By now everybody knows that Rick Perry has suspended his Presidential campaign and endorsed Newt Gingrich as his preferred not-Romney. The news of this was on the TV screen in the lobby of my office building as I entered this morning, which amused me greatly because the front page headline in the Chronicle was about him vowing to stay in the race after South Carolina no matter what. Events really do move fast, don’t they? But while the news has led to an outpouring of mocking and scornful press releases from just about every Democratic official in Texas “welcoming” Perry back to the state, I just want to say how sad I am to see this end now, because let’s face it, any day Rick Perry isn’t in Texas is a good day. For Texas, anyway. Not so much for wherever else he is.
What’s more, Perry may be looking to put down roots again.
On his future, Perry is heading back to Texas today and will stay there during the weekend to jump back into the governor’s job he largely has left in check for over five months.
[Perry spokesman Ray] Sullivan said that the governor is still “leaving the option open” to run for re-election as governor in three years — Texas has no term limits — and for another presidential run.
Go ahead and laugh – or cry – at the thought of a Perry 2014 campaign. A lot of respected establishment commentators – Burka for one, and as PDiddie notes Harvey Kronberg for another – think Perry is “damaged goods” whose “aura of invincibility” is gone. They may be right. Lord knows, I hope they are. Perry absolutely made a fool of himself for all to see. But all levels of government are still stuffed full of people who owe him something, and I don’t have any faith that a Republican-controlled Legislature would have the guts to stand up to him on something, and if they did it’s not clear to me that it would be for anything good. And unless the Democrats get their act together over the next two years – go ahead and laugh or cry again – even if Perry steps down or gets tossed aside, whoever comes next may be at least as malevolent but more intelligent, like Greg Abbott. So enjoy this moment of schadenfreude for someone who totally deserves it, but recognize it for the passing moment that it is. EoW has more.