Every since Rick Perry was reelected to a second full term, I have been hearing stories that it may not be a full term after all. There is persistent talk that Perry may not serve out his term, that he would leave — after setting the record for being the longest-serving Texas governor — if the right situation came along. Indeed, he has told this to Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, who must be salivating at the thought of the governorship so close to his grasp. One “right situation,” of course, would be the Republican nomination for vice-president. That is old news. Now we get into the realm of pure speculation. One theory is that Perry would step down after the 2009 session, giving himself the opportunity to make oodles of money in the private sector for a year or so, and then seek appointment to the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison (another potential GOP nominee for vice-president), who, it is widely presumed, will run for governor in 2010. Dewhurst would owe Perry a big favor for stepping down and allowing him to face Hutchison as the incumbent. There are two potential monkey wrenches in this scenario, assuming that there is even a grain of truth beyond the conversation between Perry and Dewhurst: (1) Hutchison could squash the whole thing by not resigning her seat (her term doesn’t expire until January 2013), giving Dewhurst no vacancy to fill; (2) If she does resign, Perry would have to win a special election to serve the remainder of her term, and he might not want to have to face the voters again.
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