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The Realities Of Rick Perry For President

For weeks, months, nearly a year now, we have been hearing about the upcoming election of 2012. Many, many people, myself included, are of the strong opinion that Barack Obama is as vulnerable as any sitting President in our memory. Given his job performance, both on the foreign and domestic issues, up to and including the bull in the room, it’s the economy stupid, we think he can be beat. That optimism has been somewhat dampened by the lack of what we believe is a good and credible candidate from the Republican Party. Personally, I like Ron Paul, although some of his positions may seem to be a bit extreme. However, as I mentioned in my comment on Ted’s post from yesterday, Dr. Paul has about as much of a chance of winning the Republican nomination as I do. No disrespect to the Representative from Texas, but the Republican establishment has no intention of allowing him to become the nominee, and they will do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t happen.

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That leaves us with a field of candidates that many are not excited about. Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, etc. have yet to get my hackles up and entice me to support one or the other and thankfully, Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich seem to have fallen quietly by the wayside and out of the race. That leaves us with who might enter the race, which leads us to what seems to be the inevitable entrance of who some are simply calling the Texan. Governor Rick Perry is said to be ready to announce his candidacy in South Carolina on this coming Saturday and there are many people that I know of who are waiting in the wings, ready to jump on his bandwagon, the minute he makes his intentions known to the public.

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I’ll be honest, Rick Perry is an enigma to me. He is on the record as being a strong social conservative, having signed several pieces ofRick Perry legislation that limits access to abortion, especially in the case of young girls. He is on the record as being against a strong central government, having authored a book entitled, “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington”. He seems to truly believe in limited government. For the record, however, he also ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign in Texas in 1988. That’s right, Rick Perry was a Democrat until 1989, when he changed his party affiliation to run for Agriculture Commissioner of Texas. Does that mean he can’t be trusted to not return to his roots as a Democrat? I think not, but it should be duly noted.

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Where the real reality of a Rick Perry presidential bid comes into play is his willingness to not hide his strong Christian faith. He makes no bones about the fact that he is a Christian, as was evidenced by last weekend’s prayer meeting in Houston. He openly asks for Christians to turn to God for the answers to the problems facing our nation. To be sure, I have no problem with this attitude, as I think it would be wise to do so. Having said that, I understand that many in this country are not Christians and do not believe in God and have no interest in a man or a woman who holds such strong beliefs as our President.

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No doubt, Governor Perry would sweep the South, but he would also be facing the same kind of opposition as Mike Huckabee faced in 2008. Even though the former governor of Arkansas had bona fide credentials, he was dismissed by many, simply because he was such a strong Christian. I heard many who said they were fearful that a President Huckabee would force his religious beliefs down their throat. Given the fact that Perry has openly stated his opposition to the recognition of homosexual relationships and to abortion, I can already hear the cries of foul, if he enters the race, as expected.

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I am also glad to see him support limiting our federal government and working for fiscal responsibility in our country. Given the problems we are facing, I think that is important. However, it is the social issues that concern me. Make no mistake, I am a Christian and I support Perry’s stance on many of these issues. I support the limitations he has placed on abortion, restricting access to the barbaric practice, especially for young girls. Please note here that I also support his fiscal responsibility as Governor. I think that is very important, especially considering how lacking Washington is in that regard. However, it is because of the positions he has taken on the social issues, such as abortion, that he will face his stiffest opposition from the liberals. This is one of their sacred cows and they will surely get up in arms at the thought of a Christian president limiting what they can accomplish in that regard. Opposition is also sure to come from some who lean more Libertarian in their beliefs. It remains to be seen if Rick Perry can navigate these treacherous waters to win the Republican nomination and possibly become the 45th President of the United States.

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For more on Rick Perry, please visit The Reaganite Republican.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • I’ve never heard of Perry being sanctimonious about his Christianity, and outside of special events where people voluntarily show up to hear him, I don’ think he’s ever preached or forced his message on anyone who didn’t want to hear it.

    Personally, I find his unadulterated Christian and small government convictions refreshing. I need to see more. If he really pulls this off in a non-confrontational style, I think many in the mushy middle, who may have no particularly strong religious convictions could find him refreshing. Of course, I too am biased, being a small-government man living out west who loves Jesus.

    • I have yet to hear Governor Perry speak that way concerning his faith. As you have stated, Kurt, I don’t have a problem with his Christianity, but I suppose I could be biased as well, given the fact that I am a Christian. It is refreshing to hear a politician speak so plainly about his faith.

  • The problem that I have with elected officials like him is not the simple fact that he is a Christian who is strong in his faith, but the fact that he probably would not be able to separate his faith from governance. I know that might sound confusing or vague, but I’ll explain.

    My fear is that he would make decisions based on what he thinks God would want him to do, rather than what might be best for the country at the time. It kind of worried me when GWB had all that “I’m doing God’s work,” talk, because I don’t believe that God actually “speaks,” to us in that way.

