Yesterday, Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka wrote a provocative piece in which he mulled over whether Rick Perry wants Mitt Romney to lose. The crux of the piece is, if Perry is now attempting to set himself up for another Presidential run in 2016, then Obama would need to win re-election, since otherwise Romney (presumably) would be an incumbent Republican seeking re-election in 2016.
I have no idea if Burka’s theory holds water and neither does he – it’s just one possibility. But if if he’s on the right track, let’s add to the palace intrigue.
If Governor Perry wants to run in 2016, he’ll need to do something different than he’s been doing between now and then. Something which keeps him in the public eye, but also adds to his experience and credibility, so that Republican primary voters will see him in a different light down the road, and take a second serious look at Perry when the time comes.
It’s pretty obvious that Perry’s candidacy is over after South Carolina, which is 8 days from now. It’s difficult to imagine him coming home, returning to his job as Governor, and continuing the status quo as if nothing had ever happened.
But if 2016 is really on his mind? Guess what – go read the court order on filing deadlines from the San Antonio Federal Court. It apparently means that when and if the Congressional and legislative maps are ever cleared up, filing will re-open for all offices, not just the ones for which the maps may change.
Perry could unexpectedly file for the U.S. Senate when filing re-opens, and, arguably, would immediately be the frontrunner in the race. The current frontrunner, David Dewhurst, could merely withdraw as a Senate candidate, wait for Perry to win in the Senate race, then Dewhurst would automatically move into the Governor’s office. And, if for some reason that big plan doesn’t work out for Perry, it’s a free ride and he’s still governor for 2 more years.
The advantage for Perry is that he’d be pressing the reset button, and the U.S. Senate could be the national stage from which he gains foreign policy experience, proves he can fight against bloated budgets, show the extent to which he can out-Republican other Senate Republicans in fighting the President’s health care policy, and anything else Perry dreams up to upset D.C. apple carts.
I don’t pretend to know anything about Rick Perry’s plans, but if there’s any truth to Burka’s musings on 2016, the scenario is one which might work as well for Perry as any other.