In my column this week, "GOP may have a contender in the wings," I lay out an initial argument for Rick Perry's plausibility as an Omaba-slayer (a knightly reference; no actually violence intended, of course).
- active defense of the 10th Amendment in the face of Obamacare’s encroachments
- record as a budget-cutter
- executive experience is in one of the largest states in the union
- won an unprecedented three terms with a strong victory in 2010
- Texas is a growing state with a large Hispanic population
He also passes the Katie Couric test. He reads. And he reads the right stuff. In a Wall Street Journal interview not long ago, he highlighted Friedrich Hayek’s classic of political and economic liberty, The Road to Serfdom, and The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes, her account of how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s interventionist policies actually deepened and lengthened the Depression. “Amity’s book is very eye-opening—scary—for me,” he said. You can judge a man by what scares him.
Shelby Steele says the problem for any candidate facing Barack Obama is that he or she must run against not only Obama the man, but also Obama the icon. This means that whoever leads the Republican ticket has to be somehow larger than life. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is a good man with good principles, but he’s a man of quite human proportions. Others in the race are all-too-human. At the South Carolina debate, I saw men who were trying hard to convince us that they belong on the stage. Sarah Palin was not there, though she seems made for the stage. But one wonders what kind of stage. Like everything in Texas, Rick Perry seems be a large enough character to fill any stage, even one he would share with a sitting president, perhaps even an iconic sitting president.
One of the commenters listed these arguments again him.
1. Guilt by association with Bush given they share a home state. [Really weak.]
2. Adios, mofo. [Not clear just what this is. A bad language incident is a bar to the presidency?]
3. Why don’t you just let us get on down the road? [This is not exactly Troopergate.]
4. Required Gardasil vaccinations, which on its face should offend the personal liberty crowd, but even moreso when the recommendation was made after heavy lobbying by Merck. [A. Get your kids out of public school. B. Exemptions are easily obtained. C. Otherwise, it does seem like bad judgment. D. Do Merck-y drug company connections explain this? E. What does preventing cervical cancer have to do with public education?]
5. Trans-Texas Corridor. Here Perry was going to seize huge swaths of private land under eminent domain in order to build a super-highway to support additional truck traffic due to NAFTA. [This is a concern to the John Birch Society conspiracy theorists and no one else.]
6. Perry floats the idea of secession. [That's just a Texan being Texan. But I'll keep my eyes on it.]
7. Was a Democrat until 1989. [Lot's of good people share that dark past: Reagan, Gramm (Texan)...]
8. Chaired the campaign to elect Al Gore in Texas in 1988. [Any sign of Algorism since then?]
The fellow who posted these objections is a Texan himself who has been keeping a file. If this is the best he can do, Perry looks fit for the stage.