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Sunday News Roundup for August 14, 2011

Governor Perry on stage with his family after announcing his run for the 2012 presidency.
Photo by Ryan Ricker, Texas Tribune
Governor Perry on stage with his family after announcing his run for the 2012 presidency.

Unless you were kayaking on Lady Bird Lake all day, you probably heard the news that Governor Rick Perry did what everyone expected him to do yesterday: announce that he’s officially entering the race for the GOP presidential nomination.  You can read the transcript of his speech or watch a video of it.

KUT’s Ben Philpott filed this story from Charleston, South Carolina, where Perry dropped the news. Now the national media can officially start a feeding frenzy on the next major Texas candidate who wants to live in the White House.  Here is a sampling of coverage.

New York Times: Promising Better Direction, Perry Enters Race

Mr. Perry, who greeted the cheering crowd in Charleston with a drawled “Howdy,” is Mr. Bush’s direct successor as governor, and with his Texas twang and swagger, he can seem like a caricature of the former president. Voters trying to figure out what they think of Mr. Perry will invariably wrestle with their feelings about Mr. Bush, which, Republicans say, may become a potential liability if he makes it to the general election.

Washington Post: Perry offers perks to donors who raise generous funds

“Patriots” are tasked with collecting $500,000 and promised a co-chairmanship of Perry’s national finance committee and a “VIP Republican National Convention Package” that includes a hospitality suite and a VIP reception at the national party convention.

Los Angeles Times: Perry overshadows Bachmann's Iowa victory

Perry's announcement Saturday stepped on Bachmann's triumph in the Ames straw poll, the biggest moment yet in her presidential campaign and a further sign of her appeal in this early-voting state. […] Perry and Bachmann will make competing appearances Sunday in Waterloo, her Iowa birthplace. Her popularity is on the rise in the Hawkeye State, but she and the Texas governor will be drawing from the same pool of religious and social conservatives expected to dominate next winter's caucuses. Perry Must Find Campaign Cash Beyond Texas Pool of Rich Donors

Governor Rick Perry has shown himself as a master of Texas-style campaign fundraising, bringing in more than $100 million in his decade as the state’s chief executive, mostly from the deep pockets of rich Texans and corporations. Now that he is running for president, Perry will have to find a way to raise that kind of money $2,500 at a time as federal law, unlike Texas, limits how much an individual can give to a presidential campaign and bans corporate donations.

Charleston (South Carolina) City Paper: Perry Announces Run For Presidency, Mildly

After walking into the packed and sweaty conference room where he was about to announce his run for presidency Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry paused in the glare of the spotlight, spread his feet just past shoulder-width, and cast a long shadow behind him. In his posture, he looked every bit like a wild west gunslinger, but at the lectern, where conservative leaders had been riling up the crowd with populist appeals all morning, he was relatively mild-mannered.

The Guardian (UK): Rick Perry targets Bible belt to ignite Republican race for the White House

The importance of the evangelical vote is huge, representing an estimated 40% of Republicans who will vote in the Iowa caucus, which is scheduled for February. Iowa, as the first of the contests, matters – helping to propel candidates to the front of the race and seeing others heading for oblivion.

Michele Bachmann’s Iowa straw poll victory was the hot topic on the five Sunday news talk shows. But they all devoted some time to Rick Perry, who actually beat Mitt Romney in the straw poll, even though Perry wasn’t even on the ballot.

Meet the Press posted this web video of an interview with an organizer of Perry for America, one his fundraising groups.



In his recent speeches, Perry has also been talking about the other big news in Texas: the Governor’s alma mater, Texas A&M, may be getting closer to joining the Southeastern Conference.

The New York Times says eleven of the 12 Southeastern Conference presidents are meeting at a secret location today to talk about allowing A&M into the league. But says that’s not true.

Meanwhile, up in Aggieland, the Bryan-College Station Eagle spoke to State Rep. Dan Branch, chair of the House Higher Education Committee. Branch said he doesn’t expect A&M to officially make a move to the SEC until his committee has had time to review it.

Branch said he spoke with A&M officials on Saturday and they assured him that it wasn't A&M's intent to schedule the meeting for Monday to preempt the Legislature from influencing the Aggies' conference alignment.

In other A&M news, the Austin American-Statesman is reporting that former state Comptroller John Sharp is expected to be named sole finalist for chancellor of the Texas A&M University System tomorrow.

The Statesman also has a fun piece today on the heat inside those food trailers.

Even with an air conditioning unit and two fans, by 2 p.m. it's too hot to touch the countertops inside Henry's ATX, a blue food truck that sells flatbread pizzas and sandwiches in the parking lot of an auto repair shop at 2617 S. First St.

The heat has been the talk of the town for the past few weeks, as the summer sun belts down triple digit temperatures. It’s been so hot that highs like today’s forecast of 100 Fahrenheit almost feel like relief. Almost, but not quite.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.