The longest-serving governor in the history of Texas announced in an airplane hangar outside Dallas today that he’s taking the plunge for the second time, joining a seemingly bottomless pool of Republican 2016 presidential wanna-bes.
Perry will promote a populist message centered around his executive experience as a governor, job creation, social conservatism and an anti-cowboy boot/pro-stylish eyewear platform.
“I know that America has experienced great change. but what it means to be an a American has never changed,” Perry said in his announcement, adding that in the U.S., our rights come from “God, not the government.”
Perry predictably also took shots at President Barack Obama during the speech, calling his administration an “era of failed leadership,” and claiming that “the world has descended into a chaos of this president’s own making.”
This morning before the announcement Perry launched a fancy new website, and this campaign video:
Perry also rolled out his new campaign symbol, which kind of looks like something an eighth-grader named Paul would put together with Clipart for his student council run:
Perry is far from the only candidate with Texas ties (Sen. Ted Cruz has been on the trail for months, avoiding the Senate floor like the plague). But he does have the distinction of being the only person in the race who’s been indicted for abusing the power of his office.
While governor, Perry threatened to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit if the unit’s leader, Travis County District Attorney, did not step down. Lehmberg was convicted of drunk driving.
Perry has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and liberal and conservative observers alike have said that the charges look flimsy. But at least it netted us this mug shot:
Perry will try to make voters forget about the missteps of his previous campaign, which started out promising before flaming out in a November 2011 GOP debate. Perry, infamously, couldn’t remember the name of the final federal agency he’d axe if elected.
Perry insists he’s more prepared this time around. He’s spent months studying with policy experts, and stumping in early primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
But he’s got lots of ground to make up. Most polls show him hovering around 3 percent in the polls. The first GOP debate, sponsored by Fox News, will feature just the top-10 polling candidates, and Perry will have to hit the trail hard to make sure he’s included.
And although another ‘Oops’ moment would make for tremendous blog fodder and late-night parody, as Texans, we say just don’t embarrass us, Rick.