Giuliani / Perry '08?

Matt Lewis

9/21/2007 8:58:00 AM - Matt Lewis


The other week, I reported that Texas Governor Rick Perry might be on the short list of possible Rudy Giuliani running mates. 

This story seems to confirm that my prediction, at least, wasn't totally absurd ...   
Giuliani has also developed a bond with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom he helped win re-election last year. That groundwork could make Perry a high-profile ally in Texas, although the governor hasn't yet endorsed a presidential candidate.

Bracewell & Giuliani's political action committee gave $10,000 to Perry a year ago, just a few weeks before his re-election. Perry and Giuliani have talked in person and by telephone several times and have a good relationship, Black said.

... But Perry's Giuliani connection may represent both a bright national future for the governor, as well as trouble back home among his base:  

Bracewell & Giuliani represents a business consortium involved in the Trans-Texas Corridor, a costly, high-profile toll road pushed by Perry and opposed by farmers and ranchers.

Many Texas grassroots conservatives whom I talked to last week had clearly turned on Perry.  One of their criticisms has to do with this proposed superhighway which would go from the Mexican border to Oklahoma.    As noted above, Bracewell & Giuliani represent business interests pushing this Texas Corridor.

This is not to say that Perry has lost Texas Republicans.  A few weeks ago, I attended the Texas GOP Straw Poll.  A video of Perry was played that received tremendous applaus.  Rarely have I seen a video get applause ...

But while Perry's stock may have slipped among Texas conservative activists, these same grassroots conservatives fail to realize Perry's perception outside the state of Texas is what matters most to future VP considerations. 

This is for two reasons for this:  One, Texans will never vote for Hillary or Obama, regardless of who is on the top of the GOP ticket.  So there is no fear of losing the state.  

Second, outside Texas, at least, Perry is still highly regarded as a reliably conservative southern governor who could help a candidate like Giuliani temper his moderate image (he recently stood up to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for calling on the GOP to become more moderate).   What is more, Perry, a skilled fundraiser, could help raise lots of money from other Red states.

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