Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race with quite a splash this weekend. He even managed to upstage Michele Bachmann’s rousing success in the Iowa Straw Poll, where somehow getting a mere 4,800 conservative Iowans to like you means you are qualified to be President. I wager the student body president of the University of Iowa could claim similar numbers.
One would think that this nation has had enough lately of Texas governors who are proud of their weak academic records and black-and-white God-given view of the world. But Perry doesn’t remind me so much of George W. Bush but of another sunny-eyed optimist who was elected president, Ronald Reagan.
They both look the part, play on their cowboy image and have touted an optimistic vision of an America whose best days are ahead. Voters eat this stuff up. Perry also wins the oh so important contest of being the better beer drinking buddy over Obama.
I voted for Reagan twice. People who rip him forget what dire straits the country was in during the 1980 election. The economy was in a shambles, mortgage rates were in the double digits, the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and Jimmy Carter wouldn’t venture out of the Rose Garden due to the Iranian hostage crisis.
Since Barack Obama is looking increasingly like Jimmy Carter (they share a weak economy and an image of indecisiveness and lack of leadership) Perry is ready to jump right into the boots of Reagan.
The Obama campaign has spent much time attacking Romney, assuming that he will be their opponent in the fall. But unless Rick Perry pulls a Fred Thompson, and is the great white hype instead of hope, the Democrats will need to redirect their attacks. Otherwise, come January 2013, they will be cleaning out their desks in the West Wing.
Or better yet, President Obama could get some backbone and start acting like the candidate Obama of 2008. I wonder what ever happened to him?