It’s an inevitable comparison.
They’re both Texans. One is a governor; one was a governor. And both of them have been photographed near planes. On the surface, they might be easy to confuse.
But what’s the real difference between Rick Perry, now a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, and George W. Bush?
“He’s a Yale graduate. I’m a Texas A&M graduate,” Perry explained to reporters.
Policy differences? Perry wouldn’t say. Instead, CNN reported, he devoured an entire pork tenderloin, calling it “the other white meat.”
But for anyone else wondering about the differences between the two, here is a list I came up with earlier, composed mainly of facts about Rick Perry and occasionally of myths about Rick Perry that Perry has been working hard to disseminate.
George W. Bush: Has not, as far as we can tell, threatened to end Ben Bernanke.
Rick Perry: Has threatened to do Bad Texan Things to Ben Bernanke (“I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas” if Bernanke prints more money).
George W. Bush: Has written a book with a polysyllabic word in the title.
Rick Perry: Has written a book.
George W. Bush: Is probably not carrying a gun.
Rick Perry: Is probably carrying a gun.
George W. Bush: Likes to make up whimsical words.
Rick Perry: If anyone coins any new words, he would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.
George W. Bush: Pardoned some turkeys at Thanksgiving.
Rick Perry: Would never sit by at such a miscarriage of justice; plans to execute several innocent turkeys immediately upon taking office.
George W. Bush: Sometimes cried in public.
Rick Perry: Only cries in public because his tears have the power of job creation.
George W. Bush: Has never fought a coyote.
Rick Perry: “The Second Amendment allows me to go jogging with my daughter’s dog over here. And if a coyote jumps out, I can take care of it.”
George W. Bush: Got misunderestimated.
Rick Perry: Gets misoverestimated.
George W. Bush: Is the son of a president.
Rick Perry: Emerged fully formed from the head of Zeus, clutching a dead coyote.
George W. Bush: Was president.
Rick Perry: Looks like he was president in one of those made-for-TV movies in the mid-’90s.
George W. Bush: At one point controlled the economy.
Rick Perry: Controls the winds!
Hide your wife, hide your kids, because Rick Perry will find them and give them jobs the Texas way, and then afterward he will eat pork tenderloin with them and shoot any coyotes that threaten them, including, but not limited to, Ben Bernanke. If you hand Rick Perry your purse, it will burst into flames. Rick Perry doesn’t hold purses! Wherever Rick Perry walks, thousands of jobs spring up at his feet! Once, Rick Perry visited New York City, and New York City apologized to him.
My point is, Rick Perry is nothing like George W. Bush. Rick Perry Facts have already sprung up on Twitter, but as fast as you can make up erroneous sayings, he is telling us that he is going to take care of coyotes, saying he loves the Second Amendment best of all the amendments (don’t tell the 10th Amendment that!) and blowing kisses to Mitt Romney (don’t tell the 10th Amendment that either). If George W. Bush had done that, people would have thought it was sort of cute. When Rick Perry does that, it is a terrifying display of dominance that makes donors rush to his feet with piles of bullion.
The real difference is that Rick Perry is George W. Bush without all those sissified East Coast things that George W. Bush used to do, like “not wear cowboy boots everywhere” and “do rather poorly at an East Coast university.” “What do I need to go to the East Coast for?” Perry asks. “I can do that right here in Texas.”