Rick Perry: A primer on the presidential candidate
A Rick Perry reader: DC Decoder offers a sampling of the best profiles of the Texas governor turned 2012 GOP presidential candidate.
Meet Rick Perry.
DC Decoder gets you up to speed with this short reading guide, some highlights of Perry profiles, including Perry's undergraduate days at Texas A&M and his record as the longest serving head of the Lone Star state.
1. For the quickest of primers, see The Christian Science Monitorâ€™s â€ś11 Questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid.â€ť This should give you a general lay of the land, situating Perry in the context of his own life and the Republican nomination process.
2. To get a sense of Perry before he was in the political spotlight, check out Texas Tribuneâ€™s â€śTexas A&M Years Launched Perry â€” And a Rivalry.â€ť Perry, one of A&Mâ€™s famous â€śyell leaders,â€ť was both a prolific college prankster and a shrewd political operator.
3. For a rapid backgrounder on Perryâ€™s political career, the Houston Chronicle has this slideshow of each of Perryâ€™s races for public office since 1984. Over that 27 year span, Perry has never lost an election.
Governor of Texas
1. Perryâ€™s record as governor of Texas comes down to one word: Jobs.
The counterpoint? This, from the Austin-American Statesman:
Most people know of Texasâ€™ reputation for creating jobs â€” the cornerstone of Perryâ€™s pitch that limited government, less regulation and low taxes are the tonic for what ails the nation. Yet almost half of the stateâ€™s job growth the past two years was led by education, health care and government, the sectors of the economy that will now take a hit as federal stimulus money runs out and the Legislatureâ€™s eight percent cut in state spending translates into thousands of layoffs among state workers and teachers in the coming weeks.
Also, Texas is tied with Mississippi as the nationâ€™s leaders in minimum wage jobs. And conservatives argue that Texas can do more to lower its tax burden on businesses, which is higher than the national average and states such as California and Massachusetts that have a personal income tax.
2. Want the data behind what Perry supporters call the â€śTexas miracleâ€ť of job creation? The Texas Tribune has it here, including this choice bit:
Texas gained more jobs in June 2011, 32,000, and more jobs this year, 220,000, than any other state in the country. To put these numbers in perspectiveâ€¦. 237,000 out of the 496,000 jobs added to the national work force since June 2009 were in Texas.
3. â€śDear Yankee,â€ť Texas Monthly writes, â€śEight things you ought to know before you start writing stories about Rick Perry.â€ť This includes the fact that Perry is not George W. Bush, that heâ€™s not a weak governor, and that itâ€™s not a big deal that Perry was once a Democrat.
Perry for President
1. Even before he formally got into the race, more than a half-dozen â€śSuper PACs,â€ť political groups set up to rake in donations and then spend money on Perryâ€™s behalf, sprouted up across the country urging him to run and campaigning for him in places like Iowa.
2. Widely regarded as a powerful retail politician, get a sense for Perryâ€™s ability to work a room, kiss corporations babies and generally ingratiate himself with anyone and everyone with POLITICOâ€™s story of Perry â€śschoolingâ€ť Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at the ancient art of glad-handing.
3. Retail politics isnâ€™t the only thing Perry does with aplomb - heâ€™s also got an inside track to raising megabucks from major Republican donors.
4. Perry has cut a video introducing him to America, which includes clips from what appear to be campaign ads during his 27 years in politics. Check it out below.
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