Those who think that Perry does not have a chance to win are unfortunately very mistaken.
Perry’s decision to not be in the recent lineup of performing Republican Sock Monkeys was a deliberate calculation on the part of Perry. Unlike those amateurs, Perry prefers to create and star in his own circus.
And likely these people do not live in Texas and/or do not read the Texas Observer, or the Texas Weekly, because if they did, they might know better.
It is not Perry’s strategy to go off half-cocked and over-expose himself more than a full year prior to the election day by participating in a mainstream media orchestrated circus like the other Republican fools did the other night. Rick Perry is much more calculating than that. He works behind the scenes. Perry is the master at controlling the topic. He creates his own circus such as his August 6 Prayer Meeting. As a politician, he is a seasoned pro. The difference between Perry and his mentor, George Bush, is that Bush was the fake “down-home” guy, who even went so far as to purchase a ranch (with no horses) as his PR prop prior to his campaign for the presidency and then used it throughout his presidency to reinforce his identity as a manly man. ”We just love ranchers here in Texas” and most of the nation love to watch our male candidates doing ‘manly’ things like cutting firewood with a chainsaw. When they are not able to do manly things, then like Huckabee, they acquire a manly sidekick like Chuck Norris.
Perry, however, has much deeper roots in the country than Bush. Perry was born in a tiny farming community, wide spot in the road, out in West Texas–Paint Creek, only about 8 miles from where I grew up. I know the place well. He graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in animal husbandry. He is a genuine hick, but he is not stupid–not when it comes to politicking. And he still has pretty good hair which is always another asset for a manly male politician.
Perry’s Aug 6 Prayer Meeting is just one of his many ingenious ways to build strong coalitions. He knows that the media is no friend of his and thus he does not waste a whole lot of his time sucking up to them or performing as one of their trained monkeys on one of their media extravaganzas. But as I’ve said, the very best place educate yourself on this man who could very well be the next president of the USA is by reading articles and posts from The Texas Observer. Here are two excerpts and links to get you started:
Perry: Cuts for Thee But None For Me
by ABBY RAPOPOR
Published on: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Gov. Rick Perry isn’t known for his ideological consistency or his sense of propriety. Some governors might try to hide their repeated appointments of big donors to coveted positions like university boards. As the Dallas Morning News reported during the election, his Emerging Technology Fund handed out money to corporations owned by political supporters, sometimes even circumventing the process. He has no problem shrugging off those concerned about the state budget—which faces an unprecedented $27 billion shortfall—as “doomsayers.” Critics might call it corruption, but it turns out to be a pretty effective political strategy. Somehow, by openly doing things most lawmakers would only consider doing in secret, Perry rarely seems to suffer from the scandals. MORE
And People Thought Rick Perry Was Nutty
The governor took a secret trip to Israel to receive award from a man now institutionalized MORE
Here is what Perry has going for him that none of the other Republican candidates have:
1. Perry has a well-seasoned group of campaign volunteers who work their butts off for him. Perry’s campaign is a people campaign where people contact people in person, like neighbors.
2. Perry has billions of dollars behind him.
3. Perry has appeal as a “man of the people”
4. Perry has the creative ability and adaptability to create his own circus and adjust his message as he goes. He knows better than to be at the mercy of mainstream media pundits and he will not put himself in the position to be their victim. He will work outside them and skate by with his tremendous talent to build strong coalitions. That’s part of what his prayer meeting on Aug 6 is all about.
Jason Stanford, a Democratic Consultant had it correct in an article that he wrote for the Texas Weekly titled: Perry Won Before White Entered the Race.
“. . . Few remember that at the time U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was considered a near-lock to beat him. She was stomping the incumbent in the polls by as many as 25 points thanks to her stratospheric approval ratings, and Perry looked like he was headed for the woodshed. . .
So on April 15, 2009, when 1,000 Tax Day Tea Parties took place nationwide, Rick Perry went to three of them in Texas after he had gone on Fox News in the morning to compare the tea party rallies to the battle of the Alamo.
“It is a very powerful moment, I think, in American history,” he said. Later he donned a camouflage ball cap and railed against Washington to the assembled throngs, saying, “Washington needs to hear us loud and clear. Cut the spending, cut the taxes, shrink the government. And reread the Constitution.”
Then, in a genius stroke, he linked the anti-Washington rhetoric to Texas mythology, quoting Sam Houston, who said, “Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression.” That, right there, is how he won the election, by positioning himself as the defender of Texas against Washington oppression. . .”
5. Perry knows that you build your coalitions, establish your base, and then with that wind behind your sails, you announce your candidacy. [Which essentially is a similar format to the Guide So you want to Run for Office that I created. If you want to run for office in 2012, from now until December 2011 you need to secure at least 50 dedicated volunteers. Without at least that base to begin, forget it.]
So pundits can say whatever they like about Rick Perry and mock his hick’s ways and incorrect grammar, but if they think that he is anything less than a natural born political genius, they are very wrong. It’s not that I am a fan of his, or that I even begin to agree with his politics one bit. I don’t. I’ve spent months talking to people and registering people to vote against the man–in 2006 and in 2010. But I’m not so taken with the agility of my own brain muscles to have any illusions regarding the possibility that this man could be our next president.
Here is my prediction: If Perry does decide to run as a Republican candidate, he will win the nomination. If Obama is the Democratic Candidate for president and he treats Perry in a dismissive Harvard-educated superior manner, Obama will lose. The American people are just fed up enough with the Washington snobs to elect someone like Rick Perry. If Obama has the lack of sensitivity to make statements about the white underclass loving their guns and Bibles (like he did in 2008) while running against Perry in 2012, Obama will lose just as Hutchison and White lost. In fact, if Perry does decide to run, the Obama team would do well to pick the brains of the Bill White campaign team for their input and suggestions. The thing about at match between Obama and Rick Perry that should put at least a little of the fear of God in them is that Bill White has much the same laid-back intellectual personality of Barack Obama. Like Obama, Bill White takes a corporate centrist business approach to government. Unlike Perry whose personality is free and at least seemingly spontaneous, both White and Obama come off as slightly stiff and formal–“professional.”
ADDENDUM TO THOSE CONSIDERING RUNNING AS A INDEPENDENT IN 2012
While Perry’s platform is certainly not one that I would advocate, many of his campaigning strategies are excellent for Independent and Third Party candidates. Why? Because Independents and Third Party candidates are the stepchildren of American politics. People like Rick Perry and Sarah Palin are treated as imbeciles by mainstream pundits. They are similar to Independents in that regard because Independents too are either ignored or mocked. Thus they, like Palin and Perry must create their own sideshows, their own media events. Recent examples of this include Palin’s road trip and Perry’s upcoming Prayer meeting. Of the two, Perry is by far the master.