My guess is he's in. Why? He got clearance from what obviously has become the second-most powerful force in American politics—a candidate's wife. In the governor's telling, his wife, Anita, sat him down and said this was no ordinary presidential election for the country. Rick, you've gotta run.
She's right about the race. There may be lots of reasons not to put oneself through the modern presidential gauntlet, but not this time. Four more years of below-average economic growth and above-trend unemployment and it'll take a generation for the U.S. to climb out. The betting here is that Anita Perry wins this argument. They usually do.
This is true. Absolutely true. This will be no ordinary run. This is why it has so thoroughly ticked me off that Paul Ryan isn't running. He could win. Step up!
Can Perry win? I have no idea. This report seems optimistic:
Onstage, the governor gives you passion. He gives you emotion. Compared to the seven GOP contenders at CNN's 30-seconds-only Twitter debate this week, Rick Perry would be the most animated by far—rocking back, his arms tossed out in broad sweeps. Which brings us to the "swagger problem." Can America handle Rick Perry's Texas swagger?
And then there's his record:
Texas. Without the details of the Texas economic boom, this is a normal candidacy. But the details are impressive. Texas is a zero income-tax state, and Mr. Perry gives the impression he'd die at the Alamo before allowing one. The state is historically business-friendly. I recall attending the 1992 GOP convention in Houston, visiting from New York, and feeling as if I were in a capitalist utopia. You could argue that many of the state's new companies are mainly fleeing intolerable hells, such as California. But Texas and Mr. Perry keep producing new welcome mats, notably the recent passage of a loser-pays tort-reform bill. Mr. Perry says Haley Barbour told him they'd need turnstiles on the border if that tort bill passed, and indeed the in-migration of doctors to Texas is significant.
I don't know if he can (or shoud) win, but if he runs, I'm at least glad he had the gumption to try.