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Perry Presidential Speculation Heats Up Over Long Weekend

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

A new name is figuring more prominently in the national discussion over who might seek the Republican presidential nomination. Governor Rick Perry last week said he would “think about it” after the state legislature adjourned. That propelled his name into the headlines over the long weekend.

Newsweek tried to explain the “sudden conservative crush” on our Texas governor.

The Perry boomlet was fueled in mid-May, when the governor addressed a group of GOP chairmen from around the country at a meeting in Dallas. He took to the microphone and freelanced a soliloquy of red-meat conservatism that wowed the crowd and sparked a Perry-for-president buzz in the banquet hall. The next day Rush Limbaugh read an account of the reaction on his radio broadcast, and proceeded to deliver a 20-minute pro-Perry monologue.

The Stateman’s chief political reporter Jason Embry writes that the Texas legislative session, due to wrap up today, has been tremendously beneficial to Perry’s political prospects.

What has been for many a grueling legislative session due to the state's revenue shortfall appears poised to end quite well for Perry, who will claim a number of wins on fiscal and social issues. Those wins could prove helpful if Perry decides to run for president, which he says he will consider.

Conservative Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard said on Fox News Sunday that Perry could be a “formidable” candidate if he runs in 2012, because of his unique combination of executive experience and Tea Party credibility.

Liberal New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins mocks Perry’s stance on numerous issues, labeling him the “coyote candidate.”

If Perry were elected president, perhaps he would do for the entire United States what he’s done for Texas, which ranks first in the nation in the percentage of the population without health insurance, and 45th in high school completion. We could return to grass-roots, state-driven environmental regulations, the kind that have made Texas the nation’s leader in clean-water permit violations, hazardous waste spills and toxic emissions from manufacturing facilities.    

The Houston Chronicle has this wrap up of Texas reaction to the rumors over Perry’s political future.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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