Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2012 Contender: Rick Perry

Let’s continue the 2012 Contender series with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Frankly, I don’t entirely know what to make of Perry. He’s clearly a hardcore Christian conservative well outside the mainstream of American thought on social issues. He generally appears to be a fiscal conservative. But his fiscal record seems rather short and indifferent for a man who has run the state for 11 years. This makes me wonder whether he is a conservative reformer or just a caretaker governor in a conservative state?

1. The Politician: Perry is clearly a politician’s politician. He’s changed his views several times to match changes in Texas voting patterns, going so far as to change his party from Democratic to Republican in 1998. Disturbingly, he was the chairman of Al Gore’s Texas campaign in 1998. In 1999, he became the first Republican Lieutenant Governor in Texas history, having previously served in the legislature since 1984. In 2000, he became governor when George Bush left for the White House.

In his time in office, he’s been quite willing to engage in politics with his appointments, having appointed both moderates and conservatives, having put up challengers to people he doesn’t like, and having appointed opponents to get them out of the way. He’s also adept at pushing painful decisions into the future by, for example, using bonds that don’t mature until after his term rather than tax hikes to pay for projects, i.e. deficit spending. He now claims to be a Tea Party supporter.

2. Economics: In economics, Perry is what you expect from an average red state governor: largely fiscally conservative with the realities of state governance sometimes superseding principle. Interestingly, there is nothing monumental here and certainly no big ideas that might tell us what he would do with the bloated federal government designed by blue staters:

Taxes: Perry resisted creating an income tax, resisted increasing the state sales tax, and resisted increasing the cigarette tax. But he has increased user “fees,” added surcharges to traffic tickets, and has borrowed $2 billion in road bonds. In 2006, Perry signed a $15.7 billion property tax cut, but he also increased the state franchise tax, which many claim is a backdoor way of creating an income tax. In 2001, Perry asked Congress to let Texas impose a tax on internet sales -- Texas loves taxing out-of-staters. But last month he vetoed a bill that would have imposed this tax.

Spending Increases: In 2001, Perry convinced the legislature to increase health spending by $6 billion. Some of these programs were later cut without objection from Perry. In 2002, Perry increased education funding by $9 billion.

Stimulus: Perry turned down $555 million in stimulus money for unemployment because it would have required mandatory changes to state law. But he then applied for a $643 million federal loan to cover a shortfall in Texas’s unemployment insurance fund. Also, while playing up his refusal of the unemployment stimulus money, Perry simultaneously accepted $6.4 billion in general stimulus aid to cover a $6.6 billion budget shortfall.

Medical Malpractice: Perry supports limiting malpractice lawsuits against doctors and in 2003 sponsored a constitutional amendment that capped medical malpractice awards. This resulted in a 30% decrease in malpractice insurance rates and apparently brought more doctors to Texas.

Private Roads: In 2001, Perry proposed a $145 billion multi-lane highway from Mexico to Oklahoma. He intended to use the state's eminent domain power to grab the land and then would have a Spanish construction firm build the road at their own expense. They would earn their fee by imposing tolls. This is CATO Institute-libertarian stuff (though CATO is wrong on this point). In any event, the plan collapsed when everyone opposed it.

ObamaCare: Perry wants to repeal ObamaCare. Unfortunately, his own plan consists of tort reform (which is a drop in the bucket) and using federal money to expand services in rural areas.
3. Social Issues: Perry is clearly a hardcore-Christian social conservative and his views are on the far end of that spectrum.
Gays: Perry opposes gay marriage and civil unions. He also criticizes the Supreme Court decision striking down Texas’s sodomy law, i.e. he takes the view that states should be allowed to make gay sex illegal.

Abortion: Perry opposes abortion in all cases except rape, incest or to protect the mother’s life. He has signed bills banning late-term abortions and requiring parental notification, and has endorse a law requiring women to get a sonogram before they can have an abortion. He wants to ban stem cell research, not just federal funding of it.

Creationism: In 2006, Perry supported teaching “intelligent design” as well as evolution in schools.

