The governor may have taken a break from the campaign trail for Thanksgiving, but that didn’t stop the campaign press corps.

The Texas Tribune published the latest—and certainly not the last—Perry campaign eulogy on Friday. “His announcement was his high point,” wrote Ross Ramsey, who goes on to suggest that when it comes to governors-turned-national candidates, the flagging Texas chief executive “looks a lot more like Sarah Palin than like George W. Bush.”

Ramsey also noted that unless Perry drops out of the presidential race before December 16, his name will remain on the Texas presidential primary ballot, potentially setting the stage for an embarassing March 6. Ramsey argues that “a lousy showing could embolden his Texas foes—within and without the Republican Party—as the governor limps into the 2013 legislative session and the 2014 election.”

The Austin American-Statesman’s R.G. Ratcliffe tackled a similar question, but with the opposite conclusion. Ratcliffe acknowleded that the presidential campaign may become Perry’s first-ever electoral failure, but his sphere of influence throughout the capitol is just too huge.

“Perry appointees control every state policy board, and at least 100 people who have drawn their monthly paycheck by working for Texas’ longest-tenured governor are now positioned to run state agencies,” he wrote.

The Dallas Morning News’ ongoing Sunday series looks at Perry’s leadership style—both his tendency to delegate and the criticism that he isn’t interested in other points of view.

Christy Hoppe and Robert T. Garrett’s story starts with the fact that Perry wasn’t briefed about the state’s raid on Warren Jeffs’ Yearning for Zion ranch until five days after it happened, then turns to the likes of state senator Leticia Van De Putte (D-San Antonio) and former Perry staffers (both anonymous and on the record) for comments about Perry’s level of engagement and ability (or lack thereof) to work “both sides of the aisle.”

With a “College Station” dateline on the day after the University of Texas-Texas A&M game, the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg looked back on Perry’s journey from the Corps of Cadets to the Air Force, which also gives the paper an excuse to run everybody’s second-favorite Perry photo (the one with Reveille ranks first).
Current A&M Chancellor John Sharp recalled how Perry the College Student had little patience with anti-war protestors; the story also suggested that Perry’s non-combat experience in places like Chad and Guatemala helped shape the “muscular interventionist” and “hawkish” presidential candidate we see today.

In brighter news, both NBC News and ABC News reported that Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a national media figure for his tough-on-crime and tough-on-immigration policies, will be endorsing Perry in New Hampshire Tuesday. (If you’re in the Amherst area, for a meager $15 you can get some breakfast before their joint appearance.) It’s a surprise affiliation for the governor, whose less strident views toward immigration haven’t been an asset for him with Republican primary voters. 
“I’m not sure Rick Perry understands Thanksgiving either,” the Jay Leno joked on the Tonight Show last week. “When they asked him if he was going to deep-fry a turkey, he said, ‘Well, if he’s found guilty.’”
Clearly it’s nothing personal. As viewers of Sunday night’s NFL game on NBC learned, the governor is scheduled to sit down with Leno on Thursday. He’ll be second fiddle to actresss Melissa McCarthy, with musical guest T-Pain.