring, Perry is becoming an early favorite among Tea Party activists for his adherence to limited government and his criticism of Washington. Sabato's Crystal Ball, an online analysis headed by much-quoted political observer Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, places Perry in the top tier of 11 Republicans with presidential aspirations. The Texas governor ranked No. 3, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

But his embrace of the voter ID and sanctuary city bills has threatened a backlash among Hispanics, who accounted for 56 percent of the nation's population growth over the past decade. Perry's push for the sonogram bill has fortified his long-standing ties to family values and anti-abortion groups, but it has also made him a target from other circles.

At The Los Angeles Times, Mark Z. Barabak reports that the governor and the former president don't like each other:

Privately, the former president has spoken of his successor as a political lightweight and someone not all that bright. Perry scoffs behind closed doors at Bush's privileged background and popularity among country-club Republicans, suggesting the New England native is a faux Texan.