Vaccineers: In February 2007, Perry issued an executive order requiring Texas girls to receive a human papolloma virus vaccine -- HPV can cause cervical cancer. The order did have an opt-out provision for parents. But the vaccine crowd attacked “the moral implications” of the order and Perry did not try to stop a May 2007 bill undoing his order.
4. Crime: Perry supports the death penalty. In June 2002, he vetoed a ban on the execution of the mentally retarded. In August 2002, he allowed the execution of a Mexican citizen despite diplomatic protests. He has supported mandatory DNA testing before executions can be allowed and the creation of standards for capital defenders. He wants the federal government to leave drug policy to the states.

5. Immigration: Perry opposes building a fence along the border as he thinks it will harm our trade relationship with Mexico. Instead, he wants the federal government to use the military and technology to “secure the border” He is particularly concerned about drug traffickers. He opposes sanctuary cities, favors issuing special drivers licenses to people here on visas so we can tell when they’ve overstayed, and implies that he wants to cut off benefits to illegals. He wants the federal government to pay all costs of illegal immigration and wants illegals who commit crimes deported. He supports Arizona’s immigration efforts and would be willing to sign a similar bill in Texas. He also wants to expand the guest worker program for the agriculture industry.

6. Environmentalism: Perry rejects global warming for lack of valid scientific proof and he rejects regulation of “greenhouse gas emissions.” He has backed incentives to research clean coal technology, and he supports an “all of the above energy strategy” including oil, coal, nuclear, biofuels, hydroelectric, solar and wind.

7. Philosophy: Perry has written two books outlining his philosophy. Don’t expect me to read either. The first (On My Honor...... (Feb. 2008)) celebrates the Boy Scouts, of which he was a member, and attacks the ACLU. The second (Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington (Nov. 2010)) discusses his support for limited central government. Perry also has endorsed a resolution supporting state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. In April 2009, he implied that Texas might secede from the union, but he backtracked in May 2009.

Perry's social conservative views raise a serious electability issue. Excluding his religious views, Perry seems like a fairly conservative politician who can generally be counted on to do the conservative thing, unless he thinks there is political gain to be had by doing something more moderate -- it’s unlikely he would do anything overtly liberal and he has demonstrated a willingness to use the veto. I am troubled, however, by the lack of any ideas in his record. He strikes me as more of a caretaker governor than someone who can be counted on to reform our bloated, abusive federal government.

Would he make a good President? Most likely. Would he make a good conservative President? Probably. Would he be the reformer we need right now? That I’m not sure.


Tennessee Jed said...

Just based on this, he doesn't move me off of Pawlenty. I suppose I should applaud somebody who is honest enough and open enough to change, but the whole "Gore" thing does worry me. Something smacks of political opportunism, there.

My second observation is the social conservatism issue. I feel so strongly that jobs and the economy is the winning issue, and that social conservatism tends to ignite the leftist base, that I prefer Pawlenty's low key approach to that of either Perry or Santorum. To use Obama's words, we know the lames stream media will play those issues up to the point where they become a "distraction." To use Clinton's slogan "it's the economy, stupid."

Koshcat said...

Hmmmm, seems like he would be more like a third Bush than anything new. Of course it is based entirely on your analysis so I am going to trust you. I don't think he is what I am looking for.

Read your analysis of the debate but I didn't watch. It is just too early to know. Actually, what is important is how those at the debate respond and polish his/her message. Don't be surprise if someone like Bachmann does a lot better. This was her first national debate. If she doesn't, she doesn't belong. Pawlenty will soon need to separate himself from Romney. Right now they are two tall, Republican white guys.

There is no way true tea party folks are going to support Romney until he verbally destroys Romney-care. Here I can write the narrative for him: "The individual states are great places for experimentation. In Mass. we changed the health care delivery with the expectation that we would cover our people better at a lower cost. Unfortunately, it is not working as well as envisioned and I think much of that has to do with allowing people to buy insurance at the last moment and too much government intervention. Obama-care was modeled on our experiment. It should have never been done without the full knowledge of our experiment. In addition, it goes even farther and is more onerous."
-basically state that his heart was in the right place and thought it would save money, but he was wrong. Not admitting the mistake is the mistake.

Tennessee Jed said...

