When Gov. Rick Perry of Texas arrives in South Carolina on Saturday to begin his presidential campaign, he might claim any number of credentials for the country’s top office: Creator of jobs. Cutter of taxes. Defender of gun rights.
But it is a credential Mr. Perry is unlikely to highlight that could make him the most formidable entrant into the Republican primary so far: he is among the top political fund-raisers in the country, with a vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions, and he has the potential to energize a Republican donor class that has shown only limited enthusiasm for the candidates already in the race.