The EFM Feature
Gov. Rick Perry, taken by Flickr user Gage Skidmore, used under a Creative Commons license

I like Gov. Perry.  Don’t get me wrong.  With the help of a sane legislature, a key advantage he had over Gov. Romney, he’s done great things over the last decade for Texas.  But it’s fascinating to me–especially now that I work more closely than I ever have with state politics, and therefore see how harmful it is to be disconnected from the real world for extended periods–that conservatives are fawning over a man who’s been in elected office since 1985.  I thought we were supposed to be the defenders of the Founders’ ideal of the citizen politician?

More broadly, I like Texas and I didn’t share the popular hatred of President Bush’s style.  But it’s also fascinating to me is the idea that after only four years of President Obama, we’re ready to run straight back to a Texas governor who’s the complete opposite of the “O” image.  That one doesn’t bother me; it more amazes me.  Does anybody else remember the Bush fatigue of four years ago?

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Comments and Discussion

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5 Responses to Two Observations

  1. RJPeck says:

    Gov. Perry seems like an okay guy but I believe he has some serious problems and would be a very bad Presidential candidate and President. The size of Texas’s budget and debt have doubled since Perry has been in office, Texas has more debt percapita than California. His job creation has been touted as great but if you look closely at it the jobs created are not jobs that can support families and Texas still has 22 states that have lower unemployment. There is also the issue of the executive order, ordering all 11 – 12 year olds to be vaccinated for HPV when he has conections to the manufacturer, and the safty of the vaccine has come in to question.

  2. Lori says:

    Don’t trust career politicians! Their highest concern is their ambition and re-election with little focus on what’s right for the country and plenty of focus on bringing goodies bought by taxpayers back to the folks who vote for them. Corruption perfectly illustrated.

  3. David Walser says:


    It’s also amazing how willing conservatives are to forgive Perry for his past sins but are unwilling to grant Romney the same grace. Perry was a Democrat and he actively supported Al Gore and Bill Clinton (and probably Jimmy Carter before them) in their presidential campaigns. At the time, both Gore and Clinton were pro-choice candidates. Yet, conservatives accept Perry’s excuse that just about every successful politician was a Democrat in those days, so we shouldn’t hold his past against Perry. On the other hand, any position (or unfavorable distortion of his position) Romney may have taken as a Republican in far more liberal Massachusetts is proof positive that Romney cannot be trusted. Romney is an unprincipled flip flopper. Perry is a man who has matured and given up his youthful indiscretions.

    My head spins.

  4. Bloodshy says:


    The truth is sad, but simple. Evangelicals (with plenty of notable exceptions) won’t forgive Mitt because he’s Mormon. They do not want to vote for a Mormon (and are deeply distrusting of Mormons), so they will find any excuse that will allow them to not vote for the Mormon w/o overtly showing their bigotry. Perry is a big government social conservative in the mold of W. That’s exactly the candidate we need if our goal is to empower the socialists in the next election cycle like we did in ’08. Hopefully Charles & Co. can continue to break through to the Evangelical base and help dissuade the bigotry that continues to be far too strong there.

  5. Nathan says:

    Gov. Perry would be a good president and I’ll certainly work hard for him if he’s the nominee. But Mitt is uniquely positioned for this moment and he has significant advantages over Perry, namely his experience in private sector. Mitt is also a much better general election candidate. Perry has had the advantage of a friendly legislature. Mitt has been through the wars against a Democratic legislature and we need someone who knows how to manage in a heated and divisive environment. DC is a mess and Romney is the only candidate in the field that gives real hope for getting it under control. I spent part of my childhood in Texas and I’m a big fan of Perry. But Mitt is the man for this moment. I think the party will unite sooner rather than later behind Gov. Romney and then the entire focus can be on ending the disaster known as the Obama presidency.

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