Kosh - your plan on renunciation of "Obomney Care" is brilliant. In recognition of the fact he has a very good chance of becoming the Republican nominee, I can only urge you to send that to his campaign. Yes, they will hit you up for money, but one never knows, maybe they would actually use it. :-)

rlaWTX said...

It's a Perry kind of day in the conservative blogosphere:

I don't know that it is opportunism in changing to an R. For the longest time, TX D's were more conservative than Yankee R's. If anything, being a conservative D would have been more opportunistic in the pre-Bill Clements Texas. Until the recent political past, D's were in charge in TX. When the R's won the legislature (can't remember date - early 90s?), there was a big deal made about the first R legislature since Reconstruction - and that's a big deal indeed in the South & TX.
I think that NRO's education article makes some good points (5th paragraph- priceless!) about the "federalization" of TX state concepts.
The eminent domain thing was the biggest stick used against him in the last gov race. And the vaccination to-do was pretty upsetting to the TX Right - esp. Christian Right (and not so much because of the vaccination issue, but because the state was requiring little girls to be "protected" from an STD).
Texas gov's don't have a lot of power. But the legislature only meets 140 days every other year. So, someone has to be the "face" of every day government - and he's done a good job of that, I think. Part of the problem for Perry is "what does he do next?" He is the longest sitting gov in TX history. And I think that we have term limits. (TX govt class was a loooong time ago)
Everyone is talking about this idea around here, it seems. Speculation keeps making the front page of the Midland Reporter-Telegram and is a hot topic on talk radio.
I read the NRO education article and then came here to see if you had your article up - so, now back to NRO to read the other Perry stuff...

Unknown said...

Andrew: Thanks for clearing this up for me. I thought Perry was planning on announcing a run for the Presidency of the Texas Republic. LOL

Perry seems like a likable enough guy, but I'm going to have to see a lot more of him before I have a handle on where he's coming from and where he wants to go. As an ardent supporter of states rights and the Tenth Amendment, I still need to point out that he will be running for President of the United States, not another term as governor of the sovereign state of Texas. The job of a governor is to protect and advance the rights of his state. As President, his job is to protect the Union and exercise specifically-mandated, constitutionally-limited federal power.

Pawlenty governed as a red-state leader in a basically blue state. Perry is governing as a red-state leader in a red state. The former tests both conservative belief and political resolve, the latter does not. But let's give the guy a chance and see what he does with it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I feel the same. I am concerned there is political opportunism here and I am concerned there is no depth. I think Pawlenty gives up depth.

As an aside, Thomas Sowell basically endorsed Pawlenty yesterday, which carries a lot of weight with me. And his reason is that Pawlenty had a record of doing the conservative things we need done.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I've heard many people say that he would be a third Bush. In fact, I think Bev said that.

I personally think he's a little more conservative than Bush, but I can't disagree that he would be a potentially unpredictable place-holder if the Congress started sending him things that sounded like good ideas (like an expansion of Medicare).

I don't doubt that his insticts are conservative, but I just don't see an interest in economic/reformer ideas to match. In other words, I don't see him as a guy to propose a seriously revised tax code, or trim agencies into irrelevance, or come up with anything radical. That's why I think he would make a good conservsative president in most circumstances, but I'm just not sure about him THIS time.

I would take Perry over Romney in a heartbeat, but he would not be my first choice among the rest.

In terms of the debate, let me stress your point -- that was just the first round. Bachmann must improve and show a greater degree of comfort and coherence, or she will fail. Pawlenty must show some fire or he will fail. Romney must solve his RomneyCare issue -- and I think your proposal is a good one. Cain needs to develop political instincts. Santorum needs to start stepping out of the box and really doing something impressive to get noticed. Paul... I suspect attitudes are fixed on Paul.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and Kosh, I agree, that's absolutely the way he should play it. I guess the question is, is it too late for him to change approach? He seems to have decided that it's better to cling to it than abandon it, but you never know. It would help him if a report came out showing that costs had gone up in Mass, then he could use that as an excuse to abandon it using your formula.

BevfromNYC said...

Perry is no more or less an opportunist than any other politician. Until one gets to the state level in Texas, party politics is kind of gray which is why I am not particularly bothered by his party change. Perry wouldn't have been elected governor 2 1/2 times if the people of Texas were not pleased with him. Being a Texas Dem is not much different from being a Texas Repub.

