Gov. Perry has been in the news a great deal of late, for calling back the Texas Legislature to an emergency session to pass the legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks. Perry deserves praise for this principled, and prompt response to attempts by a pro-choice mob to disrupt the legislative process.
Several articles have commented that the controversy seems to have “energized” the governor, and makes it more likely that he will in fact decide to seek a fourth term. Though I am an admirer of Perry, and was an early supporter of his candidacy for president, I hadn’t really focused on the fact that he was considering running again. I was wondering if he would run again for the White House in 2016, and how he would fit in with what seems now to be a plethora of GOP candidates.
Perry became governor of Texas in 2000, completing the last two years of George Bush’s term, and was elected in 202, 2006, and 2010. Perry is very popular in the state, and Texas has benefited greatly from his conservative governance. I suspect that he would comfortably win a 4th term.
However, Perry should NOT run again, and conservatives should be loathe to support the idea. Conservatives overwhelmingly believe in term limits, and the mere thought of one individual serving for EIGHTEEN YEARS as governor should give us pause.
The executive branch of a government vests power with one individual. Four terms is far too long for the same person to exercise that much power. Lord Acton was absolutely correct. This is not to suggest that Perry has done anything wrong; indeed the opposite appears to be true. His administration has been relatively scandal free, other than the usual trumped-up charges by Democrats. However, it becomes more difficult to insure public integrity, especially in what would then be the ultimate term in office.
After FDR’s death early into his 4th term, the nation belatedly realized the dangers of an executive unencumbered by term limits. It is far too easy, and tempting, to use the power of the executive branch to perpetuate oneself in office.
We conservatives instinctively know this; yet we now seem willing to smile benignly at the idea of a 4th Perry term. We should know better.
I have no idea if Perry will run for the WH in 2016. I hope he does. I would probably support him again. I believe that he would be a far better candidate than last time, having once been through the wars of a national campaign.
Gov. Perry should announce as soon as possible that he is NOT running again. This will give Texas conservatives time to assess the several viable candidates who will present themselves. Indeed, Perry should also announce that he will ask the legislature next session to amend the state constitution to limit future governors to two full terms of office in total.
If he does decide to run for the WH, it is a full time job. He would be better off without having to deal with the responsibilities, and distractions of running the state, and the people of Texas would be better served with a governor totally focused on the issues they face.
But let me be absolutely clear in this regard. My objection is not about how a 4th term might impact Perry’s campaign for the WH; it is on the principle that it is wrong for one person to serve that long as governor.