Quotes of the day

“There are other, bigger names that are also performing their best Hamlet, publicly going back and forth and deferring a decision. Gov. Rick Perry (TX) keeps stirring the pot, and on the surface he’s a strong candidate if he runs. You can’t easily dismiss the three-term governor of a major Republican state who is an aggressive Southern fiscal and social conservative in a field that lacks titans from the GOP’s strongest region. But Perry probably isn’t running, and it’s not even clear that voters in his own state want him to run. A recent poll showed him attracting only 4% support in a hypothetical Republican primary in Texas. That result squares with rumblings from the Lone Star State that the powers that be want Perry, who may instead run for yet another term as governor in 2014, to ride off into the sunset

“Meanwhile, there is former Gov. Sarah Palin (AK), with her hastily thrown-together bus tour over Memorial Day weekend, complete with a pizza dinner with Donald Trump and a game of hide-and-seek with swarms of reporters. Maybe she runs, and if she did she would be a contender for the GOP nomination, as one would expect of a prior vice presidential nominee. However, she’s extremely unpopular with the nation at large: Public Policy Polling, a reasonably reliable although Democratic outfit, found that more voters viewed Palin unfavorably than favorably in all 31 states it surveyed. We have downgraded her status in our ranking to near the bottom of our second tier. Ultimately, we don’t believe she’s running for two reasons. She has more influence and a far higher income outside of elective politics than in it — don’t forget her resignation at mid-term as Alaska’s governor. Even more important, she knows full well her chances of being elected president in 2012 are low. Why sacrifice so much and endure such rigors for nothing?”

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“Two separate and reliable sources in Texas tell me serious preparations are being made for Governor Rick Perry, 61, to seek the Republican nomination for president.

“Dave Carney and Rob Johnson — the former top Perry aides who on Thursday left Newt Gingrich’s floundering campaign — are said to be heading to Texas soon to join in on preparations for the run. I am told this is now ‘ninety percent likely to occur.’ Additionally, Perry allies have begun holding meetings in the state and have been instructed to quietly reach out to contacts in early primary states.”

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“Then there are what we seasoned political reporters like to call ‘the facts on the ground.’ I’ve been in Iowa the last few days, and voters and activists here are in a shuffle-the-cards mode. They cycle through all the candidates, even the ones far back in the polls like Rick Santorum. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has come up several times, even though he’s only rumored to be thinking about considering getting in the race. Herman Cain is getting a lot of buzz. People like that he’s not a politician, which means both that he didn’t hold a Washington job but also that he’s not a polished guy who’s always trying to pitch you something.

“In all my conversations, no one brought up Palin—either as the answer to the presidential puzzle or as a question mark worth waiting for, like Perry.”

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