Let's get one thing straight from the start. Gov. Rick Perry is no blow-dry George Bush clone, even though he owes his stellar political career about 75 percent to Bush and maybe 25 percent to Osama bin Laden. So what is the political profile of the Texas Governor, now officially in the race as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination? A Rasmussen poll this week of likely Republican primary voters, has him with 29-percent support, against his current rivals, Romney with 18 percent, and Bachmann with 13 percent.
Inside Texas, he's the most successful politician in the entire history of the state. George Bush lost his first congressional race. In a lifetime career of ten elections since 1984, Perry has never lost one. He has an acute sense of political timing. His defeated opponents readily attest to Perry's relentless self-discipline as a campaigner, his skills at raising campaign cash — he already has a huge prospective war chest for his first national foray. They all emphasize the fatal consequences of underestimating him.
But above all, Rick Perry is one lucky son of a b*tch. Not just once or twice, but at almost every decisive fork in the road fate has given him a benign tap on the shoulder. Napoleon said, "give me lucky generals." Looking at Perry's CV, he'd have made him Grand Marshall of France on the spot.
In 1998, Perry ran for Lieutenant Governor. Victory would put the first Republican in the slot since Reconstruction. Bush was already planning his 2000 presidential run, which would mean quitting the gubernatorial chair. Bush had no desire to see a Democrat step up from the Lieut. Gov.'s office, and so, Karl Rove took a close strategic and tactical interest in Perry's bid. The Bush clan ran ...