Perry nips at Romney’s heels
I knew that Perry would be Romney’s only credible threat, the only real contender in this race. Palin is too vapid for most center-right non-base voters. Bachmann is a congress-critter, not a governor, and a little too fringy for many voters. Pawlenty is a governor, but he is perhaps the most boring man ever born. How could we expect someone so boring to give State of the Union addresses? And Rudy Giuliani is a pro-choice divorcee from New York City.
Rick Perry, on the other hand, is a lot like Mitt Romney. He has the governing credentials, the charisma, the record. Unlike Romney he’s actually got a pretty convincing conservative record. And he’s from Texas.
Then again, he’s also put more people to death in Texas than any of his predecessors. He has flirted with the idea of secession (cynically, I’m sure, as a way to gin up populist sympathy, not as a serious idea).
All I know is that I think Romney would be a pretty good president. He’s done plenty of things that bother me, but so far as I can tell he’s a pretty smart, moderate, and reasonably competent man. Perry, on the other hand, strikes me as another cowboy president. He’s not all bad (his recent comments on gay marriage were encouraging) but the civil libertarian in me cringes at the thought of him as president.
Then again, the Perry phenomenon may be shorter-lived than people believe. After all, he’s not even that popular in his home state.