Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Forget liberals, many conservatives learning more about Perry get the feeling they’ve been had... And so they have."

Perry's new strategy: keep quiet


Lee Wolverton. Executive Editor
Amarillo Globe-News
Copyright 2011

Having shifted his campaign by force of raw vacuity from ascendancy to earthward plunge, Rick Perry is contemplating a compelling new strategy plainly superior to current devices.

He might skip upcoming presidential debates. There is risk in this, of course, principally that his absence will go unnoticed, or that it might be welcomed. The same soon might apply to his higher ambitions.

Presidential timber is cut from softer wood these days than it was when men named Lincoln, Roosevelt or Truman roamed the halls of the house that Adams built. Over the past 20 years, the leaders of the free world have included two ex-governors, one with the libido of a teenage boy and another with the vocabulary of a boy far younger. The former was eminently preferable to the current titleholder, a political neophyte groping in darkness while the country teeters.

Yet Perry stands in the shadows of each of these men.

Even Barack Obama’s critics, who give him credit for little, concede his skill as a campaigner. Perry lacks this, but that’s not necessarily what makes him off-putting. George W. Bush was an awkward debater and clumsy speaker — Gomer Pyle would have done better on the stump — but won twice.

What perturbs about Perry is a feeling that’s long prevailed in some corners of Texas but is now creeping over the rest of the Republican electorate, especially the governor’s badly needed conservative base, that he’s more huckster than ideologue, a damning sentiment if one hopes to win on values. Perry increasingly looks like the traveling evangelist for whom the jig is up. The debates have opened the curtain on Perry, and the people peering behind it don’t like what they see.

Forget liberals, many conservatives learning more about Perry get the feeling they’ve been had.

And so they have.

A reasonable examination of the governor’s record does not just chink his ostensible conservative armor; it applies a blow torch. His controversial push for the mandatory administration of the HPV vaccine to girls and his ties to its manufacturer are only a couple of the blights. He espoused a network of privatized toll roads and the use of eminent domain to seize rural farmland to make it happen. He drove through a business tax increase that small businesses called a “job-killer.”

The list is longer than Santa’s. Conservative Texans can recite it by rote. This explains why many Republicans whose conservative credibility is far stronger than Perry’s offer him only tepid backing. Still, there’s more to the phenomenon of Perry’s slide than his sale of political bills of goods.

Mitt Romney, the re-emerging GOP frontrunner, must explain to voters that government-run health care was acceptable in Massachusetts when he signed legislation into law as governor but is abominable as it’s been signed into law by Obama as president. It sounds like something out of an Abbott and Costello routine: “I’ve got shoes on … don’t mean I’m walkin’.”

But somehow Romney has explained it sufficiently well enough that he’s retained his place atop the polls despite the rippling unease he and his positions create.

Here is where Perry’s campaign has been at its most abysmal. Many of the thorniest questions he’s encountered should have been anticipated. When they came in debates following his entry into the race, Perry should have been prepared. Instead, he appeared dumbstruck.

Recently, it occurred to him that he ought to hire veterans of presidential campaigns to help him with his. One wonders why that notion didn’t strike him the moment he determined to run. He proposed a flat tax last week, conveniently following the rise of Herman Cain on his 9/9/9 plan. Perry spoke out against Texas allowing specialty license plates featuring the Confederate flag, requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which he previously supported.

Each of those moves hinted at a man in desperation, and no man is more desperate than a politician who’s sinking. Perry possesses enough campaign money to remain in the race long after it becomes apparent that he does not belong.

Whatever his fate, the governor has proved that his time as president is not now. To alter that conclusion, Perry needs to scrub away the political unction and determine not only who he is and that for which he stands but also how best to convey that image to the American people. That, ultimately, is a strategy far better than simply hiding until the next debate ends.

© 2011 Amarillo Globe-News:

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Friday, October 28, 2011

"It's gotten so bad people in Louisiana are actually starting to make Texas jokes."

Why Rick Perry's presidential bid is toast

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is utterly incapable of running for president.


By James Carville
Copyright 2011

Rick Perry is really starting to annoy me.

When Rick Perry announced he was running for president back on August 13, to tell you the truth I got a little excited.

Now I know what you're thinking -- James you are a big Democrat, why on earth would you be excited about Perry running for president? And as Ricky used to tell Lucy -- I got some 'splainin to do.

