He was running for President when he blanked on TV and couldn’t remember three agencies he promised to close.
And he was a crappy public speaker.
And he didn’t like reading position papers so he fumbled taking a stand on a lot of issues.
If the Republican Texas governor’s highly publicized, job-poaching trips to California and Illinois wasn’t evidence that Perry is setting the stage for another run for president, his recent trip to New York offered a blueprint how he hopes to fix his damaged political image.
He got up on the stage and socked it to them.
Perry insiders say he believes that if voters give him a second chance, they’ll find he’s not the dense, tongue-tied Texas cowboy he seemed to be in 2012.
For one thing, Perry hopes to be better prepared, won’t be recovering from debilitating back surgery and faces pretty low expectations.
What that means is – if he can just avoid mistakes, voters might think he’s not so bad after all.
Inventing that national narrative was part of what the New York trip was all about.
Setting him up with an influential conservative journalist led to some nice words.
“He passed this preliminary test with ease. His speech comparing the roaring economy of Texas to that of other states was impressive. I heard him deliver it to three separate groups. There were no uncomfortable moments or glitches. What’s significant is that he has a positive, upbeat message. Most Republicans don’t. But it will take months of gaffe-free speeches and TV appearances to begin to overcome the legacy of 2012.”
As grandpa used to say: leopards don’t change their spots.