Could Rick Perry Be a Viable Candidate in 2016?

perryGovernor Rick Perry made some news earlier this week when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s show (from Austin, Texas) and discussed the possibility of decriminalizing the use of marijuana in the Lone Star State.

Listening to Perry, I thought he laid out a pretty decent, thoughtful argument for moving in that direction. He also touted some past reforms he made in his state to lessen the severity of pot-related charges. He qualified the measures by saying, “you don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint.”

Though the drug conversation was what spawned some headlines, it wasn’t what made the interview interesting to me.

As I watched Perry discuss his accomplishments, and state his views on different issues, I was taken back by how relaxed, articulate, and confident he seemed, even with the liberal Austin audience giving him a hard time. It reminded me quite a bit of Perry’s early presidential primary debates back in September of 2011. As you might recall, Perry was a last minute entrant into the race, filling a void that some with in the GOP establishment recognized as a week field of candidates.

In his first debate, Perry was bold, self-assured, and spoke with moral clarity. He was unafraid to say the things he truly believed.

In regard to Social Security’s financial outlook, he said, “It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it’s not right.”

The statement drew questions about Perry’s commitment to our Social Security system, an issue that Democrats have long used to fear-monger votes away from Republicans.

In his second debate, Perry voiced a view on illegal immigration that wasn’t very popular with a lot of conservatives.

“If you say that we should not educate children who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

It was clear that after those first couple of performances, Perry’s consultants rushed in to advise him not to show such candor, and to recognize the political ramifications of making such statements. I think they got into his head, and his campaign suffered from it.

He went from being a steadfast, breath of fresh air, to an empty Republican suit who was so over-rehearsed and careful about what he said, that he no longer appeared comfortable in his own skin. He began botching his talking points left and right, and by the end of the campaign, he was making appearances on shows like David Letterman, merely to poke fun at himself.

It was a shame.

I think many people, like myself, viewed him as an independent-minded conservative that could strike a chord with the broader electorate. He was a highly successful governor who had a fantastic, pro-business record of job creation in his state, at a time when desperately few jobs were being created elsewhere in this country. He was an undoubtedly strong leader, yet he let people convince him not to be himself, and his campaign never recovered from it.

I think he probably learned a lot from the experience.

When Jimmy Kimmel asked Perry if he planned on running again in 2016, Perry answered, “You know, America is a great place for second chances.”

Does he have a point?

We know that Democratic politicians are always receiving second chances. America certainly gave Bill Clinton a second chance after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hillary Clinton, who was one of the most despised political figures in the nation following the Hillarycare debacle, now enjoys an astonishingly high public approval rating. A second presidential term for Barack Obama was certainly an example of a second chance, after his record of success in the first term was virtually non-existent.

Of course, what Democrats have working for them is a very supportive national media that has the influence to help redeem people. Republicans aren’t afforded that luxury.

In fact, the media is always eager to use a branding iron to immortalize the petty failings of Republican politicians. If you don’t believe me, look at the legacy of Dan Quayle – a man whose entire career is defined by him misspelling a word. Next, look at the mind-numbingly extensive list of Joe Bidden gaffes that the media frames as an endearing footnote in an otherwise distinguished career. From a Dead Sleep by John A. Daly

A challenge for Republicans is to not let the liberal media define which candidates are viable and which ones aren’t. In some cases they might be right, but it needs to be understood that their rationale for elevating and dismissing individuals comes with very little objectivity.

It’s hard for me to accept that blowing some lines in a couple of debates, as Perry did, is enough to end one’s presidential aspirations. It’s not as if he made up some story about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia alongside comedian, Sinbad. It’s certainly not as if he blamed a YouTube video for the death of four American patriots in Libya.

I, for one, would like to see Perry run again in 2016. I think he could surprise a lot of people and turn out to be a strong, independent-minded candidate. Part of me just wants to see him prove those who wrote his obituary four years ago wrong.

Then again, I could be the one who’s wrong. Either way, I’m a believer in second chances.

 

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • Tim Ned

    I would be an advocate supporter of Perry if he runs again. His big mistake in the last election is he jumped into the race late and in the middle of the debates. No one knew him. If he runs he needs the time to get vetted by the American people. And the Jimmy Kimmel show demonstrated his ability to handle the the crowd and the questions.

  • loupgarous

    Nope. All I see is George W. Bush without the charisma or intelligence.

  • Darren Perkins

    I think he has 0 chance of doing anything constructive if he runs. He made the fatal mistake of appearing fallible. Outright lies can be forgiven, mistakes can be apologized for, but the appearance of fallibility will not be forgiven by the electorate.

    • loupgarous

      You’re kidding, right? Obama was fallible as hell in 2012 (not that he’s become less so since then. All Perry would have to do to beat Hillary Clinton is become a slightly more plausible liar. Just like Obama.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        >>You’re kidding, right? Obama was fallible as hell in 2012

        I don’t disagree with everything you said, but I disagree with that. Obama wasn’t infallible to the media. They covered him like he was the second coming of Christ, and such a thing makes an enormous difference in an election.

        Despite Hillary not having the charisma and gift for pillow talk that Obama has, they’ll treat her the same way.

      • Darren Perkins

        My point is that the electorate is so incredibly and exceptionally shallow that grave issues such as incompetence , lieing , covering up scandals are overlooked but appearing foolish and then being lampooned on sat not live will not. He has already been branded. Think Dan Quayle. Perry will just be a distraction. Just my thoughts.

  • Brian_Bayless

    Its not that he blew a few lines at the debates, its that he sounded under the influence. How can you not figure out that is a turnoff to voters?

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Oh, it was bad. No doubt about that. Under the influence? No. Not even close.

      In your opinion, was it worse than making up a story about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia like Hillary Clinton did? Was it worse than changing your position on Israel three times in a single day, like Obama did?

      Hillary Clinton lied to the world about how four American patriots died for political purposes. If that doesn’t eliminate one’s presidential aspirations, how can flubbing a few debate moments, like Perry did, do it?

      • Brian_Bayless

        I’m not saying he was under the influence, but he did sound like that. Most likely nerves but still, that doesnt exactly scream confidence.

        Howard Dean went from surging favorite to finished after a blown out-of-proportion by the media scream. I’m sure you were playing the violin for him too.

        And as far as Hillary, lets not act like she has been elected yet. Don’t forget, she was originally favored on 2008 but Obama surged due to a smart campaign and that ended that run. Way too much time and I admit, if Hillary was a middle-aged man instead of a woman, a 2016 campaign would not be happening.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>I’m not saying he was under the influence.

          I know. I’m saying that he didn’t sound like he was under the influence.

          >>Most likely nerves but still, that doesnt exactly scream confidence.

          I agree.

          >>Howard Dean went from surging favorite to finished after a blown out-of-proportion by the media scream. I’m sure you were playing the violin for him too.

          Howard Dean was already falling out of the picture before that happened. As you’ll recall, the Dean Scream was part of a concession speech, not a victory speech. Dean’s problem wasn’t that soundbite – as entertaining as it was. It was the fact that he was such an angry man who came across like a jerk every time he was in front of a microphone.

          >>And as far as Hillary, lets not act like she has been elected yet.

          True. My point is that no one has written her political obituary like they have for Perry. No one believes that what Hillary has done hurts her chances of becoming our president. Yet, a lot of people believe that Perry losing his train of thought marked the end of his presidential aspirations.

          Why is that?

          • Brian_Bayless

            I think part of that is because she is a woman. Lets say if that was Harry Reid instead of her, he would be cooked.

            But, in our media, flubbing lines and visibly screwing up gets more attention than something you actually have to think about and pay attention too, like Benghazi

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I think part of that is because she is a woman.

            You’re half right. She’s a LIBERAL woman. If she was a conservative woman, she’d be excoriated.

            >>Lets say if that was Harry Reid instead of her, he would be cooked.

            You mean Harry “Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years” Reid, who’s never held accountable for anything he says? Don’t count on it.

            >>But, in our media, flubbing lines and visibly screwing up gets more attention than something you actually have to think about and pay attention too, like Benghazi

            Not when it’s a Democrat who’s flubbing the lines. Ever hear of Joe Biden? The media finds HIS flubs to be endearing and trivial. If he was a Republican VP, they’d be calling for psychiatric help.

        • loupgarous

          Brian, that wasn’t a “smart” campaign that took Texas away from Hillary Clinton in 2008 – it was a brutal, criminal series of blatant voter frauds and physical exclusion of Clinton voters from caucuses and primaries.

      • loupgarous

        It was worse to the extent that the press will feel compelled to change Hillary’s loaded diapers for her before she steps out on the debate stage. They won’t do that for Perry.

        You seem to be making the assumption that the people who explain politics to the American People care about flip-flops or outright lies – when Mark Halperin has shown us that a major televsion network news division director has no heartburn at all about picking a candidate in a Presidential election and ordering his underlings to campaign for him on the air.

