Here he comes again, the man formerly known as Gov. Goodhair is returning to the national stage.
Rick Perry is about one year away from the end of his interminable tenure as Texas governor. He is not about to disappear. He won’t be heading back to Paint Creek to write poetry or learn how to paint. He’s coming back to the national stage … or so it seems.
Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey has written a fabulous analysis of Perry’s latest effort to rebrand himself, possibly setting himself up for another run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
Ramsey cautions skeptics — such as myself — to avoid dismissing Perry’s effort at rebranding. Ramsey writes: “Joke all you want, but watch: The governor is pretty good at this sort of maneuver. He was a Democrat who loaned his time to Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign, when the Republican nominee was a Texan named George H.W. Bush. Two years later, as a Republican, Perry ambushed the state’s popular agriculture commissioner, Jim Hightower, a Democrat, in a statewide race that set him on his current political trajectory.”
Ramsey is a smart fellow who’s covered Texas politics like a blanket perhaps since The Flood. He knows Perry better than most journalists.
I still have trouble buying into the notion, though, that the governor who flamed out so miserably before the 2012 GOP presidential primary campaign really go started can re-tool himself sufficiently to make voters forget all the gaffes, goofs and guffaws he produced.
His “oops” moment will go down in history as a classic. Perry’s loose talk of secession in 2009 won’t play well in Yankee territory, which as a national candidate for president he will need. Remember when he accused of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke of committing a “treasonous act” by printing all that money?
This is just a sample of the kinds of issues his foes — even those within his own Republican Party — will be more than happy to throw back at him.
I’ve long thought of Perry as more than a guy with good hair. He has tremendous instincts when it comes to Texas politics. He knows his native state well and knows the people who live here.
Still, the late columnist Molly Ivins’s apt Gov. Goodhair moniker does seem to fit, which explains, according to Ross Ramsey, why Perry has donned black-framed eyeglasses in recent public appearances.
Get ready, America. You’re about to get a lot more of Rick Perry than ever before.
I’ll paraphrase comments I heard during Perry’s first run for president in 2012 that came from devoted Texas Panhandle Republicans. They were pulling for Perry to win the White House “just to get him out of Texas.”