Get Ready: Rick Perry 2016?

Posted: Jul 08, 2013 2:25 PM
Get Ready: Rick Perry 2016?

I think many conservatives including myself tend to have short-term memories. In truth, I suspect many of us forget that before Rick Perry's infamous and ill-timed “oops” moment during a nationally televised Republican primary debate in 2011 (which in many ways delivered the coup de grace to his presidential aspirations) the Texas governor had been the Republican front-runner for months. And no one was really surprised at the time either: First, he was the governor of one of the most business-friendly and prosperous states in America; and second, he was actually a conservative. At any rate, with one national campaign already under his belt (and a newfound breadth of knowledge and experience to hopefully build upon) is the former governor ready to take the plunge again in 2016?

It’s certainly possible:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t ready to reveal his political future, but he’s not ruling out another bid for the White House in 2016.

Perry will announce what’s ahead in his political career at an event on Monday in San Antonio.

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” about the possibility of his candidacy in 2016, Perry said, “Certainly that's an option out there, but again, we’ve got a lot of work to do in this building right behind me over the course of the next couple weeks that have my focus substantially, more than even 2014 or 2016."

Perry is expected to decide whether to run next year for re-election to a fourth full term as governor, or to make another bid for the White House in 2016. If Perry runs for another term as governor he could be up against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, also a Republican.

The former presidential candidate originally planned to announce his plans by the end of June, but delayed his decision after he called the state legislature into a special session to try once bill was sidetracked by a filibuster last month by Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis that grabbed national headlines.

Of next week’s continued fight over the restrictive abortion bill, Perry expressed confidence the bill would pass despite scheduled protests on Monday.

"Texans want to protect life and that's the bottom line here," Perry said. "Calling another special session, we can be in and out of here in 10 days, get our work done.

No doubt Perry has his hands full these days; pro-abortion zealots have recently descended onto the Capitol, some of whom even chanted “Hail Satan!” last week to drown out a group of peaceful and non-confrontational pro-lifers singing a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Sickening. This is the kind of nonsense I suspect he’s now grappling with on a daily basis. Thus when he said on Fox News Sunday that he’s got “a lot of work to do” in his current position -- and therefore doesn’t have time to think about his political future -- I believe him.

But at least one problem with a Perry 2.0 campaign, I think, is that some conservatives are sick and tired of the “old breed” -- that is, the same familiar faces who ran for president last time around. My hunch is that many Republicans (and especially young people) are hungry for new candidates. Names like Rubio, Paul, Cruz -- and perhaps even Christie -- will energize the base. Put another way, if Perry were to run he’d have to compete against a new (yet untested) class of young and talented leaders. This is not to say that Perry should nip the idea of running in the bud, but it’s certainly something to consider before spending years of his life running for a political office that will be exceedingly difficult -- if not impossible -- to win.

UPDATE: Perry will not seek re-election as the governor of Texas.