As the race for the US presidency begins, another Texas governor has emerged as a leading contender.The dilemma facing American voters as the 2012 presidential election season begins might be summed up in one colourful question:
“Is America ready for another set of cowboy boots in the White House?”
The man posing the question is Ross Ramsey, managing editor of The Texas Tribune. The boots belong to Texas Governor James Richard “Rick” Perry, an undefeated conservative darling and gubernatorial successor to George W Bush, who’s hoping his skill at rallying dissatisfied Republicans and the religious right can propel him into the White House.
Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, and currently the longest continuously serving governor in the US, believes he can secure the Republican Party nomination and ultimately become the next US president by defeating President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.
His quest is facilitated by the fact that President Obama is saddled with a massive economic crisis and two unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Recent polling data suggest his boots may well end up in the White House if current trends continue.
A Public Policy Polling survey published August 23 found Perry with a commanding double-digit lead over Republican contender Mitt Romney, while an August 22 Gallup poll found Perry tied with Obama.
Another Texas newsman, San Antonio Express News political columnist Scott Stroud, warns that Perry is an electoral force to be reckoned with.
“He’s a very talented politician,” Stroud told Al Jazeera. “He’s never lost, and should never be underestimated.”