Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced today he wouldn’t seek reelection for governor. Republican Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott, who was considering a run anyway, becomes the prohibitive favorite to succeed Perry as governor.
Cue the buzz for another presidential run in 2016. Yes, he flamed out in 2012 in spectacular fashion, but I would argue that was because he didn’t appreciate the challenges and did not sufficiently prepare for the national spotlight. He has years now to work on policy and debate prep.
Jay Root, who has chronicled Perry’s career more meticulously than any other reporter writes:
Perry, who jumped into the race with almost no advance preparation, later pointed to his sudden entry in the contest and the health fallout from his July 2011 back surgery as major reasons why his candidacy faltered.
He’ll have a lot more time to prepare if he runs again as many expect, and analysts see a tough but not impossible road ahead for Perry should he get into the 2016 race.
Certainly, he would have time to prepare and select adept advisers this time around. And if his performance is markedly better than in 2012, memories of the horrifying debates gaffes would be forgotten. And that, perhaps, is reason enough to run. Who wants to go down in American political history as the guy who couldn’t remember the third agency he wanted to cut?
Fundraising was not his problem last go-around. And it is true that running for president the second time is much easier. In other words, he has a plausible race. And considering his results last time, he can only go up. For a pol with no shortage of ego or competitive juices the chance to take another shot at it might be irresistible.
If he does run, it would be disastrous for some candidates who were hoping to operate in the “real” conservative lane. Certainly, he’d doom the junior senator from Texas and cut off a whole range of donors. In contrast to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Perry is a traditional pro-defense foreign policy advocate and has always been a big supporter of Israel. And finally, as I have said many times, after eight years of inept leadership, the party and the country may be especially thirsty for an experienced executive.
He’ll have to weigh the chance to refurbish his national image against the possibility he could bomb once again. I sure wouldn’t rule it out. At any rate, he’ll have a few years to get ready.