The conservative Republican has long been scornful of Washington, and he says even now he doesn't wake up wanting to be president. But Perry says he also knows his wife, Anita, and others want him to run and he's getting used to the idea.
If he were to run, Perry would be a formidable contender. He's a longtime governor of Texas and has built solid conservative bonafides there. The state has been well-run and has weathered the current economic slump better than most.
And what voters may like best about him is that he doesn't apologize for being a conservative.
He branded Social Security and other New Deal programs "the second big step in the march of socialism," according to a book published last year. The "first step" was a national income tax, which he has said stands alongside the direct election of U.S. senators as a major mistake among the amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Rick Perry would likely be a formidable contender for the GOP nomination. National polls rank him in the top echelon of contenders, along the likes of Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. And while it's important to keep in mind that candidates don't often live up to their pre-announcement hype (remember Fred Thompson?), Rick Perry seems to have a longer conservative track record and the necessary fire to be a solid contender.