        We need someone who’s fast on his feet and can recover from flubs better, because the “moderators” will be whispering the answers to Hillary Clinton in any future debates, just as they took orders from Obama on camera. The only way there’ll be a GOP win this time is if the Republican candidate can keep his or her cool while being baited by the opposition AND the moderator.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          This was Gingrich’s strong-suit.

  • Kathie Ampela

    I like Rick Perry too, but the media only believes in second chances for Democrats. Whether he has a chance or not depends on what kind of mood the driveby electorate is in in 2 years. The media and Team Hillary (one entity, really) already have the pre-packaged “dumb Conservative” narrative ready to go. Hopefully the Romney advisors have all been fired by now, so we won’t see a neutering of Perry’s candor, but who knows?

  • alaskan1st

    REDNOMO March 14, 2014 7:7PM

    Let’s just have a look at what “Texas’ longest-serving governor” has been able to accomplish:

    Texas ranks 49th in revenues collected per capita, and 50th in revenues spent.

    The state also ranks 44th on tax progressivity, meaning although it collects less taxes overall, more of a share comes from the working class.

    Texas comes in dead last (50th) in percent of population over 25 who have a high school diploma. 46th in SAT scores, and 49th in teacher pay.

    How does the family do in the Lone Star State? Texas ranks last in the percentage of people without medical insurance. It also ranks dead last in the number of covered children, 49th in level of payments for the Women and Infant Children (WIC) program, but 1st in the number of teenage births. Texas ranks 3rd in number of people living in poverty and 50th in homeowners insurance affordability.

    And hey, Texan politicians come 3rd as to number of convicted public officials! Dead last in voter turnout, though. First in executions and 2nd in rate of incarceration.

    What about the environment? Air pollution emissions, CO2 emissions, amount of volatile organic compounds released into the air, amount of toxic chemicals released into water, amount of carcinogens released into the air – all number one!

    Texas ranks 46th in hourly earnings for manufacturing workers, 47th for union membership, and 48th in worker’s compensation benefits paid per covered worker.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      How very liberal of you. lol. Such a fair and unbiased report that was.

      I love the notion that taking less money from people through taxation is supposed to be a bad thing.

      I love the notion that convicting corrupt public officials is a bad thing, and that somehow Rick Perry is responsible for them being corrupt.

      I love the notion that voter turnout is somehow reflective of how well a state is governed.

      I love the notion that it’s a weird thing that the largest state in the continental United States is also the largest polluter. Would it be equally shocking to discover that the smallest state is the smallest polluter?

      I love the notion that job creation and the low cost of living aren’t supposed to be taken into account to nullify a good portion of your one-sided analysis.

      Thanks for the copy-and-paste propaganda. We appreciate it.

      • Brian_Bayless

        Low cost of living is needed when you are only creating low wage jobs. Yeah, please run for president Rick.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          You’ve got it backwards. You don’t need a high wage to make a comfortable living when the cost of living is low.

          • Brian_Bayless

            Minimum wage jobs offer no growth and do not let you live comfortably, especially with a family. Add that to the fact that it is tough to get benefits to the working poor and the family suffers more. The low cost of living means you can live a bit better on minimum and slightly-above minimum wage jobs than other states.

            Plus, the school system has awful numbers and a terrible graduation rate so all you have left is those wonderful low paying jobs

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>Minimum wage jobs offer no growth

            They absolutely do. Have you seriously never started a job at minimum wage and worked your way up?

            >>The low cost of living means you can live a bit better on minimum and slightly-above minimum wage jobs than other states.

            Fortunately, minimum wage jobs are a starting point, not a lifelong destiny. Many liberals have a tough time understanding this. You believe that being unemployed and unable to find a high paying job is better than being employed and working from a low wage to a high one.

          • Brian_Bayless

            “You believe that being unemployed and unable to find a high paying job is better than being employed and working from a low wage to a high one”

            Make assumptions all you want about my political stances.

            In a state with horrible graduation rates, you think a lot of them are going to be moving their way up the company? They have a better chance of getting laid off or making a lateral move to another company. A horrendous educational system and lots of low paying jobs. You think that is a coincidence? Would you want to move to a town, city or state with a lot of low paying jobs? How about move your kid to that school system? That is not indicative of impressive work by Rick. I do not want that all across the country

            And yes, it is better to work than to not work. Why you think I thought it wasnt and that many “liberals” think the same is just rhetoric. It is better Financially, socially, and spiritually. It improves moral and builds networking too. You feel better about yourself at work then at home unemployed

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>In a state with horrible graduation rates, you think a lot of them are going to be moving their way up the company?

