In the beginning, I came into the 2012 GOP presidential season ready to get rid of Obama but the candidates were unknowns, slightly nuts, perpetually running for president, or Ron Paul; people that I didn’t know could make it to the Oval Office, or who didn’t need to. At the debate in Iowa, I thought that everyone was basically mouthing conservative shibboleths (when Newt and Santorum stand out in the debate, it’s very bad). I had watched Perry’s announcement on TV, but to me he still was another relatively unknown. He had a good speech, but rhetoric isn’t everything. Aside from a few posts on Redstate, I knew nothing of the man personally or policy-wise other than “He’s from Texas” and “Texas is where the jobs are”.
After Perry had announced, everyone began to attack him: the liberal establishment, the GOP establishment, the Paulites, the Palinsitas, the media This piqued my curiosity, since a person is judged by his enemies; if everyone hates him, he’s either the political equivalent of a skunk or he’s doing something right.
I heard some stories in the press about Perry’s Texas policies (TTC, HPV vaccine, the so-called ‘Dream Act), but I was willing to let the man explain at his first debate. Then came…the line: “…heartless” Cringe. Facepalm. Granted, I’m a little more squishy on immigration policy than some here, but Perry’s comment fell into the “if you have to explain it, you’ve lost 50% +1 of your voting public” category. With research (provided in part by Redstate diarists) I came to understand his positions, I still was uneasy about them, but I did take away the fact that Perry believes in doing the will of the people and in the rule of law. This last point is especially important as the current administration has a flagrant disregard for the law and the will of the people.
I continued leaning towards Perry, but I was also looking at Cain (an unknown) and Gingrich ( “of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are ‘he might have been’). Michelle Bachmann (who I had seen at Eagle Forum, and had some respect for), went into histronics over a seemingly non-issue (the HPV vaccine) while ignoring her own record; I basically lost most of my respect for her. Over a period of about 1,5 months, the other candidates (with the exception of Gingrich) have commenced to pile-on Perry for no other reason than being Perry. Cain went to the lengths of saying that he would support Romney over Perry, gave credence to Perry’s campground story in a racially tinged manner without investigating the facts, and said that he would be VP for anyone but Perry (interesting behavior for an associate Baptist minister).
Although I might point out that Perry came into this race expecting to wipe the floor with his competition, he has displayed more graciousness and character than I would have under similar circumstances. I daresay that he is better than Palin; Palin faced only liberals with an army of rabid supporters at her back, while Perry faced the MSM and the circular firing squad ALONE. And in the end, we are all alone.
So why do I support Perry?
1) Perry has created the environment for economic success in spite of a recession and a hostile federal government.
2) Perry shows respect for the rule of law and the will of the people.
but above all
3) Perry is a man of character.
I will always view Perry as a man (as I’m uncomfortable with some of his record) and I will work to ensure more conservatives are elected to Congress to control his wilder impulses, but Perry has my vote for the 2012 GOP nomination.