This was my thinking: Perry would get in and he would be a major force. After all he was governor of the state of Texas, great hair, been around politics for a while.

He was the bona fide conservative complete with a pedigree to take on Romney. A giant fight to the death would ensue and they would bludgeon each other half to death -- you get the picture.

Honestly, I enjoy nothing more than two Republicans going after each other. Secondly, when politics is interesting it is actually good for me. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a cable television commentator -- the more interesting the campaign, the more coverage, the more I'm on TV -- you get the drift.

Also, as some of you may be aware of, I've been known to give a speech or two in return for remuneration. The people that plan these sorts of things generally hire more political speakers when politics is interesting and in turn I'll make more money and then John Boehner and Eric Cantor will start referring to me as a job creator.

With the way things are shaping up now, the event planners might be more inclined to take a motivational speaker, a magician, or a square dance troop. Hey Rick -- you are costing me airtime and money.

Third, there is a dirty little secret about political people that I'm going to share with you. These political people include operatives, politicians, volunteers, bloviators, journalists, pundits, columnists, staffers -- we actually like politics and campaigns.

Maybe you, like me, are a baseball fan. If you are, you want seven games because you actually like baseball. The same goes for politics -- if you really love it, you hope for a good race that goes on and you enjoy watching people who are skilled at doing this.

It is literally painful to watch Rick Perry as a candidate. The case could be made that Rick Perry is the worst debater to ever run for president.

As far as I know he can't even give a good speech. His appearance before the uber-right-winged Values Voters Summit was universally trashed.

Not only can he not give an interview, he can't even roll out his stupid flat tax plan. He steps all over it by saying, "Oh by the way, it's optional anyway." He has managed to couple the flat tax with the IRS bureaucracy in one sentence. Way to go Rick.

I'll be blunt with all you Perry supporters, it's time to butter your guy because he's toast. Every day it's a new dumb thing. From birtherism, to convoluted tax policy, to inarticulate attacks, to woeful ignorance and even stupidity on foreign policy (Pakistani country? Please), to placing his wife under such stress that she is lashing out at everything around her.

Not only is Rick Perry utterly incapable of running for president, he can't run his state, and in fact can't meet the basic requirement for any politician -- he can't even run his mouth.

As if he hasn't made a big enough fool of himself, he decides to go out and have lunch with Donald Trump and falls for the birther strategy. Good God, can this guy do anything? I guess I should be fair to him, he has shown that he can get the same people he gave contracts to as governor of Texas to contribute to his campaign. Wow, what an achievement.

To tell you the truth, it's gotten so bad people in Louisiana are actually starting to make Texas jokes.

If this thing gets any worse the people in Mississippi will be making Texas jokes -- then you've really hit rock bottom.

Rick, you have managed to embarrass yourself and irritate the hell out of me. So I guess you are good at something after all.

PS: See where the media is reporting that Perry is "retooling" his campaign. I think their problem is with the Indian, not the arrow.

© 2011 CNN:

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Rick Perry's the governor of Texas. He's elected. That other stuff doesn't matter -- however disgusting it might have been."

Rick Perry, Gunslinger? More Like Mudslinger!

"It's fun to poke at him a little bit."
--Rick Perry, explaining his recent comments about President Obama's birth certificate

"I like 'fun,' too."
--Rick Horowitz, sitting down to write his latest column


Rick Horowitz
The Huffington Post
Copyright 2011

Just so you know, I don't have a definitive answer about whether Rick Perry is a sexual predator.

I'm not saying he is a sexual predator -- I'm just saying I can't be sure one way or the other. That's for other folks to decide.

For one thing, I haven't seen Rick Perry's rap sheet, so even if he's got "sexual predator" written there in big red letters, I haven't seen it. Or his records may even be sealed by now, so nobody can see them -- I understand they do that sometimes, if it happened a while ago, for instance, or if it would be too embarrassing for all the facts to be made public. So there'd be no way of saying for sure.

I'm kidding! I don't have a clue about Rick Perry being a sexual predator. It's just a good issue to keep alive -- you know, to have out there. But it's a distractive issue, which is why I'd hardly have anything to say about it except for the media being so interested in Rick Perry's criminal record all the time.

