Rick Perry is surging in recent polls into the lead of the race for the Republican party's presidential nomination. It's easy to see why, from among some prominent things he's been known to tote around, including God, Texas and a gun.
He's not afraid to use them, either.
And Perry has more. He walks with a swagger. He sounds a bit like George W. Bush. He looks a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a little bit like Jimmy Swaggart. He has a firm grip, and could prowl the sidelines coaching at an NFL game and he wouldn't seem out of place.
Add ii all up, then style it back with a bit of gel, spit a little Adios Mofo into the wind and, heck, there you have it. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has barnstormed his way to the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He's likely to continue trending as a bona fide contender to win the whole thing in November 2012. President Perry, is what we'll call him if the momentum continues.
Many think he'll never get that far. It's only a matter of time before that loose tongue and Texas tough-guy talk gets him into trouble he can't get out of, they say. But I'm not so sure about that.
Two weeks ago, I thought the very same thing. Perry has a lot of the goods required to get a win -- qualities that sent Bush into the White House, Schwarzenegger into the California Governor's Mansion, and Swaggart into millions of households as a televangelist.
A co-worker calls Perry The Duke, as in John Wayne. He also calls him a fool, for comments like the one Perry made a couple of weeks ago about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, suggesting he is treasonous for printing more money to help America manage its slow-growth economy.
Like many, I was similarly stunned by Perry's treasonous accusation of Bernanke and the Fed. Even Perry later admitted he took a lot of heat for that one. But given some time to assess what Perry really said, that the Fed is selling America out by printing free money it doesn't really have, I realized the man has a point.
A good one, in fact. Perhaps he should have chosen words more carefully if he plans to become America's next president, but Perry had a point about Bernanke and the Fed. Why, even the minutes from the latest Fed meeting reveal Bernanke faced dissenters on its most recent action, voting to keep Treasury rates at near zero for two more years.
Similarly, I was dismayed by Perry's comment in which he insinuated that President Barack Obama might not be passionate about America. Perry said he will be a president who is passionate about America, but that someone would have to ask Obama if he is. Perry said he isn't sure.
I don't agree with that assessment, on the simple fact of the matter. I think Obama is very passionate about America. Incredibly so, in fact. You can't become President of the United States if that is not the case.
But I do think Perry has a point in that many American's don't feel that way, since Obama's public demeanor often tells a different story. Running for election, Obama brought chill bumps to many. Running for his political life, he often seems stuck on play in monotone. He wants to move people, but seems shy about really doing it.
Again, Perry's words seemed wrong, but his message maybe had some merit. This list could go on, of course, since Perryisms are becoming part of our language, thanks to the outspoken candidate. But whether Americans like him or not -- and there's plenty on both sides of that equation -- there's obviously more behind the God-talking, gun-toting Texan than sometimes meets at first glance.
His surge to the GOP race lead shouldn't be a surprise. He's got many attributes that connect with many Americans. And, everything he says is not a always a joke.
Much of it just comes out that way.