I guess I must have wasted way too much time watching the Astros blow their chance at the playoffs, because now that I’ve given up on them, I’m seeing all sorts of political spots on TV. “Proud,” the latest Rick Perry spot, is very good, very professional, full of images and information. The images fly by, every Texas cliche you can think of: bluebonnets, Big Bend mountains, cattle walking down a street framed with office buildings, Perry next to a Texas flag with the Capitol dome in the background, Perry shaking hands with workers wearing hard hats, Perry visiting with workers using computers, a doctor checking out a child, Perry in a classroom full of children, a teacher in a classroom, Perry and the dome again, a horse and rider silhouetted against a spectacular sunset, the Alamo, a skyward view of clouds moving past skyscrapers, and–hey, you forgot the oil well and the rodeo–finally, Perry swinging around to look directly into the camera and saying, “I’m proud of Texas. How about you?”

This is a positive spot all the way, and the challenge to the viewer at the end is quite effective. Does this mean that Perry strategists think he can broaden his base after all? The campaign would love to come in at or near 50%, keeping any vice-presidential hopes alive. I don’t think it’s possible, with three major opponents and a Libertarian, but the major opponents have looked pretty minor so far.

Here’s the text: You can match the words with the images:
“I’ve never been more proud to call myself a Texan. In Texas, we set the national standard for economic development. We gained 300,000 new jobs and lawsuit reform has brought better health care to millions. We’ve invested $10 billion new dollars in our public schools. Our people are compassionate. Our vision’s bold. Our values strong. The best is yet to come. I’m proud of Texas. How about you?”