I will mirror rlaTX's comments that the governor of Texas does not have as much power as other governors. He IS a caretaker and the people of Texas like it that way and daily face of the State government. That is why the legislature only meets every two years. There is very much a "We won't get in your way, if you don't get in our way" mentality in that Texans understand the role of "government", but don't want to encroach too much into their daily lives - Hence the flap over HPV vaccine and the other heavy handedness of Perry. But he is willing to back down when the people of Texas reject them.

That, and, of course, the entire population of the state is armed...

BevfromNYC said...

We interrupt this blog post for a Weinernews Update...

Off topic, but, someone opined that Gloria Allred hasn't surfaced in the Weiner matter. Well, she is now representing the porn star that The Weiner was sexting and said porn star is going public with their "correspondence". I believe that Rep. Weiner will shortly become "Former Rep. Weiner". He cannot possibly last the rest of the week.

You can now resume your previously scheduled commenting...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Since you're in Texas, please let us know anything we've got wrong here. I can only study Perry from a difference.

On your points. I am only slightly concerned on the opportunism thing and it doesn't just come from the switch from D to R -- that's been happening throughout the South. For me, it's more about:

1. Being Gore's campaign guy the same year he leaves the party;
2. His initial term as governor involved big spending, which he later fought;
3. Things like the internet tax where he asked for it and then vetoed it;
4. Joining the Tea Party and making a bid deal of not taking stimulus funds, when he actually took $6 billion.

You're right also that Texas has the weakest governorship in the country, but I am still concerned that since 2001, there is very, very little in the way of policies that he's proposed. I compare that with any of the other governors who were constantly proposing reforms -- good or bad. That makes me think that Perry is more of a caretaker than an activist.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Keep in mind, I'm not saying he's not conservative or that he wouldn't be a good conservative President. My concern is that he's not the guy we want THIS time as President. I think that right now we need someone who is ready to remake the Federal government and I don't see that in Perry at this point. His campaign may change that, but his record doesn't show it.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree and I think that's what the campaign will be about.

One of the things about Presidential campaigns is that each candidate has to achieve different things. Cain, for example, needs to show that he grasps politics. Romney needs to show that he understands his mistakes. Etc. Perry can't run on his record, he needs to show what he has planned for the Federal government because he's never faced anything like that -- where dark blue vested interests will fight him on every single thing he tries.

If he just gets up and says "look what I did in Texas," then he's not the guy. Because we will have no reason to think he'll be different than Bush, who essentially joined the Washington culture the moment he got to town. Perry needs to show that he's not like that and that he's got a plan to fight the establishment.

CrispyRice said...

Thanks for the overview, Andrew! And thanks for the continuing (meaningful!) coverage of all the candidates.

Unfortunately for Perry, I'm kind of the opposite conservative. I'm really keen on the financial stuff, and find the social less important. Not unimportant by any means, but if we don't have economic freedom and security, then the rest kind of doesn't matter, yanno? So, to tell the truth, your summary turns me off on him more than a little.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I see the opportunist issue as a minor one, but I also don't see it just from his party switch -- I see it from the factors I outlined in response to rlaWTX above. He seems to have a finger in the wind.

And while that's a good talent for a politician to have, it doesn't really give you comfort as a voter that he will stick to his guns. But like I say, I think that's a minor point because he strikes me as solidly conservative -- though I would be concerned that he would fall for "popular" ideas like adding a Medicare drug benefit (see, Bush).

To me, the caretaker thing is the real question. Washington is a dysfunctional place of dozens of competing interests who are not all concerned with the public good and many of whom will work hard to sabotage anything good. Perry's role as the caretaker of a small government with limited powers and a largely like-minded legislature does nothing to prepare him for Washington.

Given that he has not shown himself to be a reformer or to have any big ideas, I think he really needs to lay out his vision of what he plans to do in Washington, i.e. we can't trust him to get there and "do the right things" because he's got no record that we can look at and say "oh yeah, he's done that."

Unless he can prove that, then he would not be the guy we should trust to try to reform the government post-Obama. He would be a better VP would could take over once the reforms are in place and continue them.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Gloria Allred is a vulture, but usually only a leftist vulture. So her involvement probably means Weiner is done. Put a form in him!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, You're welcome! We aim to please. I've actually found the series very helpful in getting over my first impressions and seeing these people more for what they really bring to the table than just what their PR people put into their ads. So I will continue it to the end and then we'll build some charts or something to summarize. :-)

I absolutely agree that this election is about financial issues. People are agitated about the debt and the overreach of government. I see little or no desire to talk about social issues at the moment and I think candidates will make a mistake if they try to turn those into big issues -- though, unfortunately, getting through Iowa will require passing a few litmus tests. That's one reason the Iowa and New Hampshire lock need to be broken. They are both too narrow compared to the rest of the public and they get us off on the wrong foot.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I think you and I actually be on the same page about Perry. Frankly, I am surprised that he would want to run. My gut tells me that the country is not interested in another Governor of Texas as President right now.

It just may be that he doesn't know what to do next and why not run for President. If he doesn't announce soon, it may be that he is positioning himself for a VP nod.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I'm sorry, I forgot to address your point about social conservatism.

Pushing social conservatism in this election is a mistake, especially if it's the religious stuff like Creationism, banning stem cell research, or opposition to homosexuality (i.e. making gay sex illegal). I honestly think those issues turn the public (outside of Texas) off something fierce. Ditto on the vaccine thing. I get what Bev and rlaWTX are saying about individual rights, but vaccines just aren't a big deal for 99% of the country... you get vaccinated so that you don't become a plague carrier for everyone else. It's that simple and it's just not controversial.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, We probably are saying the same thing. I'm not saying he's not a good guy, but I'm just not sure he's the guy we want as president right now -- especially after Bush.

In terms of whether or not he can win, I get the feeling that if he jumped in today, he would be the instant front runner. People haven't settled on anyone yet and Romney is not inspiring people. So Perry would be the "new thing" and there is no doubt that he's a conservative and without the baggage of a Romney. So I suspect that people would flock to him.

So he may be thinking about running because he realizes he can win -- and that's got to be somewhat intoxicating.

T-Rav said...

Interesting evaluation, Andrew. Personally, I don't have the slightest problem with his social views, since those are more or less the same ones I hold. I can see Jed's point that tactically, it might be too much of a liability right now, but that's not necessarily a fatal objection. As long as Perry emphasizes the fiscal side of the equation, I think a lot of moderate voters will give him a pass.

Also, as rla and Bev pointed out, the switching parties isn't such a big deal in the South--most of the remaining Democrats are Republicans and don't know it. And it doesn't really bother me that he was on Gore's campaign, either: this may have just been a step in his transition. For example, I come from a family of conservative Democrats, and (although much too young to vote) I actually did support Gore in 2000. Before I get excommunicated from the site, let me just say that the only reason I did so was because I was afraid the school vouchers being pushed by Bush would cause our school and subsequently our community to dry up. I knew about Gore's positions on abortion and other issues, and had a big problem with it, and could easily have been persuaded to support Bush. Point is, just because Perry worked for the guy doesn't mean he wasn't thinking about switching parties. Again, I feel this can probably be explained away.

T-Rav said...

Oh, and all that said, I also agree that the country might not want another Texas governor as President. It depends on how far the public will still respond to the "EVIL BUSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!" card.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I do say his opportunism is a minor point. And I agree, Democrats are a dying breed in the South and the reason is that the national party has moved away from them, not vice versa, so it is natural for them to switch. But he does have a record of following the crowd, not leading the crowd. I'm not saying that's uncommon, but we are talking about comparing candidates. So if you can get someone who is a principled believer and shows no signs of wavering, compared to someone who shows signs of putting his finger in the wind, that is worth considering. That's my point.

Keep in mind, this is about choosing a candidate, not approving or disapproving each.

In terms of the social issues, I think you're right. I think that so long as he doesn't make a big deal of them, then the public won't focus on them and will instead look at economics -- but that's where he's weak. I see nothing in his record that say "fiscal reformer."

