“He’s like Bush only without the brains,” cracked one former Republican governor who knows Perry, repeating a joke that has made the rounds…
“In terms of sheer brains and understanding policy at a deep level, he’d rank pretty low,” said McNeely, looking back at the chief executives he’s covered from John Connally on. “But as far power politics and control, he’s the most powerful Texas governor in history.”
From what was historically designed to be a weak governorship, Perry has bent state government entirely to his will over a decade in office. He dominates the legislature, has effectively taken over the Texas’s expansive public university system and is relentless in his search for conquest.
Perry’s contemporary to the east, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, recounted a phone call he got from the Texan about an article in a business magazine outlining the tax incentives Louisiana had put in place to lure digital media businesses.
“He knew the nuances of what we had done and called to congratulate me but also to see what Texas could do to be competitive with us,” said Jindal.