The GOP / Tea Party / Libertarians have a real quandry on their hands with this guy. I really liked him when we lived in Sugar Land, TX but we were pretty insulated from the poor / lower-middle-class there. I have to admit, I was not paying attention to a lot that was going on. I thought all was fine. So the biggest debacle the Conservs have had recently (in the eyes of everyone but themselves) was the debt ceiling. Polls ranged anywhere from 65% - 78% of people thinking the GOP handled it disastrously. Doesn't matter if they were right or had a point, elections are won based on perception - and the perception was overwhelmingly poor. This was one of the few areas in which Obama (although he too had poor ratings) came out looking WAY better than the GOP. So debt is a key issue. What's Perry's record on debt? Oops. What will the Dem sound bite be? "A vote for Perry is just like a vote for bringing George W. Bush back to the White House!" Oops. Then there are those things about his highway and giving the government land and power? Oops. Big Government guy eh? More Bushlike. Owned by Big Oil? Of course. More Bushlike. But here's what's worse for him. Subliminal Psychology. The stuff we don't even notice, that effects our decision making. I voted for Bush (the good one, not the idiot). I was floored when he lost! He was the first incumbant president in history to decisively win a war that the whole nation was behind - and then lose re-election. I used to lecture on Pyschological Profiling at USD and decided to make him a case study. Bush was a long-time spook. One of the things you learn in the biz, is misdirectional body language. Shaking your head no, while you say the word "yes", for example. Bush was a master of this and it killed him. In one speech he held his thumb and forefinger an inch apart. What does that mean to our subconscious? Small. What was he actually saying at the time? "The Hispanic community is very important to me." What was the message sent to Hispanic voters? He's lying. In another speech, he held his hands together and then motioned them outwards. What does that mean? Pushing apart. What did he say? "I'm here to bring us together. To work as a non-partisan." Again, the subconscious message that he was lying. Now I think he actually meant those things but he had so much training in misdirectional body language, he couldn't help himself. So whether or not he was genuine, at the subconcious level, he wasn't perceived as genuine. That cost him. So now we come to Perry. I've been watching and listening. There are three things that make impact: Visual appearance, Vocal tones and patterns, Choice of words. Perry dresses and moves a lot like Bush (the idiot, not the good one). He's very "down home" and Texan. Even likes cowboy boots. This is bad. Perry's vocal tones and patterns are a LOT like W. I heard him on the radio and thought it actually was W for a second. He speaks slowly, with a Texan drawl. He pauses a lot. He laughs just a bit, here and there. He speaks in a tone that is mostly light-hearted and then varies to anywhere from serious to mildly angered. This is all classic W. Finaly, Perry's choice of words come straight from the Texas Handbook of Politics. It works wonders at home and worked wonders for W in both elections. And if it wasn't for W, it might make a fantastic contrast to Obama. But because of the spectre of The False Texan Conservative of Elections Past, it will be a killer for him. Add to that, the actual, legitmate challenges he faces with issues such as spending and he's cooked. It's not that people would move toward Obama, it's that hoardes of Independents, Moderates (yes, there is a difference!) and others would move away from Perry. So like I said, I liked Perry when I lived in Texas. I think Obama sucks. But for reasons beyond the recognizable, Perry would almost definitely lose a general election. A lot of people will "just have a bad feeling" about him and not even be sure why. Remember, most people don't research candidates, couldn't tell you if the 2nd amendment has to do with guns or ice cream, and vote based on the impressions they get from 30 second sound bites. It won't be hard for the Dems to gather sound bites that make Perry seem like a virtual clone of W.