That said, if he start pushing these ideas, I can tell you that he will turn off everything outside the deep South and Iowa and Kansas.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I think the Bush problem is actually on both sides of the spectrum. The left suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome, but I know very few people on the right who don't really dislike Bush as well. And the problem for Perry isn't that both come from Texas, it's that both are offering the same thing. Bush said, "look, I was pretty conservative in Texas, so trust me" and right now Perry is saying, "look, I've been pretty conservative in Texas, so trust me."

Perry needs to break from that message and show that he's not Bush by giving us actual conservative plans for Washington. In other words, we need to see that he doesn't see the Federal government as just another state government that can fix whatever problem someone brings to his attention.

Ed said...

Andrew, Thanks for continuing the series. I'm 100% focused on economics in this election and Perry does not entice me. I want somebody with a plan to make the government smaller and more efficient and not just in budget cuts. I want to see agencies reshaped, priorities changed and the government relationship with the people returned to that of humble servant. I don't know yet who could do that. I'm still hoping for Cain. I could warm to Bachmann or Palin, but I'll wait for your take on them as I don't know much about their records. I could go to Pawlenty and I hear a lot of good things about Gary Johnson. I could even go for Ron Paul just to shake up the world in the faith that the Congress would rein in his worst instincts.

Tennessee Jed said...

You know Andrew, one of my biggest concerns about our eventual nominee was partly behind my comment regarding the liklihood of Romney becoming the Republican pick. We have discussed it before, but I think it bears repeating.

The concern is the failure of the Republican Party to have "closed" primary elections. The fact that "crossovers" can vote in primaries is absurd. Tennessee is an excellent example. You must be registered to vote to cast a ballot, whether it be (R) (D) or (I). Beyond that, the only requirement is that you must choose in which primary contest you are voting. You cannot vote in more than one.

So, assuming that Obama's fortunes do not fall so low he is challenged from within the party, there really is no Democrat primary to speak of. Instead, every liberal gets to go in and vote for the candidate they feel will be the weakest in a general election. Now I realize there can be honest debate about which candidate that might be, but the logic of it is infuriating. Too much liberal media and liberal voters involved in our party's candidate selection.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I do think there is always room for discussion of all issues, not just economic issues. But I think a focus on social issues is not wise right now and a focus on the far-right stuff will play no better with the public than the far-left stuff. The public just doesn't think in those kinds of absolute terms.

In terms of Paul, I've often wondered what would really happen if he won. I have no idea. It would be interesting, but I fear it would be bad for the country because the Congress can't stop some of the stuff he wants to do. But who knows?

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Ed, That's an excellent statement of what I'd like to see economically as well.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's long been a concern of mine as well. If I had the power, I would eliminate caucuses and the primaries would be closed to anyone not registered with the party for at least 90 days. There is no legitimate reason that people should be allowed to go mess with the other party's nomination process.

In terms of who that would help this time, I have no idea because I don't know if they will choose to vote moderate or crazy/unelectable or if enough of them will even bother?

P.S. I also think that if you register to compete in one party's primary, then you should not be allowed to change parties (e.g. to a third party) during that election cycle.

AndrewPrice said...

Unrelated, but related to the talk radio point the other day.

Everyone should check out this article about talk radio sponsorship. It is actually surprising that the hosts aren't just doing ads for their sponsors, but they are actually putting up defenses of them in their discussions, which the host may or many not really believe. It's another warning about how much trust we should put into these folks.


Writer X said...

I know it seems a minor thing (or maybe not) but why on god's green earth would he chair Al Gore's Texas campaign? A mid-life crisis?

At this point, I'll vote for just about anyone that runs against Obama. I'll watch Perry but the jury's still out on him.

P.S. to Bev: Thanks for the update on Weinergate! ;-) No doubt his next gig will be as a co-anchor on CNN or, even better, The View.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Who knows? Probably because he saw as a stepping stone to better things. I have no idea, but it seems strange that he would take such a position and then switch parties right afterwards. But as I say, that's not really the thing that bothers me.