I'd rather be talking about jobs -- and anyway, if Rick Perry says he's never been a sexual predator, or never been convicted of being a sexual predator, I have no reason to think otherwise. I'm perfectly willing to take him at his word -- at least until the evidence is out there to contradict him.

But that hasn't happened yet -- who knows if it'll ever happen? -- so we have to take his denials at face value. If he doesn't want to open up his records, that's his decision. If he doesn't want to put the whole sexual predator thing to rest once and for all -- look, that's just one of the things the voters will have to weigh.

Just kidding! Everyone needs to lighten up! What voters are focused on is jobs, and nothing but jobs, which is why I keep talking about jobs every chance I get. Whatever some guy may have done in his private life, I don't think the voters are particularly interested in that. Rick Perry's the governor of Texas. He's elected. That other stuff doesn't matter -- however disgusting it might have been.

Personally, I don't have a criminal rap sheet, so it's an easy one for me to be completely open about. Maybe Rick Perry feels differently about it -- you'd have to ask him. You're good reporters -- why don't you go ask him?

That's a joke! I know you're not reporters! Jeez, can't a fella inject a little levity into the conversation once in a while without everybody getting so hot and bothered and serious?

You want to know what's serious? Here's what's serious: jobs. Everybody's looking for jobs, from the factory worker to the guy on the rig to the detectives who used to work in the sex-crimes units in some of our biggest states, like Texas. Maybe Rick Perry will tell us how those people are supposed to feed their families -- or how they're supposed to deal with sexual predators running loose in our communities.

But if he says that's not his concern -- hey, who am I to say any different? Rick Perry will have to answer for himself.

And the rest of you need to get a sense of humor!

© 2011 The Huffington Post:

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"The privatized law enforcement arrangement creates a dynamic where the companies end up lobbying for the creation of more violations"

Study Questions Wisdom of Privatized Law Enforcement

Public interest think tank issues report critical of existing practices for red light camera use.


Copyright 2011

An estimated sixty million Americans live in a jurisdiction monitored by an automated ticketing machine. According to a report released today by the left-leaning US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), the trend of privatizing law enforcement raises a number of issues that put the public in those areas at risk.

"Pitfalls can arise when contracts encourage vendors to treat automated traffic enforcement systems as a profit center: by maximizing the number of tickets written, regardless of the impact on public safety; by limiting the ability of governments to set traffic safety policies according to community needs; or by constraining the ability of cities to terminate contracts early in the event that automated enforcement systems are rejected by the electorate or fail to meet safety goals," the study explained.

Under severe budgetary pressures, local jurisdictions often sign contracts with vendors that were presented with a slick marketing campaign. Such deals often contain extremely unfavorable terms. The public is hurt by per-ticket payment systems -- often disguised with "cost neutral" contract language -- that ensure that the system is designed to maximize revenue, not safety. Such provisions provide a monetary incentive to increase the number of tickets issued. That leads to other provisions prohibiting cities from lengthening yellow light duration to improve safety and requiring right on red ticketing and ticket approval quotas.

"Many automated traffic law enforcement contracts create risk by penalizing municipalities or leaving them exposed to costly and disruptive lawsuits in the case of early termination of the contract, leaving taxpayers on the hook even if the camera system fails to meet community objectives," the study noted. "Contract terms that keep municipalities locked in with heavy cancellation fees or threaten them with expensive litigation if they change their minds are not in the best interests of the public."

The report's authors suggested the privatized law enforcement arrangement creates a dynamic where the companies end up lobbying for the creation of more violations. In Florida, for example, red light camera companies employed forty lobbyists at a cost of over $2 million to kill legislation that would have mandated longer yellow signal times and that would have otherwise limited the use of photo ticketing. Both Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) have created front groups to create the appearance that these corporate efforts have "grassroots" support.

The study concluded with recommendations about the way to structure a red light camera program "free from potential conflicts of interest." No such principles are adhered to by any existing photo ticketing program.

A copy of the study is available in a 1mb PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead (US Public Interest Research Group, 10/27/2011)

© 2011

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"TxDOT is making decisions, based solely on increasing revenues to its own coffers and those of a private corporation at taxpayer expense."

