Being George W. Bush’s baby brother can’t have been easy. As Rick Perry surely knows, being his lieutenant governor probably wasn’t a joyride, either. Now both Jeb Bush and Rick Perry have their sights set on the presidency. These dual runs would not only divide Texas’s donors and operatives, they would also once again pit Perry against the Bush clan.
Today Governor Perry delivers his farewell address to the Texas legislature. It’s a crucial transition point for him: When his term comes to an end next week, it will mark the first time in three decades that he has not held elected office. It will also be the first time that, as a free man, he can turn his attention full-time to a White House bid.
Perry likes to say that America loves second chances, and he is doing everything to ensure that his encore on the national stage bears little resemblance to his debut, which was marked by missteps and a lack of careful planning from beginning to end. He wasn’t prepared to talk about national issues; his team missed a deadline to qualify for the Virginia primary; and he was hopped up on medication from recent back surgery.