Why Rick Perry should not run

I have already discussed why Rick Perry should not run for president–even if he should act like he is thinking about it. Perry’s announcement that he will lead a Christian prayer event in Reliant Stadium this summer does signal ambition–it doesn’t mean that he will run.

My reason for sticking with the prediction is based on a variation the an old proverb: “Better to remain out of the race and be thought a weak candidate than to run and remove all doubt.”

Perry’s appeal is limited. The polling so far does not look good for him (a Texas Tribune poll showed him doing poorly even among Texas Republicans). Republicans don’t need a southern candidate to win and Perry’s support in much of the country is very limited. He would be far behind much of the competition in building a nation-wide campaign. There are already too many candidates appealing to Christian conservatives for Perry to peel off votes there and the legislative session did little to distinguish Perry from the rest of the anti-tax candidates in the current field.

In short, Perry is not a good fit for the strategic environment of 2012. He might surprise us and go from being an asterisk in the polls to finishing third or fourth in the delegate count. However, along the way his weaknesses on important issues or in key states would be on display. The time on the campaign trail would give him time to make the occasional gaffe. He would also be pressed to take stands on controversial issues as he campaigned across the country seeking the support of key groups. He would also have to attack fellow Republicans.

In some ways, it may seem ironic. The best way for Perry to look like a strong vice presidential candidate is to avoid running for president. A presidential run could even create problems for cabinet positions. When it comes to building national support, less might be more.

The question is, can Perry look past the opportunity of Gingrich’s most recent staff implosion and look at the broader strategic picture.


2 Responses

  1. Yeah…you’re a frickin’ genius! BTW, I predicted he’d run for President on the air, on the record, and repeatedly since November of last year. It’s not rocket science–it’s the simple reality of a quintessential opportunity for a consumate opportunist.
    How could this pompous, vapid haircut NOT think he should be President!?!

    • Great! Hardly anyone reads my posts… except the one where I made a prediction.

      In my defense, I was having a good time challenging the conventional wisdom. Your prediction was right. My prediction was more fun.

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