Governor Rick Perry of Texas today said that he would “think about” entering the race to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. Although a number of his staffers were quick to downplay his statement, it appears that his staunch refusal to consider the prospect is a thing of the past.
Rick Perry has long been a divisive figure in Texas politics, and that was no less true today as he signed two highly controversial bills into law – one requiring Texans to present a photo ID in order to vote, and another requiring women to view an ultrasound image before they can receive an abortion. As a staunch conservative, Perry may seem like a potential Tea Party favorite, but according to one poll, only 4 percent of Texas Republicans would vote for him in the race for president.
At this early stage, it’s nearly impossible to tell who will end up on the Republican ticket next November. Prominent figures like Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich have already risen and fallen in their bid for the nomination, and now other well-known conservative figures like Perry and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin seem poised to throw their names into the pot. So was Perry serious, or was he just testing the waters? The next few weeks or months may tell.