• The GOP Primary Field May Need to Make Room for Rick Perry

    How much do you know about Texas Gov. Rick Perry? Maybe you saw that interview he did with Jon Stewart a few months back. Maybe you heard that he's maybe in favor of Texas seceding from the Union. Maybe you think he looks a bit too much like your dad's friend who looks a bit too much like Robert Forster. But, if you're like a lot of people, not much more.

    Well, that is very likely going to change in the next few months

    A Texas pol who is close to Perry has been telling a few key strategists that the nation's longest-serving governor sees a vacuum and is waiting to be summoned into the race. This source believes that could happen by late summer. Without fellow Southerners Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee in the race — and with Newt Gingrich's early troubles raising further doubts about the current lineup — there could be a glaring niche for Perry to fill.

    According to another well-connected Republican, at least one Perry confidant has been very quietly making inquiries about the political terrain in the nation's first voting state of Iowa…

    Perry's aides have long made it clear that the tough-talking Texan, who succeeded George W. Bush in Austin in 2000, would not seriously entertain the idea of mounting a White House run before the state's legislative session finishes at the end of this month. That date is now less than two weeks away, and the 2012 presidential field remains fluid.

    Well, I'll say this in Perry's favor. He has the benefit of not being any of the other candidates in this race. Not being Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann is a huge, huge advantage.

    However, Perry is a southerner. Would that work in his favor or against (as if I even need to ask)? Nate Silver has some insight

    The White House has been occupied by a Southerner — counting the Massachusetts-born and decidedly patrician George H.W. Bush, who resided in Texas at the time he ran for office — in 30 of the past 46 years. I’m not sure this is entirely a coincidence. One reason behind the success of Southern candidates may be that, in competitive primary elections, the region offers a larger home-field advantage than the other parts of the country [approximately 35 percent of the population]…

    Nevertheless, I suspect that the differences have considerable grounding in reality, simply because the South is more culturally coherent and has a stronger regional identity than the other parts of the country… If a candidate dominates the South — and it's much easier for a Southern candidate to do that — he'll have made a lot of headway into winning the votes and delegates that he’ll need to secure his party's nomination.

    You know, it's been more than two years since we've had a Texan in the White House. And it worked out so well last time. I'm really hoping this pans out.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Tags: Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Texas


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