"It ain't braggin' if you've done it!"
A Texan truism? Actually it was Arkansan, Dizzy Dean who coined this classic phrase. But, it indeed applies to Rick Perry's tenure as Governor of the Lone Star state. In fact, Dean's prose might ultimately be the unofficial campaign slogan of a 2016 Presidential campaign.
Republican conservatives can't seem to agree on anything. EXCEPT that they want neither Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or Mitt Romney as the 2016 Republican nominee! Partly due to the fact that the GOP Establishment likes all three men.
The Tea Party is quick to remind of the failures in '96, '08 and '12. Yet, when proffering their alternative, the preferences range from congressmen, junior senators to people with ABSOLUTELY ZERO public service experience!
The 2012 Republican primary was a monkey show; a feast for the lame stream media! Too many candidates and too many debates resulted in a nominee who was not the first choice of two thirds of the party base! How did it happen? Because the Republican Establishment was organized and unified. 2016 is sure to be a repeat. UNLESS, conservatives become practical.
Michelle Bachmann was Mitt Romney's greatest asset in 2012. She represented the far right and was successful in taking the discussion away from "reducing the size, scope and cost" of government to getting lost in the weeds on individual state issues and preferences.
I still cringe at her tainted references to an HPV vaccine that was never actually implemented, a $5000 Merck contribution and a state autobahn. She was joined by Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in blasting Texas for passing(by vote of 177-4) an out-of-state, tuition waiver for Texas Higb School grads; who happened to be the sons and daughters of illegal aliens.
2016 approaches and we are still hearing about the "oops" moment for Perry. And, his questionable debating skills. But what about his actual report card! 14 years is a long time to weigh and assess a Governor's job performance. Most Americans rate "jobs and the economy" as the number one issue. During the past six years, "three of every eight American full time jobs" have been created in Texas. That leaves the other five jobs for the remaining 49 states!
It ain't braggin' if you've done it!
Liberals deeply fear Rick Perry. If you don't believe it, check out the Huffington Post! Perry has been called "George Bush on steroids." In reality, he is decisively to the fiscal right of Dubya. More specifically, Perry is a different kind of conservative. This is where the debate begins.
To truly understand what differentiates Rick Perry from Dubya,Romney, Santorum, Bachmann, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and yes, Ted Cruz, one must first define conservativism.
Rand Paul best did that in his book, "The Tea Party Goes to Washington." According to Paul, "New Conservatives," AKA as "Neo-Cons" support a "large, Washington D.C. based government" having a role to "advance and facilitate conservative principles."
The Charlieston Voice, a Libertarian leaning blog goes one step further is asserting that Neo-Cons "favor big government, preemptive wars and hold strong CFR ties."
Perry, like Paul, falls under the alternative conservative, the Constitutional Conservative. This perception of conservativism is based on a "strict constructionist" view of the constitution. In short, if the 10th amendment did not assign a duty to the federal government, it should be reserved for the individual state.
"Centralist versus Federtalist" is another nethod of drawing the distinction.
Paul and Perry hold similar orientations. Paul's biggest drawback is that he lacks Executive experience. He would be a much easier matchup for Hillary Clinton, the probable Democrat nominee.
Conversely, Perry would create a matchup problem for Mrs. Clinton. Where running against Rand would amount to "scaring the socks" off voters by referencing some of Ron Paul's notions, Perry can simply stand by his record. Hillary defintely doesn't want to get into a "report card" campaign!
Contrary to popular opinion, Americans DO want to hear about achievements in a previous position. Texas is the second largest American state and represents the world's 13th largest economy. It shares a 1200 mile border with a foreign country and is seen as "point" on the immigration debate.
The looming question for Republicans not wanting a Bush, Christie or Romney nomination is "which candidate"(and ticket) would be able to defeat Hillary Clinton?
Everyone can agree that Mrs. Clinton has no record to run on. But, she will have a massive war chest. An opponent holding a "thin" resume will be easy to define and spin. Perry, however, provides nothing, save the normal liberal tripe seen on Huff Post.
It should come down to the "Centralist versus Federalist" preference. Are most Americans "Constitutionalists?" Or, are they "Neo-Cons?" Should this become the litmus test for GOP Presidential wannabees, Rick Perry's chances for the nomination will greatly improve.
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