Over the last several months, amid great presidential speculation, Gov. Rick Perry has had a much larger presence in national GOP politics. He increasingly finds himself balancing his duties as the state's chief executive with demands for appearances around the country, whether it's to speak about his book, Fed Up!, or to rile up the masses as he did at the American Conservative Union's CPAC event in February, and again at the June 18 Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
To monitor Perry's whereabouts, the Tribune has created the PerryTracker, designed to keep tabs on where the governor travels, especially as he is widely considered to be pondering a run for the White House. Our map dates back to November 2010, when Perry won his re-election bid decisively and embarked on a national book tour. We'll continue to track the cities he visits, list the purpose of those trips and provide links to video and news clips of those appearances.
It's worth noting that since November 2010, many of Perry's out-of-state travels have been directly related to his work as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. In that capacity, he is expected to stump and fundraise for GOP candidates around the country. On at least three occasions, he has combined those meetings with book signing events. The presidential buzz ramped up in late May, as the regular legislative session began to wind down and the national media's scrutiny of the GOP field — which some believe to be weak — intensified.