As a presidential announcement from Texas Gov. Rick Perry looks ever more likely, his supporters and potential supporters have upped their activity in apparent preparation. Tonight in Austin, for example, a group of top Republican donors will meet to discuss whether they think Perry will be able to garner the support he needs across the country. CNN reports:
Some potential donors and bundlers for Texas Governor Rick Perry, if he mounts a presidential campaign, are meeting Tuesday in Austin, a Republican source confirms.
These money men have been talking to possible financial supporters around the country weighing how much support a candidacy would garner and will deliver their preliminary results during these meetings, the source told CNN.
The Austin American-Statesman reported four dozen potential donors were attending the session. Perry spokesman Mark Miner told CNN the governor is not attending the meetings but would have dinner with the donors Tuesday evening.
In New York, Perry’s pal, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has said he would consider a presidential bid himself, would, in the absence of that bid, likely cast his support for Perry, delivering crucial perks for the Texas governor:
The two men are good friends, and Perry was the only Republican governor in the country to endorse Giuliani’s presidential campaign in 2008. Payback could benefit Perry on a number of fronts – most notably fundraising – and would likely strengthen his status as a top-tier candidate if he decides to run.
“Rudy would be an awesome asset to any campaign,” said Perry’s longtime political svengali Dave Carney. “Of course candidates matter to voters, but folks of the mayor’s stature bring lot of value added to any effort.”
And, Giuliani himself has had kind words for a Perry bid, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday that the Texas governor has “probably one of the strongest records of any governor in America,” even while noting that he has yet to make up his mind about running himself.
In Iowa, Americans for Rick Perry are building an ever-bigger presence to be prepared for the straw poll in early August.
Given that Perry has made money a litmus test of sorts for his decision, his answer to that call he’s heard should be increasingly clear to him. Which means little is left to GOP voters dulled by the current crop of candidates except to get excited whenever it’s official, as a sizable percentage have said they’re prepared to do.