While I’m sure Mitt Romney would be a more than adequate candidate, and that Ron Paul really can fix the American government by eliminating most of the American government, and I’m more than confident that Michele Bachmann will find a way to restore the moral compass of our great country, I must say I have my doubts about their success with American voters.
But now Rick Perry has entered the race, with all the gusto of Chuck Norris’ Walker, the Texas Ranger of television fame. Much like Chuck Norris’ alter ego, Perry wants to walk loudly and carry a big stick, or gun, and fight the bad guys. He’s going after the Federal Reserve, stem cell research, and now he’s scaring Wall Street.
“The professional investor, the Wall Street force, is much more comfortable with an establishment candidate,” said billionaire investor Ken Fisher, of Fisher Investments in Woodside, Calif.
While Perry appeals to socially and economically conservative Republicans, and will win the evangelical vote within the party, he’s still too rough around the edges to ever beat President Barack Obama. His Texas swagger is not going to play in the Midwest or back East. He’s George W. Bush on steroids, but without any of Bush’s political connections or polishing. Bush was a cool as a cucumber president and debater. When Al Gore looked stiff and anxious, Bush looked loose and free, smiling and cracking jokes and reaching out to average citizens. Another aspect of Bush that was refreshing was his ability not to fight the media, like some current president who likes to poke back at Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Bush sat quietly, knowing full well he was the president and his enemies were not. I’m not sure Perry will follow that lead. Even though there are numerous comparisons, he really is the ultimate outsider.
He comes from Paint Creek, Texas. I hadn’t heard of it, either. He’s a testament to the American dream. Like Bill Clinton before him, he came out of obscurity to become a national player. He’s been a very successful governor with an amazing track record. His unemployment rate is almost a percentage less than the national average, at 8.2 percent. He’s creating jobs through the energy boom taking place out west, and he’s making tough budget cuts in healthcare and education to keep the state afloat. Unlike our current commander-in-chief, he understands you can’t try to make everyone happy.
Keep in mind, though Perry might look perfect on paper to many in the GOP, he will lose those concerned about illegal immigration. Ten years ago he told a crowd that, “We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘we don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.’ And that vision must include the children of undocumented workers.” During that time, Texas took the national lead in allowing illegal immigrants to attend a Texas college at a resident rate.
So what should conservatives and Republicans make of this man? So far, they appear to love him as he’s topped the most current Rasmussen poll, beating all front-runners by double digits. Somewhere, Romney and Bachmann are weeping.
Sadly, though, he can’t win a national election. He’s so raw and rough around the edges, and his prayer plan to end a Texas drought didn’t go over as well as those prayers did in the Old Testament. For Perry to be taken seriously for any extended period of time, he must drop the folksy Sarah Palin act and create a persona of strength and suaveness. The pictures of him holding guns at county fairs need to stop now. There can be no more “y’alls” or howdys coming from his lips.
If Perry is serious about becoming the GOP candidate and America’s president, he must act the part, and not just try to appeal to those in his home state. He’s in a good position. Obama’s approval numbers are in the low 40s, and jobs still haven’t been created.
I just hope he realizes he’s not Chuck Norris, and this isn’t the Wild West.