This smacks of a desperate attempt to stay relevant. Perry’s brand is tarnished, even in Texas. In a statewide poll commissioned by the Dallas Morning News at the end of January, his job approval rating was lower than Obama’s. He finished toward the back of the pack in every primary he entered. His profuse professions of faith and his nonstop pandering to evangelicals failed to win him their endorsement. His candidacy was — to quote one of my favorite mixed metaphors from the annals of House of Representative floor debates — “a time bomb headed for a banana peel.” Put him next to Romney, Gingrich, and even Santorum, and it is obvious that he lacks the intellectual heft and the command of issues to be president. In this election cycle, Perry was competing against a field of has-beens. That won’t be the case in 2016. Chris Christie is out there, along with Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, and Bobby Jindal: serious people with real records of accomplishment. What has Perry accomplished? He has presided over a successful economy which he had little to do with creating, and what he did create got him branded, accurately, as a practitioner of crony capitalism. He bragged about a $15 billion budget cut that resulted in the layoffs of 12,000 teachers. If he couldn’t do it in 2012, he has no chance in 2016. Rick Perry will never become president.
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