When the economy began to slide under George W. Bush and then cratered complete with Barack Obama entering the White House, Texas’s economy stayed strong. When the summer of recovery saw more and more Americans leaving the workforce, Texas saw more and more people going to work. In fact, if Texas were not a hotbed of economic activity in the past six years, Barack Obama would not be able to claim even the meager successes he claims because those successes belong not to him, but to Texas. And during all that time Texas was led by one man — Governor Rick Perry.
It was telling in 2012, before Perry began to stumble, that the national press corps poured out considerable ink to tell people that Perry really had nothing to do with Texas’s job growth. At the same time, liberal writers in Texas were telling anyone who would listen just what a Potemkin Village Perry was running. They were scared of his economic record compared to Obama’s.
All of this makes for the singular reason Republican voters should be compelled to take a second look at the man who left the stage in 2012 with an “oops.” Then, Perry suffering through the recovery of back surgery and the pain that went with it. Now he is suffering to tear out of the gate and show he is not the guy we saw on stage in 2012.
I spoke with Rick Perry for my radio program. He has an upcoming announcement on his intentions, but it is clear what he intends. We talked about those intentions, what he learned from 2012 (don’t campaign after back surgery), and how 2016 will be different.
One thing worth pointing out with Perry is the generational shift in the country. Rick Perry and, if he really runs, [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ] will be the only candidates who have served in the military. For Perry, it goes beyond his own service. He also served as an engaged leader of Texas’s own national guard, sending it to the border to secure it when President Obama would not.
Of the candidates who have run before, Perry arguably has the best case for running again. He also has the most impressive jobs creation record of anyone who will run. But there is one other thing he has. Having been through the rodeo before, he has spent the last couple of years studying up preparing for his second rodeo. Whether the voters do take a second look at Perry is to be seen. But his record in Texas suggests they should.
You can hear my full interview with Governor Perry in the Soundcloud link above.