            Why not? When jobs are plentiful there’s all kinds of opportunity for ANYONE to move up the ladder, as long as they’re willing to work for it.

            >>A horrendous educational system and lots of low paying jobs. You think that is a coincidence?

            Probably not completely. I would imagine that with lots of jobs and a low cost of living, many people wouldn’t necessarily believe they need to graduate in order to find a job they can support them self with.

            >>Would you want to move to a town, city or state with a lot of low paying jobs?

            If I couldn’t find a job where I lived, I sure as hell would.

            >>How about move your kid to that school system?

            I’d pursue a charter school.

            We’re in agreement on the rest of your post.

          • Brian_Bayless

            >>Would you want to move to a town, city or state with a lot of low paying jobs?

            If I couldn’t find a job where I lived, I sure as hell would.”

            I should have clarified. I meant you wanting to move into a town or city like that as you are right now. If I was jobless, I would go there now.

          • nameless

            Shut up Brian and Ron, I’d like to kill you both along with Bob Hadley. You three are true liberals, but lie about not being liberal. Honestly, I would celebrate if you and all the other liberals in the world would drop dead, get cancer, get AIDS, or hit by a drone. Drop dead, sons of bitches.

          • Brian_Bayless

            That’s not very nice.

      • Ron F

        I guess I am missing something but why is it propaganda? What portion of it is not true? In addition, I thought the argument has always been that by lowering tax rates, tax revenues increase because of the increase in economic activity. If that it true, why would Texas be 49th in tax revenues per capita. Finally, why do job creation and low cost of living nullify the number of people who do not have high school educations and how poorly the students do on SAT tests? Wouldn’t the low cost of living only nullify low wages if they were comparable? If they are disproportionate, and I do not know if they are, they would not nullify each other.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>I guess I am missing something but why is it propaganda?

          Seriously? The piece is a carefully worded, cherry-picked list that is void of perspective and void of context. And it’s being used to blame a governor for things that have nothing to do with governance.

          Just take the “convicted public officials” stat for example…

          Texas is the second most populated state in the country, which means they have more public officials than practically every other state. If you were comparing public sector corruption with other states, why would you use a raw number and not a percentage of the total number of public officials? I think you know the answer to that.

          What’s the breakdown of these “public officials?” Politicians? Police? Fire department? Border patrol? Dog catchers? What? Why is the term “public official” used instead of terms like congressman, senators, and mayors? I think you already know the answer to that.

          And what do any of these people have to do with Rick Perry? Are they part of his administration? Did he hire them? And if corrupt officials are being “convicted,” what’s the criticism? That means they’re being held accountable for their actions.

          Every bullet point in that copied-and-pasted report is like this, as I pointed out in my earlier reply. It’s not an honest comparison of anything let alone anybody. It’s propaganda.

          • Ron F

            You picked out one of the facts alleged which I agree does not state anything about the Governor. On the other hand student achievement and incomes due state something about governance. If what he said his propaganda then almost every blog is propaganda because everyone cherry picks facts to support their case and I have not seen a piece yet that tells the whole story.

          • Ron F

            John, I went back and looked at the blog and comments and Alaskan 1st is the only one who states actual facts instead of whining about the media or giving an opinion as to what they would do if roles were reversed. Yet he is the one accused of just stating propaganda and cherry picking facts.

        • Tim Ned

          Alaska picked and chooses the stats. TX is number 2 in Federal income taxes paid. They are number 1 in job creation.

          To confuse the matter more, see what PolitiFact says about high school graduation rates in Texas.

          http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2013/feb/11/rick-perry/rick-perry-says-texas-has-third-highest-high-schoo/

          • Ron F

            Tim, I read the politifact article and it mostly agreed with Rick Perry’s claim. On the other hand, I think Alaskan was talking about state tax revenue, not federal tax revenue.

          • Tim Ned

            He didn’t state federal however, on state taxes, Texas has no state tax. So the claim is a mute point.

    • Tim ned

      1) Most polluted cities in America? Not one Texas city. Eight are cities in CA, not to conservative of a state. Source Time Magazine results for 2013.
      2) Most convicted politicians? Only 1 in Texas since 1970 through 2010. Source Wikipedia.
      3) Federal Taxes collected. In 2012 Texas was number 2 in total revenues for federal taxes. In revenue per capita, they were ahead of California. Source Wikipedia.
      4) You pick and choose your verbiage on wages. When you look at the median income which is a more accurate view, Texas is ranked in the middle. Source Wikipedia. They have lower union membership because they have smaller government.

