Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has joined the 2016 Presidential race and has a website up.
As longtime governor of the most economically successful state in the union, Perry should be a serious Presidential contender, especially since he has a more impressive (and recent) story to tell than Jeb Bush.
The problem, of course, is his poor showing in the 2012 Presidential race, which included a nationally televised “brain freeze” due to him being hopped up on goofballs following back surgery. I thought Perry was the most viable conservative candidate in the race in 2012, for all the good that did either of us. That does not appear to be the case this time around, and my choice for President right now would probably be Ted Cruz first and Scott Walker second.
Cruz, Walker and Marco Rubio all make the case for Perry more difficult. All outflank Perry on the right in ways that Huckabee and Santorum don’t, and Cruz in particular cuts into Perry’s fundraising base.
So while Perry should be a serious candidate, he has a much tougher row to hoe than he did in 2012…and he lost in 2012. Maybe he’s counting on the GOP’s well-known “next time around is the charm” bias (see Reagan, Bush41, Dole, McCain, and Romney), but I don’t think he did well enough in 2012 to have that sort of cachet.
Perry is a tough and tenacious campaigner (though probably not as indefatigable as Cruz), so it’s probably unwise to count him out entirely. Still, he looks to be an even longer shot in 2016 than he was in 2012.