Perry Joins Long List of Texas Candidates
Now that Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially entered the race for President, he will be compared and contrasted with others running in the GOP primary. But let’s start closer to home and compare him with other Texans who have made a run for the White House.
When it comes to Rick Perry, it is hard to separate the state from the man. Not just because reporters from around the world will connect the two in almost every story written but because Perry won’t let people forget.
“I know that I’ve talked a lot about Texas here in the last little bit. And I’m a Texan and I’m proud of it,” Perry said to a packed room during his South Carolina campaign kick-off. “But we worked hard. We made tough decisions. We balanced our budget,” Perry said while telling the crowd about what he’s accomplished in Texas, “not by raising taxes but by setting priorities and cutting government spending. It can and it must be done in Washington D.C.”
But of course Perry follows in a long line of candidates who have sought to bring Texas ideals to our nation’s Capitol. Bruce Buchanan is a professor of government at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
“I don’t think that there is a standard Texas candidate but should Rick Perry wind up getting the nomination, you certainly will hear about him typifying the Texas candidates again,” Buchanan said.
“If there is an overarching theme it is the audacity of hope, to steal a page from Barack Obama’s playbook,” Buchanan said. “A lot of these candidates have been, you know, unlikely, ambitious, aggressive people. But they’re also very different from one another.”
Obviously, they come from different political parties. They have different governing styles. They even campaign differently. Can we ever forget Perrot and his half-hour lectures, complete with graphs and pie-charts? But there will be comparisons made, especially between Perry and the most recent Texan in the White House, President George W. Bush. Buchanan says Bush did have two campaign strengths that he shares with Governor Perry.
“He had a combination of a good record as governor. He had executive experience in a large state,” Buchanan said, “He had the kind of personal style and track record on issues important to Republicans that made him appealing on that basis.”
The Bush comparison also comes with what some consider the most important question Rick Perry has to answer to make a successful run for President: Is America ready for another Texan in the White House?