Perry’s Opening Gambit

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 9 2011 @ 12:10pm

Politico claims that the Texas governor is set to announce his presidential run this Saturday, as the Iowa straw poll winner is declared. Seth Mandel guesses the reasoning:

GT_PERRY_110808 Perry is not trying to make the public forget about the winner of the straw poll. In fact, to have the intended effect, Perry wants the Iowa straw poll to be magnified in the public’s mind. The goal of his competing announcement is to highlight the winner of the straw poll at the same time he makes a (sure to be) well-covered speech. 

Perry wants to say: Look–here are your two choices. The reason is because his chief rival, Mitt Romney​, is unlikely to win the straw poll. That means an effective Perry campaign ploy will elevate the winner (most likely Bachmann) to a space that should be occupied by Romney. The news cycle will pit Perry against the Not Romney candidate.

And this happens as the Obamaites launch a pre-emptive strike on the Mormon from Massachusetts. Money quote from a Smith-Martin insidery, anonymously sourced classic:

The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm that was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs. Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the Great Recession — a sort of political Gordon Gekko. “He was very, very good at making a profit for himself and his partners but not nearly as good at saving jobs for communities,” said David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist. “His is very much the profile of what we’ve seen in the last decade on Wall Street. He was about making money. And that’s fine. But often times he made it at the expense of jobs in communities.”

Of the current GOP candidates, I see only Huntsman and Romney as truly dangerous for Obama. American amnesia is deep and wide but another gun-totin' Texan is not, it seems to me, what the public is looking for.

(Photo: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to an estimated 30,000 attendees at the non-denominational prayer and fasting event, 'The Response,' on August 6, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Thousands attended the event organized by Gov. Rick Perry in order to pray for God to help save 'a nation in crisis' referring to America. By Brandon Thibodeaux/Getty Images)