Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Path to the Nomination and the White House and Beyond, Part 1

The Path is Well Marked, and Not That Hard a Climb

[Editor’s Note:  With Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry expected to enter the Presidential race, The Dismal Political Economist takes a look at his chances, and how he would govern if elected.  Part 1 explains how he could win the nomination; Part 2 how he could win the Presidency and Part 3 how government policy would be expected to transpire under a Perry Presidency.]

Texas State Capitol - Gateway to
The U.S. Capitol for Mr. Bush
and Maybe for Mr. Perry

Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry has been a reluctant entrant to the Presidential race and may still decide not to run.  However, it looks like he is being convinced by that one unassailable argument, that he can win.

To get to the White House, Mr. Perry must first get the nomination.  If he decides to run, the race for the Republican nod likely becomes a two person event, Mr. Perry and former Massachusetts Government Mitt Romney.  Mr. Perry would be the favorite, here’s why.

  1. Reluctance:  Mr. Perry’s reluctance to run for President seems genuine. Mr. Romney started running the day after he was elected Governor of Massachusetts and essentially quit doing that job after two years to spend all of his energy on running for the 2008 nomination.  His hunger for the job is highly visible.
    Mr. Perry, if he runs can truly say the job sought him.  This is a huge advantage in electoral      politics. Voters want a candidate who wants the job, but does not want it too much.

Your Future GOP Nominee?

  1. Money:  Mr. Perry will not only be able to match Mr. Romney, he will far exceed him in fund raising.

  1. North vs South:  Mr. Romney’s northern roots (he has homes in Massachusetts, New Hampshsire and who knows elsewhere) will not play as well as Mr. Perry’s southern ones in a southern dominated party like the GOP.

  1. Elections:  Mr. Perry has won three gubernatorial elections, Mr. Romney one.  This electoral success may be Mr. Perry's strongest suit, and its a cowboy one.

  1. Religion:  Mr. Romney’s Mormonism should not make a difference, but it will against a fervent evangelical like Mr. Perry.

  1. Jobs Record:  Mr. Romney will try to stress his business skills, but Mr. Perry will bring a job creating resume to the interview, even if most of those jobs were not the result of his governing.

  1. Union of Allies:  Mr. Perry can unite the fiscal conservatives with the social conservatives.  Mr. Romney is suspect amongst the latter. 

This assessment of Mr. Perry from an in-depth story in the Washington Post sums it up.

Perry’s qualities have made him a rare political cross-species — an establishment figure who is also a hero to the tea party movement. That is why many Republicans believe he has the potential to upend the GOP presidential field, should he join it.

Mr. Perry is a battler.  He has had no problem taking on George W. Bush over spending policy.  He will attack Mr. Romney with strong ads on Mr. Romney's health care plan and his vacillation on issues.  Those attacks will be deadly. Mr. Romney is not used to being viciously attacked, in his world eveyone is more of a gentleman.  It will be difficult for Mr. Romney to attack back, and  Mr. Romney will not have much ammunition against Mr. Perry (a problem for Mr. Obama down the road.)

So at the end of the day primary season it is more likely to be Mr. Perry leading the Republicans against Mr. Obama than Mr. Romney.  Sorry Mitt, some things were just not meant to be.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Perry wins the Republican nod and it's very possible. However, the Republican establishment are going to be very unhappy because the general is going to be bloodbath. Obama wins with 60% of the vote and long coat tails.