Rick Perry at ease, deep in the heart of Texas
When Rick Perry flubbed his presidential chances so badly on the national stage, there were many among his supporters who were bewildered at his seeming inability to transfer his many successes in Texas to the national stage. Although just as frustrated as those folks were, some of us were not quite as baffled because there was a suspicion within us that Rick Perry simply didn't want the job nor the heat and heartbreak it entails. There was a sense that Perry was simply contented with being the popular and longest serving governor of the world's 14th or so largest economy. He was a big frog in a big luxuriant pond who didn't really see any advantage to becoming a bigger frog in the admittedly larger, but stagnating swamp the first four years of Obama's reign had produced.
If Perry did indeed self-destruct it was probably not consciously; but there's an inescapable feeling that he certainly did not give it his best shot. He had to well know how contentious national governance had been for the last Texan president, George W. Bush, with such an unrelentingly hostile media, and that his own occupation of that office couldn't really offer a future any sensible politician would eagerly embrace. Especially when he could just go back to Texas and bask in the role of being the popular, down-home, chief executive of one of the world's most successful economies. Ask yourself, given that choice, what would you do?
So here we are many months down the road and Barack Obama is saddled with all the problems of an idling economy, a steadily rising China, a crumbling Middle East situation and a renascent Al Qaeda on the African continent, and where do we find Rick Perry? How about touring taxed-to-damned-near-dead California businesses, touting the hugely friendlier and vastly more favorable business environment in his flourishing Lone Star state than in Guv Moonbeam's headed-for-default disaster which lamely still calls itself golden?
Similar enticing offers are being made to the many huge economic engines in New York and Illinois with the tempting message that not only will you be taxed far less in Texas, you'll have legal protections against frivolous lawsuits and when you invest your hard-earned profits in your business, your home and your family, you can protect them with all the firearms you choose to have at hand because Texans damned well believe in the inalienable 2d Amendment right of defense of self, loved ones and property.
So you tell me who's having more fun: a supremely confident Rick Perry who knows how to govern, out there in California gathering even more low-hanging fruit for an already flourishing Texas economy or that desperate amateur in the White House who's spinning his wheels in an office he's clueless to occupy? Perry's walking the walk, adding jobs by the thousands while the guy who won the big contest is still just talking the campaign talk about doing something. Look at their respective pics: the loser Rick, the older of the two, has a little grey around the temples, unchanged from the campaign, while the victor is going big-time grey from forehead to neck nape and from one huge ear to the other. Somehow I think I can hear Rick Perry chuckling contentedly, deep in the heart of Texas.
And probably in his jaunts up and down the Left Coast as well.