New designation for I-10 will steer drivers onto tollway


Terri Hall
Copyright 2011

At its last meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission quietly passed a Minute Order authorizing the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to implement a dual designation of I-10 in Seguin to I-410 in San Antonio and eventually to I-35 (53 miles total) as State Highway 130. The Minute Order is a pay-off to Spain-based Cintra whose tollway, which begins at I-10 in Seguin and connects up with the publicly-operated segments of SH 130 tollway that ends at I-35 in Georgetown, will greatly profit from the visibility as it seeks to entice drivers to its two segments of the tollway (segments 5 & 6).

Motorists who unwittingly think they’re going to continue on a freeway from the I-10/SH 130 leg will get a rude awakening when they’re stuck out in Seguin with no way north unless they proceed on Cintra’s privately operated toll road.

The public private partnership (P3) contract awarded to Cintra and San Antonio-based Zachry in March of 2007 also gives the private corporations the ability to penalize TxDOT for the expansion of free routes surrounding its tollway through a non-compete clause (see Exhibit 17).

Since TxDOT has a share in the toll revenues on SH 130, if it sends more traffic to Cintra’s toll road, which the dual designation with free portions of interstates 10 and 410 are clearly designed to do, it will benefit from the move.

So now our highway department is making decisions, not based on safety or congestion relief, but based solely on increasing revenues to its own coffers and those of a private corporation at taxpayer expense.

Highways are a monopoly by their very nature, privately-owned tollways even more so given the non-compete clauses. So TxDOT’s move, announced on a day when it knew all the attention would be on the announcement of its new Executive Director, Phil Wilson, slipped in this controversial, profit-driven, monopolistic designation under the radar.

Well, now it’s officially ‘on the radar.’

SH 130 so empty a plane used it for emergency landing!

SH 130 is the only portion of Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35 that will ever be built. So this tollway has been under a shroud of controversy from day one. TxDOT’s portion of SH 130 (roughly 49 miles called known as segments 1-4) is also presently a net loser for the state. It has required $100 million taxpayer bailout to date, nearly 70% more than originally planned. That’s right, TxDOT PLANNED for a net loss on this road for the entire life of the debt, and they’ve been dipping into gas taxes to subsidize it since its opening. It’s so empty, a distressed plane landed on it during RUSH HOUR. It’s become the poster child of Rick Perry’s failed toll road policy in Texas.

Cintra is manipulating the main north-south route through our state, I-35, for its own personal profiteering -- and our highway department that has a fiduciary duty to the public is complicit in it, especially since TxDOT is in a sea of red ink on its portion of SH 130.

Just when you think things couldn’t get more outrageous... TxDOT’s I-35 Advisory Committee that issued a report to be unveiled at tomorrow’s monthly Commission meeting, proposes converting existing I-35 into the SH 130 tollway and designating existing SH 130 as the new I-35.

Such a move would require a change to both federal and state law, but that’s never stopped TxDOT’s raw ambition for sucking as money out of Texas motorists as possible. This is why an UN-elected board of appointees ought NEVER to have the ability to impose taxes. It’s this taxation without representation that precipitated the American Revolution and now the subsequent toll tax revolt in Texas.

Most state lawmakers that have caught wind of this Minute Order and dual designation of I-10 as SH 130 are shocked but not surprised. One quipped, “Will this nonsense at TxDOT ever end? I’ll answer my own question. Not until Rick Perry is no longer the Governor.” Until then, expect an endless, unaccountable runaway toll tax gravy train to continue at Perry’s highway department.

© 2011

Perry campaign flounders outside of its Texas-sized bubble

Perry says debating was his biggest mistake

Actually, his biggest mistake was saying that debating was his biggest mistake...

Paul Burka
Texas Monthly
Copyright 2011

It says so much about who Rick Perry is–unsure of himself and afraid to face the public except in situations he controls, and yet arrogant at the same time. Doesn’t he realize that refusing to debate would have been even worse than debating? Ducking debates sends the public a message that you do not think that their opinion matters and shows a lack of respect for the great quadrennial exercise of choosing a leader for the nation.

His comment on Fox News was, “All they’re interested in is stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people.” Damn right “they” are–”they” being the media. The value of stirring things up, of course, is that the public can see candidates in unscripted moments, as when Perry made his gaffe that people who don’t support the Dream Act “don’t have a heart.”

