Texas is diff’ernt

Posted in 2012 Primary, Around The Nation, Around The State, Election 2012 at 1:27 pm by wcnews

We haven’t written much about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s run for the presidency. Certainly the ups and downs of the his run so far have been interesting to watch. But the one thing that seems to be coming through, so far, is that running for president is diff’ernt then running for governor in Texas.

This article from TPM yesterday points that out very well, America, It’s a Whole ‘Nother Country.

Of course [Perry’s] hurt himself with gaffes and followed up the debate last night by revisiting America’s decision to throw off the yoke of Henry VIII in the 1500s. And it’s too soon to say Rick Perry’s done, though it’s pretty hard to figure how he’s not. But stepping back from all the particulars, it seems to me that a key reason for Perry’s burn up on reentry into the atmosphere after his rapid ascent in August is that his key political handlers — and presumably Perry himself — simply didn’t grasp that the dynamics of national politics are just very different from those of Texas.

At some level, every state is a microcosm. New York isn’t like the nation at large; California’s certainly isn’t. And Texans have been dominating American politics for decades — LBJ, GWB, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, George H.W. Bush and the list goes on. So it’s not at all like they can’t go national. But it’s its own place. And what flies in conservative GOP politics in Texas can seem really, really way out in a lot of the remaining 49 states.

Most political operatives get that. But somehow Perry’s didn’t.

That sounds about right. Because it’s seems like Perry and his team thought that they could run the same campaign they ran in 2010 in Texas, hiding from the media and just doing “retail” politics. But it sure looks like that’s not going to work. What we’re seeing now is why Perry ducked debates, editorial boards, and most face-to-face interviews in 2010. He’s not very good at it. There was no reason for Perry to face the media or the people of Texas, other than in TV commercials and in person events, as long as his polling didn’t move. And the political media in Texas in 2010 was either unwilling or unable to challenge Perry.

Here’s what Paul Burka had to say about this earlier in the month, Why Perry doesn’t do interviews. What we have seen in Texas, generally, is there’s very little engagement of actual people/voters in statewide campaigns. As Krugman pointed out recently Texas is diff’ernt.

I can’t be the only person watching Rick Perry’s performance as a presidential candidate and wondering, how did this guy become a Texas political legend, an unstoppable force who never lost? Did nobody ever ask him a slightly hard question before?

So I asked my favorite Texan, aka my wife, and she said, “Texas is feudal”. Meaning that Perry was the candidate of the bidness community, and in Texas, what bidness wants, bidness gets. [Emphasis added]

Of course, he might yet become president. And if so, soon all of America will be like that.

Perry was able to hide in 2010 because the “bidness community” had already made it’s decision, once he won the GOP primary the race was essentially over. And enough Texans hadn’t felt enough pain yet. The same can’t be said at the national level, therefore not candidate can hide and win in 2012.

Further Reading:
CHARTS: Here’s What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About…
Occupy Wall Street shifts from protest to policy phase.

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