The Corner

Rick Perry Launches

The former Texas governor’s announcement speech is getting rave reviews, with headlines like “Rick Perry’s high-octane kick-off” and “Perry Electrifies in Announcement Speech.”

Reid Wilson has an article up about how Perry’s failed campaign last time around frames this one.

Imagine, the strategist told me, what it’s like to be called a fool in front of 30 million people.

In the three-and-a-half years since he ended his last presidential campaign, Rick Perry has made every effort to reverse that impression. He has attended policy briefings and bootcamps with some of the brightest minds in the Republican Party, many of whom worked against him back in 2012. In interviews with reporters, he routinely references the lessons he takes away from those briefings. Even his new glasses, with thick black frames, seem designed to give the impression that he’s less hat and more cattle. . . .

Even if Perry falls flat a second time, the work he’s put in could, at the very least, reverse that initial impression. For Perry, the trauma of a second presidential race may be worth erasing the blight of the first.

It’s hard not to sympathize with that goal. And there’s always the chance that he won’t fall flat.

(disclosure)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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