Rick Perry's entrance into the GOP Presidential primary will certainly shake up the race. Right now only Perry and Mitt Romney have a shot at securing the nomination. While my friends at Powerline blog think Romney will win the nomination I completely disagree. Perry will probably win or come close in Iowa (he was Agriculture Comissioner in Texas and he's an evangelical) and that will siphon Michele Bachmann's votes. Certainly Romney wins in New Hampshire but Perry will crush him in South Carolina by at least ten and probably fifteen points.
I don't know if pictures showing Perry wearing a pistol while he jogs will resonate with soccer moms (probably not) but he can claim his state created more jobs than all the others combined in the last ten years. In a time when 3,000,000 less people are working than when Obama took office that will be a powerful talking point. He will certainly run an aggressive campaign (unlike John McCain). He's won five times in Texas statewide and is a proven fundraiser and bareknuckle brawler. Just last year he crushed Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the GOP primary for Governor. Up to that time KBH was the most popular politician in Texas and Perry came from behind to beat her by 21 points.
Certainly a national election is not like Texas and he'll take a beating from the media which will do everything it can to paint him as an extremist in the hope that they can help reelect the President. Being from Texas in 2012 is probably a drawback as this century has already had a Texan be President and that albatross will hang over his head. There are also terrible rumors of his private life that are floating out of Travis County. If there is substance to the rumors his candidacy will almost certainly be finished.
In the end I don't think Perry, Romney or Obama will win the Presidential election of 2012. I believe by Labor Day Paul Ryan will jump in and will create a stampede that will crush his rivals and pose a serious challenge to the President. In the next post I'll look at the Electoral College problem the President faces next year.