Daniel Doherty

After an event filled weekend that ended with Michele Bachmann winning the Ames Straw Poll and Tim Pawlenty ending his once promising presidential campaign, Rick Perry has officially emerged as one of the most formidable contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination.

While the nation struggles with record deficits and staggering unemployment, Rick Perry’s candidacy seems to be gaining traction. His new campaign video – which has ostensibly been used to broaden his appeal among primary voters – underscores why he might have what it takes to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012.

Although the video outlines the gravity of our economic decline and growing need for a new chief executive, it is significant because unlike typical campaign advertisements, it highlights Governor Perry’s humble beginnings and rise to prominence. Born into a working class family of farmers in rural Texas, Governor Perry went on to graduate from college and serve as a Captain in the United States Air Force.

After completing his service, he returned to Texas, married his high school sweetheart, and raised a family. As a man who espouses hard work, traditional family values and a steadfast devotion to his country – Perry could become the transcendent candidate for whom undecided primary voters have been searching.

Furthermore, his long list of legislative achievements, which are profiled extensively in the video, will only help his national image and give him more name recognition.

“He’s signed six balanced budgets and an historic tax cut. He’s fought for lawsuit reforms that’s brought thousands of doctors to Texas and created jobs. He signed a loser pay law to stop frivolous law suits. And Rick Perry’s Texas has created more than 40 percent of Americans net new jobs in the last two years.”

Perry’s advertisement, which conspicuously targets his conservative base, humbly portrays him as a dynamic but humble leader who understands the problems facing America. Moreover, as a three term governor, he possesses years of successful executive experience – a factor that will undoubtedly distinguish him from the majority of his political opponents.

While it is possible to predict how he will fair in the upcoming elections, he is now certainly one of the most qualified candidates in the race, and I suspect that his impact in 2012 will be far from inconsequential.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography