A look back through the last year to see how Rick Perry the governor became Rick Perry the Republican presidential candidate.
...at his election-night victory celebration [Governor Perry] was selling advance copies of his new book,Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, the tour for which started immediately and serves as his first volley in a now-inevitable national campaign.
Paul Burka, "Let There Be Right," Texas Monthly
I believe this will someday be regarded as the Texas century, as our resolve, discipline and commitment to one another carry us to brighter days and blaze a path for other states and even for our federal government to follow.
Governor Rick Perry, State of the State address.
The governor clearly enjoys talking about the economy, other states, the federal government, and other things he has little control over. Maybe in his next job . . .
Democratic senator Kirk Watson, of Austin, responding to the State of the State address.
The Dallas Morning News says Perry's "non-campaign for the White House continues to pick up steam" with Rush Limbaugh, among others, dreaming of a Perry candidacy. "And the Republican elites do not like Rick Perry," Limbaugh effused, while also celebrating Perry's hair. "You are not going to be elected president unless you've got at least a ten inch part in your hair, preferably 14-inch."
But Perry himself? Still not interested.
"I'm going to think about it," Perry says at a press conference after signing the state's new voter ID law. "But I think about a lot of things."
Perry doesn’t have an exploratory committee, nor a single federal dollar raised. There are no campaign volunteers, no structure — nothing — in first-test Iowa or anywhere else.
Jay Root, Texas Tribune
Fresh off her special-session creating filibuster, Democratic state senator Wendy Davis, of Fort Worth, says Perry's stance on education cuts and other hot-button legislative topics amounts to:
using these ... politically charged partisan issues, which will help him probably in his presidential desires. But unfortunately, he's using them to play against what we're trying to do on behalf of the school children that we all still represent in Texas.
Former Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson and longtime Perry strategist Dave Carney resign from those same positions with Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, because it appears to be dead in the water.
"This is totally unrelated to Rick Perry," Carney wrote in an email to Politico.
Stephen Colbert gets on the bandwagon. (He later throws the weight of his Super PAC behind "Rick Parry.")
Perry tells reporters that at least one member of his household thinks that he should do it: "My wife was talking to me and saying: 'Listen . . . get out of your comfort zone. Yeah, being governor of Texas is a great job, but sometimes you're called to step into the fray.'”
Perry takes a somewhat surprising stand in front of Republican donors in Aspen, Colorado.
Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.
Never mind! In an interview with Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council, Perry says he's actually in favor of a Federal Marriage Amendment:
That amendment defines marriage between one man and one woman, and it protects the states from being told otherwise. It respects the rights of the state by requiring three quarters of a states vote to ratify.
He's still not running . . . but the Huffington Post publishes Perry's Texas A&M transcripts.
Thirty thousand people join Perry for "The Response" at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Perry kept his promise to keep the day of prayer from being explicitly political, though the subtext was still unmistakable.
Politico reports that Perry will "make intentions clear"—and we know that he's already married. The governor is running!
According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.
It's uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry's decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll.
The official announcement:
To be continued . . .