    There’s no real way to verify that God is actually speaking to you, so it means you pretty much have license to say and do whatever you want in the name of God. I mean, look at the Westboro Baptists. They think they’re doing God’s work. They think it’s God’s will to prey on the suffering to get some moral point across, but we all know that what they’re doing is completely contrary to Christianity and American values.

    So would we want someone that religious to be president? Would we want our president to always think that he’s doing God’s work, and thus would never be dissuaded from any course of action because he sees it as “righteous,” or because he sees himself as a defender and propogator of the Christian faith? I don’t want that at all. It’s kind of like Richard Nixon and his “silent majority.” When all we can hear is silence, then whatever is in the silence is whatever you say it is.

    I don’t care if a president is strong and committed to his faith. The only thing I care about is that he’s able to act pragmatically for what’s in the country’s actual best interest, not what he thinks God thinks is in our best interest.

    • As far as I know, Rick Perry has given us no reason to think he would not govern pragmatically. Of course, that was the same accusation thrown at Mike Huckabee, even though he didn’t deserve it either. In spite of his record as Governor of Arkansas, he was looked at more as the preacher from Arkansas, instead of it’s former governor of over 10 years. I am afraid Perry may run up against the same kind of opposition, even without reason for it.

    • Jack:
      I appreciate your perspective. I was just discussing at work today this very topic and I wondered how someone so overly and apologetically Christian would play with those who are not so. You’re my second data point.

      I want to second what LD said. He has a long record as governor and we’ve seen no signs of him doing weird stuff because God told him so. Also no instances of him preaching his faith to people who don’t want to hear it.

      Looks like he gets his Christian on only at explicitly Christian events where people want to hear that message.

      If he were a Muslim with the same track record I would have to say the same thing.

  • I have very serious doubts about a man who not only supported Al Gore for President in 1988, but chaired his Texas campaign, and who also endorsed the left-leaning Rudy Giuliani for President in 2007. These are not the endorsements a true conservative would make.

    • First of all, thanks for commenting on Political Realities. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

      Concerning Perry’s involvement with the Gore campaign, I noted it as an item of interest, more than an item of concern. The same goes for his endorsement of Rudy.

    • Giuliani gives me more pause than Gore 88. Back then, before he fell in with the Clintons and later became totally unhinged, he was gun rights, anti-abortion, and pro strong defense.

  • Let’s see now, what other truly conservative icon was once a Democrat? OK, so the “second coming of Ronald Reagan” fantasy is never going to happen – Reagan was one in a billion – but Rick Perry sounds a lot like Reagan did when he first ran. Perry’s got a vision for America and he’s good at articulating it. Presidents don’t lead in the classic sense; they guide us toward a path by showing the way. Rick Perry has that style, he can inspire confidence in ourselves. He’s not polarizing like Paul or Palin or Bachmann, he’s not an empty suit like Romney, and he doesn’t induce the “who?” factor like Herman Cain.

    I know some of my #vrwc buds disagree, but in my mind job 1 is defeating Obama. Rick Perry can do that.

    • Very true, Chris. As I mentioned in one of my earlier comments, I brought up the Democrat/Gore issue as a point of interest and not necessarily a point of concern.

      You make some very valid points concerning Rick Perry. He is definitely worth a second look, if he does enter the race as everyone is supposing he will.

  • I could care less about Perry’s religious views. I see him as a pure to the bone politician that will bend which ever way the wind blows. He was a Democrat that want to run for office in Texas a conservative state. So. he flips and becomes a Republican and says whatever Republicans and conservatives want to hear. Having said that, the rumors are persistent that Sarah Palin very much would like to see Perry inter the race. Those promoting that rumor go onto predict that if Perry does enter the race, Sarah would throw her support behind him. I, of course don’t know if that is true; but, if she did get behind Perry, I believe he would become the Republican nominee. I believe Palin has that much influence. At any rate, if it happens, I would be forced to support Perry.

    • Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment, Jim. I am not convinced that Rick Perry’s change to a Republican qualifies as him saying or doing whatever is necessary to win an election. Obviously, I do not know what the man was/is actually thinking, but a person, politician or not, can change their mind about the way they stand on the issues. That doesn’t mean they are blowing in the wind, necessarily.

      You raise an interesting question about Sarah Palin. Does she really have that much influence?

  • For what it’s worth LD, I share many of your reservations. If I stand for anything counter to token conservative positions, it is managing to draw a fine line between one’s personal religious or moral beliefs and his politics. Without that line, I fail to see how any conservative can do more than pay lip service to the First Amendment. Accordingly, I look for openness and an articulation of how said candidate comes to his position on issues. I’ve done a fair amount of homework on Gov Perry and still need to see more before I can wholeheartedly support him.

    That said, much of this is largely pointless as I am inclined to believe there are two candidates that can lead to the “end” I would like to see result of 2012’s Presidential election – the ousting of President Obama. While I’m not writing off the other campaigns, I do believe Romney and Perry are the only two with a legitimate shot in the general. Given those choices, I’d side with Perry – also given what I know of the two at this point.

