Can Anyone Stop Rick Perry In 2016?

It looks like everything is aligned for Rick Perry to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

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Jim Young/REUTERS

Texas Governor Rick Perry sits down for lunch at The Drive-In Restaurant in Florence, South Carolina, January 17, 2012.

It looks like everything is aligned for Rick Perry to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

He’ll be a 14-year retired governor of a prosperous state with a long list of accomplishments following on a former Senator who has demonstrated difficulty managing the federal government. He can start his campaign early this time and has his back condition under control (so no pain, or painkillers). He’s run for president once before — a tried and true way to build name recognition. And there’s been a Texan on the ticket in six of the last 14 presidential cycles — and there were two in 1988. He’s a prodigious fundraiser, tapping into Texas wealth like no other.

But Perry faces a Texas-sized obstacle: …Oops.

The fateful 80 seconds on stage at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. in November 2011, when Perry forgot the name of the 15,000-person Cabinet agency responsible for the safeguarding of nuclear materials that he planned to eliminate, marked the final straw for a Perry campaign that had been struggling from the start. Out of the gate he threatened Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. His book questioned the constitutionality of Social Security. There was that unusual speech in New Hampshire where a seemingly impaired candidate made wild hand gestures and facial expressions. His campaign team was plagued by divisions and internal strife. The impression all this left is the most daunting challenge for Perry as he weighs another run for the White House in 2016.

“The problem he has in a presidential, is that all of the voters in the early states don’t live in Texas,” former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt told TIME. “His successes are remote to them. What’s lasting is the terrible first impression.”

Masking that indelible image of a know-nothing candidate will take time. “It’s going to require an enormous effort,” Schmidt said. The question is whether Perry decides to invest the resources to make it happen.

Perry’s decision not to seek another term avoided a potential primary fight with the better-funded Attorney General Greg Abbott, but represents a correction from one of his most significant mistakes.

Perry entered the 2012 race in August 2011 a day after the Iowa Straw Poll left him with little time to prepare or fundraise and a debilitating back problem that required medication and made travel and long appearances troublesome. Now Perry has said he will announce his intentions for 2016 by the end of the year, making him one of the earliest entrants if he decides to run — time he will need to rehabilitate his national image.

“Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately,” Perry said Monday.

“I think Perry’s biggest problem in 2012 was lack of time to prepare and lack of national experience. Now he would have both,” said former Romney senior strategist Stuart Stevens, who savaged Perry in the Republican primary.  “If he had a couple of impressive debate performances, he would go a long way to redefining his ability to be a serious contender.”

Despite the markedly tougher prospective 2016 field—Rubio, Christie, Paul, Bush—Stevens believes Perry is undervalued.

“The press over-bought Perry in 2012 and I think they are underselling now,” he added.

Two years ago when Perry was making his decision to run, Washington was convinced he’d quickly become a potent challenger. Now, Perry’s name is the butt of jokes. But Schmidt says if Perry can mitigate his first impression, the timing is right for him in 2016.

“The next presidential race is always an answer to the incumbent,” he said. “The notion that you want a young and inexperienced senator just defies history and what the Republican primary is going to be about.”

108 comments
cletuscorey
cletuscorey

RICK PERRY IS ONE OF TX'S BEST ALL-TIME GOVERNORS I SUSTAINED A TBI ON 10 `1 02 RIDING IN THE BACKSEAT OF A CAR UNBUCKLED AND WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE COMA I WROYE A LETTER ASKING PERRY TO PASS A BACKSEAT SEATBELT LAW AND HE DID 2 WEEKS LATER AND HE LSO PROVIDED ME W/ OVER A MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF THERAPY UNDER DARS SO NOW I AM WALKING W/ A CANE AND I AM BACK IN COLEG HOPEFULLY PERRY CAN BE OUR NET RONALD REAGON nd get us out of this dpression that obamma has put us in

wreeves
wreeves

No Perry, please. I am a Texan, conservative and REpublican, but do not think Perry is

the guy who can win.  He is flippant, arrogant and interested mainly in Perry! It would

be another disaster like Romney and McCain.

JKingsmill
JKingsmill

My beagle could do a better job than the buffoon we have now! 

