Still, why not Perry? He has more than a decade of experience leading one of America’s biggest states, can boast economic growth at a moment when voters are desperate for relief from the malaise, would enjoy key regional support as a southerner, has budget-cutting cred to spare that’ll please tea partiers, and flashes enough personality to make him easily stand out at debates against other top-tier candidates like Romney, Pawlenty, and Daniels.
I could jump on a Rick Perry bandwagon. Might get some new boots, too. In part because I’m fed up with this already: GOP elite see Mitch Daniels as 2012 savior. Gag me with a RINO, haven’t we done this before?
Erick Erickson weighs in:
Here’s the thing, though. Perry is not running, but if Daniels does get in as seems certain and conservative angst runs high, I also believe that Perry could be drafted.
Conservatives would have to mount a massive, rapid, and high volume effort to get him in. I think such an outpouring of support and requests would draw Perry in. But, to do so, it’d have to be after Daniels and with continued displeasure with the field by conservatives.
One of the sticking points has always been whether the country was ready for another guy from Texas so soon after Bush. With Texas’s economy flourishing and the national economy still imploding, I think the country could get ready for another guy from Texas really quick.
Daniels is running. How conservatives react once Daniels makes it official could have an impact on Perry if conservatives target him for a draft effort.
UPDATE: I missed Rush today, but he says “Rick Perry scares the heck out of the Washington establishment.” I say bring it on.
UPDATE 2: Via PJ Tatler, Why Rick Perry should run. A taste:
This team has kept Texas’ tax burden low despite hard times, and has kept Texas’ government among the smallest in the nation. Rick Perry is, as he is quick to mention, not George W. Bush. If he ran for president the comparison would be unavoidable, but Perry’s record is to the right of Bush’s. Perry is in many ways the man the liberals feared George W. Bush was, but Perry is a better stump speaker and has served in office at more levels than his predecessor.
Until 1989, Rick Perry was a conservative Democrat. He switched parties as, like many Democrats including Ronald Reagan and Phil Gramm, he saw that party moving farther and farther to the left. Under Perry’s decade as governor, hundreds of Texas Democrats have followed his lead and become Republicans. As a former Democrat, Perry can speak to that swath of his former party that has become disenchanted with their party as President Obama has taken it even farther to the left, in a way that few Republicans can. He can also speak well and credibly to all wings of the national GOP, from the fiscal cons to the social cons to the libertarian set.
And he can go toe-to-toe with the campaigner in chief:
Texas has historically turned governors out of office after one term. George W. Bush broke that pattern when he was re-elected to consecutive terms in 1998. Gov. Perry has shattered that pattern, winning in 2002, 2006 and 2010 — the last, in a landslide. He is arguably the best campaigner Texas has ever produced, and assembles campaign teams around himself that flood the zone, using social media and cutting edge fundraising tools in ways that few GOP campaigns can match. Perry’s teams turn their opponents against themselves and skillfully use the media as both messenger and foil. The experience of running and winning statewide in Texas, a state with 254 counties and five major media markets, has prepared him and his team well to take their skills national.
Swooning yet? I am.