Rick Perry will almost certainly announce his presidential candidacy June 4th in Dallas.
We can also expect Jeb Bush to announce his sometime in the near future. Our choice will likely come down to "Jeb or the other guy."
I can attest to the disdain seen for Jeb Bush on the Tea Party Nation blog. Many declare that they will "stay home," if Jeb is the nominee. Even, if Jeb opposes Hillary Clinton! This is both disquieting and disturbing! But it has happened before. I have no doubt that it could happen again.
I keep hearing side comments about Perry. It seems that most in the Tea Party are okay with he former Texas Governor. True, we have "pin pricks" such as his support for tuition waiver for illegals, who happened to be Texas high school graduates. Or, his support for an HPV vaccine that was never implemented. Or, his support for an autobahn that never materialized.
I have even heard how his friendship with Barbour's in Mississippi is a deal breaker! I am sure that there will be some who will even criticize Perry for voicing his support for the military, during the recent Jade Helm 15 question.
Let's get real!
Has anyone thought of the remote possibility that the Republican Establishment may actually be behind some of these fringe candidates? I have. Consider this. "Did anyone really believe that Michelle Bachmann had a chance in the 2012 election?" In retrospect, she was Rick Perry's greatest antagonist. In the end, she was Mitt Romney's greatest ally.
The 2012 election and Rick Perry's less than stellar performance is not the subject of this post. The point is "why" Republicans not wanting Bush should embrace Perry's candidacy.
There are some who say, "I like Perry, but I don't think he is electable." Fact is, Perry is unquestionably the most electable of any candidate. Here are the reasons why.
Education- Texas ranks second nationally(behind Maine) in percentage of high school graduates. Texas ranks first nationally in percentage of high school graduation rates for Hispanic and African-American students. There are now 19 colleges and universities in Texas offering four-year degrees for $10,000. Perry considers the latter his signature achievement.
The Environment- Check the statistics. They are astounding! From reduced C02 emissions to reduced ozone levels, they are too numerous to list on this post. Texas is number one in energy produced by wind. Many forget that Perry chaired Al Gore's Texas Presidential campaign in 1988. Both men supported a healthy environment. The split came over implementation. Perry cited the 10th amendment. Gore believed that the individual states could not be trusted. Texas' environmental report card is proof that Perry was correct. Meanwhile Gore lined his pockets with an elaborate hoax that has hurt America.
Healthcare- Texas implemented "loser pays tort reform." The result: Doctors' E & O insurance plummeted! Since implementation 34,000 physicians have relocated to Texas. While Texas has a lot of people who are statistically without insurance, it's generally because they elect to. It's called, "freedom." But the overall cost of healthcare is dramatically lower than in most "blue" states.
Border security- Texas shares a 1200 mile border with a foreign country. The Obama administration has essentially "winked," and done little. For his part, Perry has been pro-active, with limited resources. As commander-in-chief, I am confident that he would be best equipped from a knowledge perspective to decisively deal with the border situation.
Foreign Policy- Perry has military experience. Trained as a fighter pilot, he flew C-130's in the Air Force, engaged in better than 50 sorties in Europe and the Middle East. Without question, he has "front row understanding" of the needs of military families. He would be respected and feared by our adversaries. The Russians describe Rick Perry as "a cowboy with deep understanding of military affairs."
Plain Folks Appeal- "Blue collar" Americans connect with Perry. Perry is the son of West Texas tenant farmers. He did not have running water or an indoor toilet in his house until he was six years old. Unable to afford college, he accepted an ROTC scholarship to attend Texas A & M. Upon graduation, he went straight into the Air Force. While staunchly right to work, Perry remains a "card carrying, dues paying member" of the AFL-CIO. Like Ronald Reagan, Perry was formally a Democrat. He echos the Gipper's "I didn't leave the Democrat Party. It left me."
The Texas Economy- Texas represents the world's 13th largest economy. The formula is simple: Cut corporate tax rates and workers wages will increase. Thanks to Texas, the U.S. didn't lose jobs as a nation under Obama's watch. There is no question that if the Texas magic is applied nationally, everyone, not just the privileged few as has been the case during Obama's Presidency, will benefit.
These are solid facts why Perry can defeat Hillary Clinton in a general election. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, Perry has a report card. He will compare bank accounts, ruefully acknowledging that his is quite a bit smaller than hers! In 2012 Democrats ran a class warfare campaign against Mitt Romney. That will be impossible against Perry. Perry is as affable and likeable as Mrs. Clinton isn't. Even though Democrats would like to think it'll be Bill again, it won't be!
The key for Republicans is to think electorally. Bush is going to be one of the finalists. And he could beat Hillary. The question becomes, are we willing to settle for Jeb Bush?