In his races in Texas, Perry could put the campaign engine in cruise control and leave it there.
  • He could arrange things so that all his speeches were to friendly audiences.
  • He could address the Realtors (as I heard him do) with full confidence that he would get a loud, enthusiastic ovation, and bask in the prearranged applause.
  • He could surround himself with his security entourage, to ensure that he would not have to answer questions from impertinent reporters.
  • He could refuse to visit with editorial boards and he could concoct phony excuses for refusing to debate, such as the failure of his 2010 Democratic opponent, former Houston mayor Bill White, to release his taxes.
Presidential campaigns are different. You can run from debates, but you can’t hide.

No serious presidential candidate can get away with ducking debates these days. He would reveal himself or herself as someone with deep insecurities about how he matches up with his rivals.

Perry would much prefer the kind of campaign he can run in Texas, where he can speak to friendly audiences and then head out the back door without answering questions from the pesky media.

Just imagine if Perry had said at the start of the presidential campaign what he said in Texas in 2010: He wasn’t going to debate unless Bill White released his taxes, and he made such stipulations for Romney and Bachmann and Gingrich and Paul. In Texas, he could play out the farce in which Mark Miner’s daily press release was about how many days White had gone without releasing his taxes.

People who read or heard Perry’s remarks, made on Fox News, are going to draw the obvious conclusion that Perry didn’t want to debate because he wasn’t informed on the issues and was afraid that he would expose his lack of knowledge.

In Texas, Perry was invincible. He controlled the entire government, right down to a compliant Supreme Court that would shield his travel expenditures from public view. He could refuse to debate his rivals–or, as in 2006, when he did participate in a debate, he left immediately afterward, without staying for what was supposed to be a Q and A with the media. State Senator Tommy Williams and a smirking aide stood in for Perry.

So here’s the question: Will Perry participate in the remaining debates? Do his remarks on Fox signal that he intends to run as he did in Texas, finding an excuse to avoid debates? It’s a Hobson’s choice, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.


POLITICO is reporting that the Perry campaign has said that he is going to the Nov. 9 debate in Michigan, but after that he is a question mark for some of the glut of face-offs after that.

From the POLITICO article:

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the issue is using time wisely, and noted their campaign is not alone in that.

“I think all the campaigns are expressing frustration right now,” Miner told POLITICO. “We said we would do Michigan but the primaries are around the corner and you have to use your time accordingly.”

* * * *

The schedule does give Perry an excuse to skip some debates. But, having made his comment that his biggest mistake was debating, he will be under even more scrutiny when he next steps on a stage. And I stand by what I wrote above: “It’s a Hobson’s choice: damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.”

What to look for: Perry will probably do something he should have been doing all along, which is to run positive media, particularly about the border. The downside is that, unlike a state campaign, paid media doesn’t accomplish much in a national campaign. The public has seen the candidates on live TV, and those images will be last longer in the voters’ minds than paid spots on television. Then he will do a lot of meet-and-greet events as the primaries approach. Perry is very good at these, but the best he can hope for from the networks is a few soundbites.

© 2011 Texas Monthly:

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"A corporation is not a person until Texas executes one!"

'We The People,' Not 'We The Corporations'


Jim Hightower
National Memo
Copyright 2011

A year from now, Americans will be caught in an unprecedented blizzard of presidential campaign ads. We'll be blinded by the whiteout and buried in the storm's negativity.

For the first time ever, most of this ad blizzard will not come from the candidates, but from ads secretly funded by huge corporations. This is because a five-man cabal on the Supreme Court issued an edict last year that perverts nature itself. In a case titled Citizens United, the five decreed that -- shazam! -- lifeless corporate entities are henceforth "persons" with more electioneering rights than ... well, us real-life persons.

In a black-robed coup against our democracy, the Supremes ruled that a corporation's money is "speech" and that CEOs may dump unlimited sums of it into their own ad campaigns to elect or defeat any candidates they choose.

Of course, Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil and the rest are nothing but legalistic constructs -- really just pieces of paper issued by state governments. It's a grotesque, Kafkaesque lie to say they are equal to -- much less superior to -- human beings. As a friend of mine puts it, "A corporation is not a person until Texas executes one!"

The good news is that real citizens of our country are united against Citizens United. In a January Hart Research poll, 87 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of independents and even 68 percent of Republicans favor passing a constitutional amendment to overrule the Court's bizarre decision and make clear that only people are people.

