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July 15th, 2011 7:05 pm
Rick Perry’s Lesson to Cautious Politicians: Get Out of the Way

The New York Times has an interesting biographical gap filler on Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry’s former life as a Democratic state representative.  The theme that stands out is Perry’s uncanny ability to run for office at a time perfectly suited for his personal ambitions.

Here’s an example from when he switched parties to become a Republican running for statewide office.

Rumors that Mr. Perry would defect to the Republican Party — and run against Jim Hightower, the populist Democratic agriculture commissioner — picked up steam by late 1989. On Sept. 29, Mr. Perry made it official at a Capitol news conference. At his side were Fred Meyer, chairman of the Texas Republican Party, and Senator Phil Gramm, a former Democrat, who was aggressively courting would-be converts.

Mr. Perry’s timing, now legendary, could not have been better. He was one of only two Republicans elected to nonjudicial statewide office in 1990. Eight years later, Republicans swept every one of them.

“Perry has been a risk taker,” said Mr. Hance, the party switcher who became the chancellor of Texas Tech University. “And if you look at Perry’s timing in every race, he’s been the golden guy.”

Could 2012 be another such moment for the Texas Tea Party governor?

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