Rick Perry belly flopped in his brief run for president last year, the victim of under-preparation and a painful recovery from back surgery. But today he showed dignity and grace in announcing he wouldn’t seek another term as Texas governor.
He will leave office in 2015 after 14 years on the job and with real accomplishments, in economics, social policy, and politics. He proudly noted that the “Texas model” of low taxes, responsible regulation, and entrepreneurship led to the state creating 30 percent of the net new private-sector jobs in the country over the last decade. The state legislature is currently in special session and on the verge of restricting late-term abortions.
Governor Perry also has managed to balance a no-apologies conservatism with genuine outreach to the Hispanic community. He won 38 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2010 reelection.
“He has shown the ability to walk the fine line between being an advocate for border security while recognizing the contributions by Hispanics to this nation. Many Republicans have fallen short in this regard,’’ Carlos Curbelo, a Florida-based GOP consultant on Hispanic issues, told the National Journal.
No one knows what the 63-year-old Perry’s future plans are, but he did tell Fox News on Sunday that running again for president in 2016 is an option. He would start with fairly long odds against him, but his candor, record in office, and direct approach would be welcome in any race and could easily change the first impression many voters got of him in 2012.