Sadly (though not surprisingly), our national elected officials -- including Republicans, Democrats and tea partiers -- are too hooked on corporate money to stand up for us ... for America's democracy. So, do we just have to surrender to the corporados? Of course not -- we're Americans!

Rebel! A new "We the People Campaign" is rallying grass-roots folks to sign a "Declaration of Independence From Corporate Power." To sign the declaration and join the action, go to

In response to the Supreme Court's freakish decision to bestow political "personhood" on corporations, I got an email from a guy named Larry, screaming that "big money has plucked our eagle!"

Yes, it has -- and the Powers that Be want us to believe there's nothing we can really do about it. Rather than actually trying to undo this theft of our people's democratic authority, they tell us to be satisfied with a few tangential regulations, like maybe requiring corporations to disclose how much they're spending on campaigns. Now there's a weak stand for democracy: "Give us campaign finance reporting regulations, or give us death!"

Come on, we're bigger than that. Here are just a few actions for real change that ordinary Americans can take, teaming up with others right where you live:

AMEND. Two major coalitions are organizing coast to coast to overturn the courts corporate money edict. One is, and the other is -- and both have action kits for raising the issue locally, petitions to be circulated, video and other good graphics to educate people in your community, and a wealth of other organizing ideas.

LOCALIZE. Pass your own local and state laws to stop the wholesale corporate purchase of our government. These include outlawing any corporate claim of personhood in your area, providing the alternative of public financing for your local and state elections, and banning campaign donations by corporations that try to get government contracts and subsidies. For information and help, check out and

CONFRONT. Yes, get in the face of power. Go see candidates to ask where they stand on corporate personhood, and demand that top executives of big corporations located in your area publicly agree not to send corporate cash on your elections. You can get more info at

Remember, the Constitution plainly says "We the People," not "We the Corporations."


© 2011 National Memo:

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"To see Rick Perry's real weaknesses as a candidate, talk to Texas conservatives...the 49% who didn't vote for him in the 2010 gubernatorial primary."

The truth about Perry, straight from Texas

Texas conservatives knew of Perry's flaws


By Jonathan Gurwitz
San Antonio Express-News
Copyright 2011

For a good number of Republicans outside of Texas, the idea of Rick Perry as their presidential standard-bearer was alluring.

Here was the kind of rock-ribbed, fiscal conservative who could tame Washington and send Barack Obama and his debt-busting, job-destroying, anti-business policies packing.

Before he had ever spoken a word on the national stage, Perry entered the GOP presidential race at the top. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of Republican primary voters conducted in August showed the Texas governor leading the GOP field with 38 percent support, 15 points ahead of his closest opponent, Mitt Romney.

In the intervening two months, Perry has spoken plenty, and his popularity among Republican voters has plummeted. In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Perry's support has fallen to 16 percent. He now trails both Romney and businessman Herman Cain.

The idea of Rick Perry, it seems, was a lot more enticing than the reality of Rick Perry. Republicans who are now leaping off the Perry bandwagon as quickly as they jumped on in August could have avoided electoral whiplash if they had simply listened to people in Texas.

Not to Democrats, many of whom -- after two decades -- still haven't gotten over the fact that their century-long stranglehold on Texas politics is over. Rick Perry could support in-state tuition rates at Texas universities for the children of illegal immigrants and they would still call him an anti-Hispanic extremist. He did, and they do.

To get a sense of Rick Perry's real weaknesses as a candidate, talk to Texas conservatives. Talk to the ones who didn't vote for him in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

In that election, Texas Republicans gave Perry a bare majority -- 51 percent. Yet the Texas economic engine was humming then.

So for what can Perry take credit?

  • For championing the now defunct Trans Texas Corridor, a 4,000-mile transportation network that would have required state seizure of as much as 600,000 acres of private property?
  • For running the state's Emerging Technology Fund in a way that the state auditor said required greater transparency and accountability and which awarded millions to companies owned or run by large Perry donors?

Rick Perry isn't the bumbling bigot his liberal detractors make him out to be. He shares credit with other Republican leaders for creating a business-friendly, low-tax, pro-growth environment.

But after 11 years, Texas Republicans know their governor pretty well. The half of them who didn't vote for Perry in the 2010 primary could have told their GOP brethren in other states about his flaws, in addition to his allure.

© 2011 San Antonio Express-News:

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