I’ll acknowledge what you may already suspect: Rick Perry wasn’t my favorite Texas politician when he served as the state’s longest-ever tenured governor.
However, as secretary of energy, Rick Perry proved to be, well, a survivor in the sausage grinder that passes for Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
He’s about to leave office under his own power. He’s walking way because he chose to do so, not because Donald Trump kicked him out. Believe me, given the president’s record of booting top-level officials to the curb, that is no small feat.
How has he done as energy boss, running an agency he once targeted for elimination were he elected president in 2012 — and which he (in)famously forgot to mention when he sought to list the agencies he would eliminate? Not bad, but not great.
My biggest bone to pick with him is that he was virtually silent in pushing alternative energy development. That was not what occurred on his watch as Texas governor, when he presided over the state’s ascent to leading the nation in the development of wind energy. OK, so his governorship wasn’t a total loser.
His energy secretary tenure featured none of that kind of leadership, which I find a major disappointment.
However, he is able to walk away from the Cabinet without being forced out. That is a relatively important aspect of his departure from public office.
He wants to come home. I guess he wants to do something else. Maybe spend “more time with the family.” I don’t know.
There might be some questions to answer, though, as his name has gotten entangled in that Ukraine matter involving his soon-to-be former political benefactor, Donald Trump … the man he once described as a “cancer on conservatism.”
Keep your phone close by, Mr. Secretary. Congress might be on the other end of a call.