Don’t know what it is about the guy, but Rick Perry inspires me. Remember the day after his apex-of-awkward “oops” moment? He hit the morning shows to say, “This ain’t a day for quittin’.” Talk about a motivating moment. Yesterday, he repeated his demonstration of the power of positive thinking. In his first public appearance since he dropped his bid for president, Perry was upbeat, outgoing and focused on the future:

“I’m not slipping off into the sunset, I’m not riding off into the West,” said Perry at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Williamson County, reported The Texas Tribune. “I’ve got plenty of fight left in this old 61-year-old body.” …

“I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. It was just extraordinary. I would not trade it for anything that I’ve ever done in my 60-plus years of living,” he said.

Perry, who vowed to continue his work in Texas, also said that the movement he campaigned on is “bigger than any one man or woman.”

“It goes forward at a ballot box near you in 2012,” he said.

Perry, who famously never lost an election before in his life, reminded his audience that he comes from a winning tradition as a Texas A&M grad. He made light of his recent failure, suggesting that he wasn’t outscored but that he did run out of time.

“I’m really not used to running out of time,” he said.

Fact is, he hasn’t. As he put it, he still has time to forward the conservative agenda. As long as we have hearts pumping and lungs breathing, we haven’t run out of time, either. As Mary Pickford put it, “You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Perry might have fallen, but he’s not staying down. Good for him.