The Secessionist Looms

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 10 2011 @ 12:30pm


“I think [Perry] will put Romney in the microwave and turn it up to high. Romney’s been avoiding the heat so far, but not when Perry gets in,” – Mark McKinnon in an interesting piece by Dan Balz.

I find it fascinating that the youngest and brownest of the Bush scions has now endorsed Huntsman. Perry is no George W. He is far further to the right. That's why one senses he could win this, unless Palin gets in the race. Given their ideological, stylistic and theocratic closeness, she would certainly be a permanent campaign fixture for him. And he is a perfect fit for the current GOP:

“Bush by nature, in Texas, wanted to be a conciliator,” said one Texas strategist, who requested anonymity to give a candid assessment of Perry. “I think he wanted to be somewhat bipartisan. I don’t think Perry’s particularly interested in those things. I don’t think he’s afraid to be partisan. I don’t think he’s afraid to be tough and mean when he has to.”

For these reasons, Perry would be toast in a fairly normal economy. But what we now know is that this will be an election in hard times, with populism and resentment and religious fundamentalism on the rise everywhere. My hunch is that in a Perry-Obama match, Obama would wipe the floor among Independents and those who remember the last president from Texas. But the wild card of recession makes me leery of any conviction about this.

(Photo: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (L) speaks on stage alongside Rev. C.L. Jackson, of Houston's Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church (C) and Alice Patterson, Texas State Coordinator for The Response USA at the non-denominational prayer and fasting event, entitled 'The Response' at Reliant Stadium 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)