In terms of anyone except Obama, that pretty much true with me too. He needs to go.

rlaWTX said...

great points. I think I agree strongest with Bev's "what's next" perspective, and I hadn't considered him getting himself on the VP list.

personally, I don't really want him to run for several reasons:
--I think he'd be an early "oooo, he sounds good" candidate that won't stand up to the long haul and detract from those who could;
--TX is getting hit by the economic stuff too and with a special session of the legislature just called govt needs to pay attention to TX (that's how they get around the 140 or 170 days - just make 'em stay at work til they figure it out, sometimes it gives us great things and sometimes not, and sometimes the D's move to NM);
--TX is seen as "Too" by a lot of folks (too big, too mouthy, too red, too gun, too Bush), and fighting both Obama and Bush could be a little much for even a Texan;
-- when I start hearing Tx-trashing on TV, I get irritable, and I'd like to enjoy the unseating of Obama.

I'll be honest, I don't know A LOT about Perry. I voted for him vs Kay B-H, but the details are fuzzy for me too. So, keep it up! good job!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks rlaWTX, I'm glad you're enjoying the series! :-)

I actually love the idea of having the legislature meet for only a short period of time. I think they should do that with the Congress. Those people need to get out of Washington much more and back to the rest of America.

I can imagine the trash talking would get annoying. Liberals love trashing Texas and you know they would lay it on thick.

You may be right about Perry crowding out the rest of the field. I have no doubt he would become the instant front runner and that might make some better people drop out -- or it might keep him from being challenged enough to be ready for Obama's attacks, which will be nasty.

I guess we'll see what happens though. Only he knows at the moment, but I'm sure we'll find out soon!

Joel Farnham said...


Perry would work well as a President. I don't think he will get in the way of the Tea Partiers in Congress. Reformers generally are a pain in the a##. Usually a reformer just means more government. What we need is a committed small government contender.

The reason I am not on the Pawlenty wagon is he did sign for Global Warming. I am using a filter. Any contender must have never bought into Global Warming. If one did, he or she is out in my estimation. For two reasons.

Reason one. If they bought into it, they are not intelligent enough to realize it is false science, therefore not intelligent to see through falsehoods from enemy states.

Reason two. If they didn't buy into it, but did it to be on the "right" side of things they are susceptible to what is currently popular and not what is right. The popular thing one day could be the Constitution should be abolished.

I don't care why Pawlenty bought into Global Warming, just that he did.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, On Pawlenty, that's your right, but I can't accept the single issue litmus test and I certainly can't accept it applied to the past if the candidate has renounced the view. If we go that way, there isn't a Republican who would be acceptable. . . including Ronald Reagan.

To me, what's important is that he has renounced the bad view and his record has been that of a true small government conservative reformer that is unmatched by the rest of the field. I can't throw that out because of one mistake in the past.

Indeed, if we start doing that and we apply all the supposed limus tests (amnesty, TARP, bailout, stimulus, global warming, abortion, gay marriage) then NONE of the candidates survive -- even Palin, who supported the TARP -- except for Ron Paul.

rlaWTX said...

RE Ron Paul: except he doesn't pass the "he's crazy" test...

Joel Farnham said...


It isn't just the Global Warming, I see Pawlenty as a politician like Newt. Seemingly conservative, but actually blows with the wind.

He is vanilla for a reason. It works well with several orthodoxies. He doesn't upset, he also doesn't inspire.

Another way of putting it? Has he upset the liberals so much? If he hasn't, and he hasn't, then he is no use. He can't be shown that he is that much different than Obama. His record, outstandingly bland. His rhetoric, forgettable. He might be good as a Vice this year. Not the top spot.

As I said about Perry. Okay. He passes for now.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, You need to re-read his record because what you've said is simply wrong.

Also, using the method you are advocating results in only two presidents: Richard Nixon and George Bush Jr.

Unless that's your goal, you might want to try a different test.

Joel Farnham said...


I read your analysis again.

Here are my comments.

Social Conservatism.

Catholic to evangelical?

Christian(Catholic) to Christian(evangelical)?

Yeah, so? If he had converted from Islam to Christianity, you have something. Jew to Catholic? Buddist to Southern Baptist. But Catholic to Evangelical, different rituals, but basically the same beliefs. One claims it gets back to the original. One is the original.

Gays. If he was going to go back to the 80's, "Don't ask Don't tell" wasn't in operation then. "Don't ask Don't tell." is from Clinton. It is a compromise position that conservatives at that time had no argument. Going back to it isn't new. Going back to the 80's version would be.

