In December of 2007, while everyone was watching primary battles between McCain, Romney, Huckabee and the like, a Texas governor was in South Carolina, endorsing a former New York mayor. While that was certainly odd, the DMN might have been spot on with its analysis: "Rick Perry is running for President."
Now, more than ever, it looks like Governor Perry is setting himself up to be the anti-Obama candidate Republicans may rely on in 2012.
Speaking yesterday at two TEA Party events, Gov. Perry was a crowd favorite by re-iterating the core conservative ideals; cut taxes, cut spending, and shrink government. Perry's speech echoed the "return to conservatism" he pitched in a February column printed in the Washington Times.
His other public addresses have taken hard lines as well, speaking on issues like "State's Rights," stimulus funds Perry claims have Washington strings attached, and taking on border security issues by asking for Federal troops. For each of these, the Governor has been upfront with his battle against "Obama's Washington," which many voters see as overreaching and restrictive.
But through all the public speeches and policy decision, it seems as though Governor Perry is taking the national stages, rather than just Texan ones.
DrudgeReport.com has had Perry-related stories up for days -- even through TEA Party coverage, Pirate attacks, and "right-wing extremist" comments -- and recently linked to a Politico article claiming Perry's star is on the rise. Even Rush Limbaugh is saluting Perry for his stances on state sovereignty and his outrage over TARP funds.
It's a "star-in-the-making" for Perry, but legacy has something to do with it. Perry, like George W. Bush, would be a Texas Governor known for their conservative stances and Texas-inspired "cowboy" independence. It's entirely plausible that Perry, even if defeated in the 2010 Governor race against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, could continue to hold on to the conservative base and the media spotlight to support a possible 2012 run.
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Furthermore, if the Obama administration's policies continue to incite events like the TEA Parties, Perry has more stages to be a figurehead. Strategically, the current Governor is in a good position to be the next Republican candidate.
To be fair, he's not as nationally known as former-VP candidate Sarah Palin or candidates like Mitt Romney, but he doesn't have to be just yet -- remember, we're not even 100 days into Obama's four-year term. He has at least two years -- and many more cups of TEA -- before anyone thinks of a President Perry administration.