Knives Out for Rick Perry Pre-Campaign

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The political news hole situated between Washington’s debt deal and the run-up to Iowa’s straw poll is being filled up by stories on the Texas governor in part because things are slow, no one else is running around renting out stadiums or getting experimental stem cell treatments, but mostly because of the orbit-altering effect his entrance could have on the Republican presidential race. That’s evident in the sheer volume of opposition research that’s being dumped right now.

On Wednesday, Politico sorted through the lode mined by Perry’s 2010 re-election opponent:

The opposition research file on Perry is huge and goes well beyond the best-known Perry controversies.

But even the greatest hits reel is bad enough: Perry issued a 2007 executive order mandating the human papillomavirus vaccine for sixth-grade girls, while Perry’s former chief of staff lobbied for Merck, the only provider of the vaccine. He spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a rental mansion while the governor’s residence underwent repairs. During his administration, the whole board of the state juvenile justice system resigned over allegations of covering up sexual abuse in detention centers. And that’s before delving into a shaky state budget, which has included to-the-bone cuts in education and other programs suburban swing voters care about.

And today the Huffington Post posts the less-than-flattering college transcript it obtained from some enterprising Texan:

Perry also did poorly on classes within his animal science major. In fall semester 1970, he received a D in veterinary anatomy, a F in a second course on organic chemistry and a C in animal breeding. He did get an A in world military systems and “Improv. of Learning” — his only two As while at A&M.

“A&M wasn’t exactly Harvard on the Brazos River,” recalled a Perry classmate in an interview with The Huffington Post. “This was not the brightest guy around. We always kind of laughed. He was always kind of a joke.”

The grade Perry’s rivals are probably really enjoying: “a D in the principles of economics.”