JimVanCise
JimVanCise

Let's hope for another complete meltdown such as he experienced the last time :)

gopocon
gopocon

AMERICA NEEDS A LEADER AND STATESMAN LIKE TEX. GOV. RICK PERRY BASED ON WHAT HE STANDS FOR AND WHAT HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED IN TEXAS AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE.  AS SOON AS HE DECIDES TO RUN, JUN POLICARPIO OF DOUGLASTON, NEW YORK WILL ORGANIZE A CAMPAIGN TEAM STARTING IN NEW YORK TO WREST CONTROL OF THE WHITE HOUSE FROM PEOPLE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS THE LEADER OF THE WORLD. 

pcwag33
pcwag33

America doesn't deserve Rick Perry as its leader.  We'll be steered to another money puppet/shill that we deserve.

G.windy
G.windy

Rick Perry would make a wonderful President. I pray he can overcome the evil Liberal Press...

wreeves
wreeves

@G.windy 

He also has to overcome many conservatives who see him as he is -- self-centered and arroagant....like an Obama clone!

Sherm
Sherm

Thought I was on Time.com but apparently it's the Onion.

anti-government
anti-government

If Rick Perry isn't too stupid to be President, who is?

FelicitaLuna
FelicitaLuna

@anti-government I think Woodrow Wilson could beat  Rick Perry. 

ssando
ssando

Rick Perry would be an incredible President.  Look at Texas, it tops all other 49 States.That didn't happen by accident. It takes good leadership and a focus to excel.  We need a President to lead and bring America back to the place America needs to be.  It isn't happening now.  So he had oops moment - he's human.  Our current President had plenty of oops moments, as do any candidates that run - no one is perfect and hardly a reason to dismiss Perry as a viable candidate.  I would vote for him with no hesitation.  I couldn't take another President like this last one.  

BirgitFerguson
BirgitFerguson

@ssando I agree. I would jump on that train. He is economically and constitutionally sound and knows the rule of law. He is a Christian and has sound Christian principles and is pro Israel..he has brought the state of Texas to being one of the most economically sound states in the lower 48, as others are on the verge of bankruptcy due to giving in to the wanting all things for free crowd. Sadly Chris Christie if he keeps up with those McDonald's whoppers  might not be around in 2016. There is such a a thing of self discipline. The liberals want to vote for a perfect orator an actor and false promises, and instead see results as a sound economy, job growth and constitutional freedom as Texas portrays as a hindrance.  

KateBuccella
KateBuccella

@ssandoTexas doesn't top the list in healthcare quality, education, percentage of insured drivers, etc. It DOES rank at the top of the list for teenage pregnancy and STD rates, though.

anti-government
anti-government

@ssando Rick Perry is lucky he's allowed to live outside a home for the feeble-minded!

FrankBlank
FrankBlank

Perry/Bachmann 2016!!!!  Yeeehaw!!!

anti-government
anti-government

@FrankBlank 

Perry-Bachmann is a ticket that could destroy the myth that the American people are conservative. This ticket would be a GOP disaster equal to Goldwater-Miller in 1964. Between them, Perry and Bachmann don't have an IQ that adds up to 100.

mcfarlandnc
mcfarlandnc

I can't wait for Rick Perry to run!  His unintentional comedy is priceless and provides millions with hearty belly laughs.  What a clown.

raouol
raouol

Good! A wide open door for the Democrats! When will the true and historic Republicans understand?

BillMeeker
BillMeeker

Rick Perry will stop Rick Perry.  Just give him a mike.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@BillMeeker Exactly, Bill.  Texas is a rigged game where Perry won multiple terms without even one debate.  The first time he HAD to debate, he fell on his face.

Presidential debates are going nowhere any time soon, so Rick Perry is non-viable as a serious candidate.

manstrato
manstrato

When I saw the headline for this piece, I assumed it was meant to be a joke, but it seems the author is serious.  Does anyone remember how Rick Perry performed in the past Presidential race?  It is absurd to think that he could be a serious contender for the Presidency, a bit like running Sarah Palin again.

Well I am sure the Democrats are hoping that this prediction is correct because there aren't many candidates that they would be happier to run against (actually there are some Republicans that the Democrats would be even happier to run against, but even the craziest Republicans wouldn't seriously consider those guys as a candidate.

Tmkwan
Tmkwan

This article is interesting in that it seems to presuppose that the country will have no recollection of the history of the recent past. A famous quote has it that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Would the country actually be so forgetful or unchanged from the time of GWB that Perry can win on the basis stated in the article? This article seems simplistic - in that I question would the Latino influence not play a part in view of whats happening now? would the impact of the Obama care in practice not affect the appeal of "free market" solution to the needs of the elderly or uninsured etc? This article seems just so one sided.

romano70
romano70

Paraphrasing Forest Gump: "Run, Rick, RUN!"

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

"Masking that indelible image of a know-nothing candidate will take time."  And divine intervention.