Rick Perry advisor: The campaign is "ready for launch"

A little corroboration for Matt Lewis’s post last night citing two Perry advisors who say he’s now 90 percent certain to enter the race.

“Ready for launch.”

— Adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry when asked by Power Play about the condition of a possible presidential run.

Sources close to Texas Gov. Rick Perry say that the events of the last week have brought America’s longest-serving governor to the cusp of an announcement…

While establishment Republicans have been pining for a candidate who is ready to have a detailed policy debate about entitlement reform and regulatory uncertainty (a la Mitch Daniels) the rank and file wants someone who is ready for a throwdown. Perry has a reputation as a policy lightweight, but he knows how to fire up a crowd and give the kind of straight talk Republicans are itching for…

Perry’s rise may push some uncommitted easterners into the arms of Romney as the election becomes more geographical and more of a clear Tea Party-versus-establishment contest. But it will also tend to galvanize the 20 percent of undecided voters and rob support from Cain and other second-tier candidates.

The “ready for launch” line isn’t just a line. A Texas friend who’s tapped into politics down there e-mailed today to point out that a lot of Gingrich’s now-former aides were involved in his Iowa operations. Which is to say, if Perry’s about to jump in (and he probably is) and if his staff will be built on former Newt staffers (and it will), then he already has a campaign infrastructure ready to go in a key early state. All he needs to do is line up some Texas donors to pour monetary gas into the campaign engine and he’s set to race. As for poor Newt, apparently he had convinced himself that the key to success in Iowa was appealing to, er … Chinese voters. (Remember, though, he’s the “smartest guy in the room.”) Something to look for during Monday night’s New Hampshire debate, perhaps: Gingrich going out of his way during a foreign-policy question to refer to Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei.”

Someone, possibly Jim Geraghty, tweeted this years-old Rick Perry YouTube clip as a devastating campaign proto-ad. Think it’ll work? Don’t answer until you’ve read this.