My sense of what Rick Perry is doing by adding items to the call in the special session is that he is trying (a) to stay relevant and (b) to leave his options open. This is all speculation now, but I think Perry would like to find a way to run for a fourth term as governor, and by calling the special session and infusing the call with red-meat issues, he reestablishes his own relevance and isolates Abbott, who has no answer to Perry’s initiative.

More speculation: I suspect Perry is furious with Abbott about this ham-handed redistricting play, which is rapidly developing into a fiasco. It really makes one wonder whether Abbott knows what he is doing and whether he is adept at the law. The triangulation among Perry, Abbott, and Dewhurst has turned in Dewhurst’s favor; it looks as if Abbott has been isolated and Dewhurst has Perry’s back now. This reinforces my belief that Perry wants to run again, but it won’t be any picnic if he has to face Abbott in a Republican primary.

Why would Perry want to run again? The answer is simple: It’s the lifestyle, stupid. He lives the life of an Oriental potentate — even as I write, he is off in New York living a life of luxury, the best hotels in New York, the best restaurants, the kingpins of Wall Street, and don’t forget that state pension. By running again, he extends his ability to lead the Good Life for four more years, plus run for president on the taxpayers’ dime. Nice work if you can get it, and he’s got it.

AP Images | Eric Gay