Abortion. Some points, but he hasn't made waves about it. Yes, he is against Roe v Wade. Has he requested for partial birth abortion to be banned? I know he hasn't signed one, but last I heard that was the cutting edge on abortion.

Immigration. It has been demonstrated time and again that the main reason illegals travel to the US is for the freebies. Has he attempted to cut off illegals from the freebies? Does he even talk about cutting off the freebies?

Guns. Background check. Okay with me. What happens if a person doesn't pass the standardized training? I'd like people to be trained, but I don't think it should be a requirement. Major fail.

Economics. All good, except for the "sin du jure tax". What happens if the new sin is eating hamburgers?

TARP Okay. He doesn't like it now. It seems he doesn't like it because John McCain likes it. Hmmmm.... must think on this a bit.

ObamaCare replaced? No, ObamaCare repealed. Major fail. I like your plan you had with your doctor. Have that plan encouraged across the nation not some fancy state sponsored monstrosity.

Global warming, enough said about that.

Ethanol. Lobbied for mandates. Mandates are for controlling statists not conservatives. Mandates for the government to not get involved in private decisions


You called him dull. Dull won't win in this next election.

He should be changing that blue state into a red state. Has he?

All in all, I see him as more of a dull statist content with leaving his state blue. Not a hard-charging Conservative, willing to go the extra mile to promote and distribute conservatism as well as capitalism around.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It's obvious that you don't want Pawlenty. So there's any point in discussing this. You are creating fake tests that I can use to prove anyone (including Reagan) is nothing but a pure RINO. That's not how you find a conservative candidate, that's how you convince yourself that the person you like must be a "conservative."

Joel Farnham said...


June 4th of this year, a man named Igor Volsky reminded readers that Pawlenty supported SCHIP. SCHIP as you know is the Democrats harbinger of universal healthcare. He has also stated in 2006 that he was moving in stages toward universal healthcare. He also liked Mass system.

Jun 12th of this year, Pawlenty trashed RomneyCare on Fox News Sunday.

Now you(ANDREW) say Pawlenty wants to work with Obamacare. Make it better. Get my drift?

He opposes increases in Taxes yet increases 60 fees. His state is in the top ten taxed states. What is his solution to get out of that bracket? Fees? Property taxes went up. As of 2008, Minnesota is the the fourth most taxed state. Oh and his budget deficit is at 14.7%. To be fair, Minnesota is ranked Tenth.

Oh, he did increase taxes on gas. It was to repair the bridge which collapsed in 2007. At the time, it was a stunning reversal on no new taxes.

On Global Warming, he did EXACTLY the same thing as NEWT. The difference is he used Janet Napollitano to sit by instead of Nancy Pelosi. All the way up to the 2008 Republican Convention.

Are you still sure about this Pawlenty guy?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I'm absolutely sure about Pawlenty. The guy has strong conservative credentials in a deep blue state even if you don't want to see them. Your very extreme spin on something said by a progressive blogger about something Pawlenty may or may not have said and which likely had no context isn't going to change that.

And since all you are doing is trying to find anything you can spin as a reason to dislike him (spin you would never accept against or apply to Palin) there is no reason for us to continue this discussion.

Notawonk said...

i can say that many texans distrust perry. whether they can put their finger on one issue or not doesn't matter, it's the errors that stick out to these folks. and the big one that sticks out is his suggestion of using the state's eminent domain power to grab land during the highway fiasco. when someone comes after your property in texas, especially for such a project, it tends to stick in their minds until, oh, FOREVER!

also, he is a politician of interesting heritage (coughGOREcough) which makes folks leery as well.

as far as texan's re-electing him for so many years, what choice did we have?! he was the republican choice and the state swings largely republican, excluding wackadoodle austin, of course. the music's great there, but you gotta take the good with the bad and smelly. GO GREEN!

so, would he be my choice? nope, not by a long shot. he's got lots of the things i'm looking for, but i just don't know that he's tough enough to do what clearly needs to be done. oh, he'll talk like he is, as he waits on the polling, but would he really take the hits needed to turn us around? doubtful.

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