It takes deep pockets to run a 50-state campaign. Bush has them. So does Perry. But who else can seriously come up with the kind of money to match Hillary in the general election? While she may have no record to run on, she will have a "truckload" of cash!
We cannot have a "John McCain" like we did in 2008! As many remember, the Arizona Senator took federal money when his fledgling campaign was on life support. Later, this restricted him. Obama outspent him four to one in the general election.
Hillary will have one of the best campaign handlers in the business in her husband. We can expect negative advertising on top of negative advertising. Perry, however, will be a problem. He can simply run on his record. No hypotheticals. No "woulds or coulds." Just facts. Unlike Jeb Bush, his achievements were recent. Bush has been out of the game since 2007.
Of course, there are good party members who believe that Ted Cruz or Scott Walker or Rand Paul or Marco Rubio would be a better finalist than Perry. But here are a couple of things to consider. Starting with Walker.
Scott Walker has emerged bloody but victorious in his Wisconsin battles. It was not without injury. Today, he is considered "anti union." While the party does support "right-to-work," there is a difference between being in favor of right to work and being anti union. Walker lacks exposure to Hispanic voters. Republicans must win 40% of Latino votes to win the election. It might also be mentioned that "no president has ever been elected when not carrying his home state." Smart money says that Walker will not defeat Clinton in Wisconsin.
Rand Paul might pull some Democrats over, but he would be too easy to demagogue in a general election. Hillary Clinton will dig up each and every looney idea proffered by Ron and apply them to Rand. Paul's position on defense makes the department nervous. Wall Street isn't comfortable with him. The Democrats strategy will again be "the promise of chits and boonies" to constituents. Rand's "austerity measures," and the promise of a balanced budget amendment won't be greeted with a lot of enthusiasm. Against Rand, Hillary will use her war chest to scare the socks off America! It will work.
Ted Cruz is an eloquent speaker. He possesses a brilliant legal mind. But, his resume is as thin as Barack Obama's! I am also a little unnerved by his support for Kaye Bailey Hutchinson in the 2010 Texas Gubernatorial campaign against Perry. For those who remember, all of the Bush people were behind the former Senator. Karl Rove was chairman of "Team Hutchinson." This makes me suspicious that Ted might be a "Jeb plant." Those supporting Cruz' views, should embrace Perry. The two men essentially represent the same values. The difference is, "Perry has actually done them. Cruz has only talked about them."
Marco Rubio has much more experience than Ted Cruz. In addition to a full Senate term, he served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives; the last two years as House Speaker. His Senate match with former Governor, Charlie Crist was the toughest of campaigns.
A lot of good Americans can't get past Minor versus Happersatt. We tend to forget that the main topic of this 1875 Supreme Court case was universal suffrage for women. In addition to defining "natural born citizen," they ruled that women should not be granted the right to vote. Are we willing to use this particular court's interpretation to determine if Rubio is eligible to be President?
I believe that we should not.
Marco Rubio would be the ideal running mate for Rick Perry. They are a generation apart. Rick is 65. Marco will be 44, May 31st. Perry scored 44% of Latino votes in the 2010 Texas Gubernatorial general election. With Rubio on the bottom of the ticket, it might exceed 50%. It's probable that the Clinton camp would panic, possibly tapping San Antonio major, Julian Castro as Hillary's running mate.
Evangelical voters have no problem with Rick Perry. In fact, he might do as well as any Republican, other than Mike Huckabee. While Roman Catholic, Rubio admits to attending Christ Fellowship church with his Evangelical wife, Jeanette, more than he attends Mass.
Perry ranks mostly as a second or third choice for Tea Party Republicans. Some consider him Establishment. If so, he represents the most conservative Establishment option. True, the Establishment would be more comfortable with a Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or even John Kasich. But, they would rally to Perry as they did Ronald Reagan.
A comparable argument was taking place in 1979 within the GOP. George H. W. Bush had emerged as having the best chance to up seat Jimmy Carter. Reagan has his constituents. But, he looked to be running against the wind. Then came New Hampshire. We know the rest of the story.
Evangelical mobilization will be key in Virginia and Iowa. The ability to attract "blue collar male Democrats" will be the difference in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Perry might actually win all four states.
With Rubio on the bottom of the ticket, Dade County will return to the "red" column. Democrats path to victory in Florida runs through Miami. Jeb Bush will win it. But these mostly Cuban and South American(70% of the county speaks Spanish as their first language)voters will break for Perry.
So will Mexican voters in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Especially with Rubio on the bottom of the ticket recounting and emphasizing(en espanol) Perry's vast achievements as Governor of Texas.