      I din’t fact check all your points and some may be true but what the hay, we can pick and choose our stats to serve the political agenda but one would think you would at least give your sources.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Thanks Ted.

        I shouldn’t have even given these people of the benefit of the doubt on the info they put forth. I just assumed that it was so selective and misleading to begin with that it was probably true.

        Thanks for taking the time to dig into it.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    He could clobber the Democrats, but the media party will eat his lunch.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Could be, but that’ll be the case with all the GOP candidates.

  • Concernedmimi

    I like Rick Perry too, John. He definitely speaks from the heart; what you see is what you get. I would for sure give him another chance and no one deserves is more! But he’s surely got to be tough with the lame-brain media and keep one step ahead of them. I think by now, he has them pegged!!

  • cmacrider

    John: As a Canadian conservative [which is quite different than an American conservative] I think we would be quite comfortable with President Perry. My questions are (a) who is starting NOW to build up the personal narrative of Rick Perry? Is someone writing a biography “Perry … Texas’ Greatest Govenor” which defines him as a humane person .. a patriot … a stateman. (b) who, on behalf of Perry is getting the message to the various Republican factions “let’s unite behind Perry”? (c) Who is working with Perry to formulate a 5 point national program which he can repeat endlessly until every voter knows “Perry and his 5 point Recovery Program”? Hopefully, none of the Perry team will have also worked as political advisors to Mitt Romney. That was a case of alarming incompetance.

    • legal eagle

      Romney’s campaign was incompetent but Perry’s wasn’t? LMFAO

      • cmacrider

        Since I said nothing about the competency of Perry’s primary campaign I suggest you return your law ticket or stick to you specialty … pleading guilty to speeding tickets.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Legal likes to create his own counter-arguments. He probably thinks it gives him a better chance of sounding smart. lol.

        • legal eagle

          ” Hopefully, none of the Perry team will have also worked as political advisors to Mitt Romney. That was a case of alarming incompetence.”
          And I asked whether Perry’s campaign in 2008 was competent? If Romney won the nomination by being incompetent what does that say about Perry….
          I think this is called deductive reasoning…Is this beyond your thought process?

          • cmacrider

            Since Perry’s Presidential campaign, if it occurs will occur in the future, it is rather difficult to answer whether a possible future team will be competant …. back to pleading guilty to speeding tickets legal eagle.

  • Skip in VA

    John, I’m with you. There’s something about Gov. Perry that inspires me to believe that not only is America a great place for second chances but also a great place for great Americans. I thought his speech at CPAC was awesome! He made a lot of sense and seems to have one ingredient that is largely missing in most Democrats: COMMON SENSE.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      This country is in desperate need of some common sense right now. Unfortunately, demagoguery tends to work better when it comes to politics.

  • legal eagle

    Dems can only pray that Rick Perry wins the Republican nomination…The last two Texans in the White House were disasters….

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      >>Dems can only pray that Rick Perry wins the Republican nomination

      Sure.

      >>The last two Texans in the White House were disasters….

      … as opposed to the community organizer from Chicago who has been just awesome! lol.

      • legal eagle

        Let me know how many disastrous wars Obama got the country into? Your Obama Derangement Syndrome has caused you to lose any sense of political reality…

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>Let me know how many disastrous wars Obama got the country into?

          Good point. Obama’s disasters have been mostly domestic.

          • legal eagle

            Really? I tell you a fact you reply with hyperbole….typical b.s. from right wingers..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            You told me a fact? What was it?

            All I see is a rhetorical question.

            You must be hilarious to watch in court.

          • legal eagle

            You wish you could afford me….You probably would make the world’s witness… If you were in a civil suit you’d claim ” I hate Obama so much I didn’t believe I had to perform under the contractual agreement”..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I’d just as soon hire a courtroom janitor to defend me, legal. At least he would understand what a fact is.

      • legal eagle

        “John Daly shot 90 on Friday at the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship, his second-round score driven by an 8-over 12 at the par-4 16th hole at the Copperhead course.”

        Concentrate on your game…..LOL

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Is that supposed to be a put-down?

          • legal eagle

            It’s supposed to be funny (note the LOL).

        • legal eagle

          It’s supposed be funny…Do you not recognize what LOL means?