    Perry would motivate the base and appeal to the Tea Party type. Romney may pull independents, but the real “end” desired is increasing Republican presence in both Houses. I believe Perry – or Bachmann, or Palin, or Cain would generate the kind of turnout necessary for that to happen. I just don’t think any of the other three would be capable of ousting President Obama.

    The problem I have with Perry at this point is not his deeply Christian background or his involvement with Al Gore’s campaign or even having been a democrat. Remember Al Gore was not the far-left nutjob he is today when he was added to that ticket. He wasn’t a far-right conservative either, but he did manage to serve a very red state in Tennessee. Also, Southern politics are a very strange breed. One could very easily switch parties when dealing with the inner-working of state-level politics. I no more relate to most elected state legislature Tennessee Republicans than I do left-wing morons in Washington. State issues very often produces drastically different results than federal ones. The division of power in our federal system all but requires it to be that way.

    But that brings me to my problem with the Perry campaign. While we bloggers will do the homework and figure out the real story here, I think he runs the risk of his image being driven by the MSM because of the method and means in which he is going about this run. He’s going to come out of virtual nowhere; just days after a prayer event; from the great state of Texas that brought us GW; and he’s going to attempt to cast a shadow over the events in Iowa. Tell me which side is going to be telling the Rick Perry story. Perry’s going to alienate Bachmann, Cain, and Pawlenty supporters, everyone in Iowa, and leave the right-leaning media dividing time. Will the story be Bachmann takes the straw poll; or will it be the Evangelical Christian Governor from Texas has finally arrived? I think this launch is poorly timed and will ultimately start his campaign headed in the wrong direction.

    • Thanks for your comment and insight, T. Christopher. I think you are correct about the MSM driving Perry’s image. In the lead up to the prayer meeting in Houston, NPR had a story on one of their programs that was doing it’s best to portray him as Christian radical. I have no idea who his campaign manager will be, if he does actually run, but they will have to play their cards wisely, in order to prevent Perry from being locked in as a Christian nut job.

      For what it’s worth, if it comes down to Romney and Perry, my money is on the Texan. 😉

  • I like Perry, with some reservations regarding DREAM act in Texas, etc

    His Dem past doesn’t bother me… I don’t think he’s a RINO or has skeletons either.

    I really do prefer Bachmann, but Perry’s experience and jobs record would be hard for
    ANY-body to compete with, that’s my thinking anyway- maybe they’d make a good team,
    lots of contrast North-South, Male-female, etc

    Unless Bolton came in I don’t know who else I could get exited about, not Romney that’s for sure.

    Perry looks like a winner, not my first choice but good enough I suppose

    • Perry/Bachmann, now wouldn’t that make for an interesting combination?

      • Maybe a winner too, LDJ

        While most of us have some reservations re. Perry, I’ll tell you this… the guy is real, real good on the stump.

  • I simply do not know enough about Perry right now to make a decision, but I will take a long look at him because I am not impressed with any of the other candidates. He does seem to have some potential but he did back the DREAm act at one time and I want to know if he truly changed his positions or if he only did it for political reasons before I decide whether or not I can trust him.

    • Let’s see if I can clear up the issue of Rick Perry and the DREAM Act. Personally, I do not have a problem with his position.

      From what I have been able to learn, Governor Perry does not support the national version of the DREAM Act. He did sign legislation into law in Texas that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, but only after fulfilling strict criteria requirements. The Texas DREAM Act differs from the national legislation, in that it does not provide for a pathway to citizenship for those students. Perry is opposed to passing such legislation on the national level.

  • Out of all the possible candidates, Perry is the strongest. Texas has led the nation in economic growth and their credit rating recently went UP. Huckabee didn’t have a chance but he knocked Romney out who is saddled with Romneycare and Mormonism. Perry will agitate the Left with his religious stance and many Independents such as myself would likely not support him but he is the best of the lot I think. He could win and certainly Evangelicals would strongly support him which could make up for Independents not voting for him.

    • Governor Perry does have a lot working for him. He seems to have done a fine job in Texas and I believe he would make a strong candidate against Obama. I also have the impression, from talking and listening to different people in our area, that you are correct. If he runs, Evangelicals will strongly support him and his bid. It could certainly make the difference.

  • If running a super Highway right up our gullet from Mexico to Canada, besides his other issues, he is your man. Not so much for me.

    Perry and his statement on Open Borders:
    That is why it is wrong, and inherently detrimental to our relationship with Mexico for the U.S. Congress to pursue a protectionist policy that forbids Mexican trucks from U.S. roadways. It is bad public policy, and it violates the terms of the NAFTA agreement we agreed to. Mexican trucks that meet our safety standards should be given the same access to U.S. roads as our Canadian neighbors to the north.

    President Fox’s vision for an open border is a vision I embrace, as long as we demonstrate the will to address the obstacles to it. An open border means poverty has given way to opportunity, and Mexico’s citizens do not feel compelled to cross the border to find that opportunity.

    • Well, I never said the Governor was perfect. 😉 There are a lot of issues to consider on any particular candidate, but if there is one thing I have learned in the past few years, it is that no one person is going to be the perfect candidate.