Rick Perry has gotten the Sarah Palin treatment since he declared his intention to run for the presidency. No surprise there. The long knives always come out for anyone who excites conservatives and could be the next President. That's not to say that Perry doesn't have flaws. He does. Like any politician who's actually governed, he's had his share of mistakes, miscues, and screw-ups. Of course, you could even say the same thing about Ronald Reagan, who's quite properly considered to be one of the best Presidents in history despite the fact that he raised taxes, signed comprehensive immigration reform, and allowed the deficit to explode under his watch.
That's not to say Rick Perry is another Ronald Reagan. Historically, men like Reagan don't come along all that often. Moreover, note that this column IS NOT an endorsement of Rick Perry. Yes, he'd be a strong candidate, but he's not the only strong candidate in the race, nor is the field necessarily set yet. If, however, Perry does end up getting the nod, that's something conservatives could feel good about. Why?
1) Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! While Barack Obama and the Democratic Party were promising the country jobs that they never delivered with their failed trillion dollar stimulus package, Rick Perry was actually getting the job done in Texas. As Rick Perry himself has proudly noted, "Since June 2009, nearly 40% of the net new jobs in America have been created in Texas." Whether it's Reagan or Perry, the liberal response to those sort of phenomenal numbers is always the same, "Those are hamburger-flipping minimum wage McJobs!" But, if that's true, how can it be that Texas is the 3rd best place in America to make a living with an adjusted average income of $41,427? What our economy needs is a lot less socialism and a lot more Rick Perry.
2) Governors make better candidates than members of Congress. There are reasons why only 3 sitting Senators (Harding, Kennedy, Obama) and one sitting Congressman (Garfield) have ever been elected President. First and foremost among them is that most people hate the politicians in Washington -- and for good reason. Right now, the approval rating of Congress is hovering around 10%. Is that really the fetid swamp we want to pluck someone out of to challenge Obama?