3) Sucking up to the establishment won’t work. Its members don’t like Perry. They probably never will. And sucking up to them loses him street cred on the right. Palin realized this about herself by the summer of 2009, right before she upturned the race for New York’s 23 congressional district by endorsing conservative candidate Doug Hoffman over her party’s pick. Perry isn’t going to win the nomination by becoming Mitt Romney. In fact, Perry’s best shot at winning may be going hard right and rallying the diehards. This wouldn’t work in the general election, but Perry will never make it out of the primary if he can’t inspire base voters better than Romney. Historically it’s been important to get the establishment nod, but Perry is running because this is the Tea Party’s moment and in order to harness it he must distance himself from the powers that be.