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A reader writes:

Don't underestimate Perry. It’s easy to do, and people down here have been doing it for years at their peril. Perry is great on the stump, where he has a talent for connecting with people. In many ways he’s a lot like W was coming out of Austin, but more conservative. Perry has won more tough races then anyone in modern Texas history (Jim Hightower, John Sharp, Tony Sanchez’s $60 million, KBH when she was the state’s most popular politician, and Bill White when he was the latest hope of Texas Democrats) and he would be very attractive as a national candidate. He’d be by far the most conservative candidate in the race and he’s a gifted campaigner who knows how to go for the jugular. In this rather pathetic GOP field, I don’t know who could stop him.

On top of that, despite his protesting, he wants national recognition. He’s already the longest serving governor in the state’s history, so he’s got nothing more to prove in Austin. Like W, he really could win.

Perry yesterday upped his conservative cred by signing a law requiring women to get a sonogram before receiving an abortion.

(Photo: Texas Governor Rick Perry has some fun with a six-shooter filled with blanks as NASCAR driver Colin Braun looks on at an event in downtown Fort Worth to kickoff a weekend of NASCAR racing at the Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday, April 15, 2010. By Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)