Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cat. 4 Narcissism: Why would Gov. Rick Perry equate his moving problems with Galveston evacuees?

Poor Rick Perry: He's stuck in a great big house with a swimming pool


By John Kelso
Austin American-Statesman
Copyright 2008

If you squint real hard and play stupid, you can see why Gov. Rick Perry would equate his moving problems with those of the Galveston evacuees.

The Galveston folks had to move because they lost their homes to a hurricane. Meanwhile, Perry had to move to a great big house in the Estates Above Lost Creek because he lost his home for a while to a remodel. Making matters even tougher, Perry's return to the Governor's Mansion in downtown Austin has been delayed by arson.

Last week, Perry explained his anxiety about not being able to move back into the Governor's Mansion by comparing his situation to the Hurricane Ike victims.

"I absolutely understand they want to get back to their homes ... I'd like to get back to the mansion," Perry said.

Our governor sure has a way with the common man, huh?

But you can see the common thread. Perry had to move out of the Governor's Mansion to a million-dollar 4,602-square-foot home with a swimming pool and an award-winning kitchen. Meanwhile, the Galveston people had to move from their homes and travel hundreds of miles across the state to sleep on the likes of gym floors with hundreds of strangers.

By the way, Perry has an 1,100-square-foot guest house at his temporary digs. A PR-savvy governor would have stuck a couple of evacuees back there and held a press conference.

But give Perry a break. We all know the anguish that comes with having to sleep in a strange bed. Besides, the bedroom at Perry's temporary home probably has less square footage than a gym floor.

Sure, there are more people standing in line to use the john out at the evacuation center, but what the heck?

You could point out that the Perrys didn't have to travel hundreds of miles across the state in a massive traffic jam.

On the other hand, the Perrys face the Austin commute. While waiting for their mansion to be refurbished, the Perrys have to pile in a great big car with air conditioning and power windows and then travel 14 miles from their home southwest of town to get to downtown Austin.

I'll betcha sometimes they even have to sit through a light.

While the Perrys are waiting to go home, the state is paying their $9,900-a-month rent. Meanwhile, the evacuees are waiting to go home, to see if they still have one.

When the evacuees go home, they face the possibility of rodents, raw sewage, a curfew and no electricity. When Perry returns home, he faces the possibility of the new carpet not matching the drapes.

I wonder if Perry has ever had to live out of an Igloo cooler? Probably only while fishing.

John Kelso's column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 445-3606 or jkelso@statesman.com.

© 2008 Austin American-Statesman:www.statesman.com

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