Politico: Rick Perry To Announce 2012 Plans Saturday, Upstaging Ames Straw Poll

If this turns out to be true, then it strikes me as a pretty masterful piece of political gamesmanship:

Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina Saturday to make clear that he’s running
for president, POLITICO has learned.

According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.

It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll—and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire— will send shockwaves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll.

Immediately following his speech in South Carolina, Perry will make his New Hampshire debut at a house party at the Portsmouth-area home of a state representative, Pamela Tucker, the Union Leader reported Monday. Tucker was among the Granite Staters who went to Texas last week to encourage Perry to run.

Perry is expected to head to Iowa in the days following his New Hampshire trek, too, POLITICO has learned.


Whether the Ames winner is Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty or someone else, they will immediately have to compete with Perry for attention in the aftermath of his kickoff, particularly given his plans to visit Iowa. The Texan is not on the straw poll ballot, but several Iowa operatives said the 527 group “Americans for Rick Perry,” has been aggressively working GOP events to boost his write-in performance

The move also pretty much guarantees that the Straw Poll, and it’s winner(s), will be competing for media attention Saturday and Sunday with Perry, and the poll itself will suddenly become less relevant because Perry’s not on the ballot. This is a very smart political move, in my opinion.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Lit3Bolt says:

    Disclaimer: I denounce Al Sharpton.

    Man, the GOP has it locked in Texas. With an oil rich state you can always claim economic prosperity, sign pieces of legislation that show up on your desk, mumble a few “born-agains,” and simply smile for the camera.

    Rick Perry’s only knock against him is he didn’t own the Rangers in the 90s.

  2. mattb says:

    I said most of this in another comment, but perhaps its more important here…

    I’m really curious about is how badly Romney wants the nomination and how much he’s willing to fight if/when Perry gets into the race. This seems like its Romney’s last bite at the apple. And last time he proved “the good soldier” and stopped his campaign early (versus Huck who kept in the race for quite a while).

    So far his campaign has been run as if he was/is the only (credible) candidate in the race. But I don’t see how that strategy continues with Perry’s entry. Further, it seems to me that Perry entering (“late”) and threatening his momentum and “next-in-line” position necessarily sets up one hell of a fight.

    I really don’t see how Romney stays in/wins without demonstrating a fire-in-the-belly and an ability to scrap that he has hither-too not displayed. I’d imagine Dems are praying for that fight as it could leave whom ever emerges the candidate bloodied and the party potentially split again.

    Different question (not saying that Perry would want him) but could you see Romney setlling for VP or a high ranking cabinet position?

  3. mattb says:

    Oh, and on the timing, its really brilliant… Coupled with the Prayer event its some of the shrewdest political strategy I can think of. He gets to “own” two weekends.

    The first places him in the national and evangelical spotlight and also cements a non-political side of him (his comments on Saturday that the event wasn’t political and that God doesn’t have a party). It (plus this leak) means that he’ll own most of this week. And as pointed out, he then dwarfs the Ames poll.

    Barring a big disaster or scandal happening late in the week (or Palin deciding to announce on the same day), this round goes to Perry.

    He definitely should give his strategist a bonus and a raise.

  4. Fiona says:

    I’d be surprised if Palin enters the race. Campaigning requires a lot of work; plus, she’d actually have to show that she’d learned something since the 2008 election; that is, something other than how to promote herself by making inane tweets and silly comments as Faux News “analyst.”.

    Perry, however, has an excellent chance of winning the nomination away from the milquetoast Romney, who acts as if he should be promoted to the presidency by virtue of his superior intellect and business acumen. The Mittster has always impressed me as the ultimate corporate hack–grey, bland, competent, and about as exciting as a box of rocks. He lacks the appeal to the evangelical Republican base Perry would have. I’m thinking Perry also has a lot more charisma and is more that guy you’d want to meet at the bar for a beer or two.

  5. mattb says:

    I’m thinking Perry also has a lot more charisma and is more that guy you’d want to meet at the bar for a beer or two.

    Agreed, Perry definitely wins the beer “vote.”

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Agreed, Perry definitely wins the beer “vote.”

    So did Bush…

  7. mattb says:

    @An Interested Party: I didn’t say it was a good thing. But its something I really became aware of based on discussions here with Jay Tea.

    BTW, I think Palin wins it as well.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    I didn’t think you thought of it as a good thing…obviously a Perry or Palin presidency would be similar to Bush’s…

  9. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? Will Perry cause the Republicans to win any of the states that Kerry carried in 2004. Does Perry appeal to the white-professional whites in Northern Virginia, Research Triangle, or the suburbs of Philadelphia?

    Unless someone can come up with a scenario that gives the Republicans a majority of the electoral votes, maybe everyone should just ignore the Republicans.

  10. Yet another disillusioned pawn says:

    @mattb: I agree with you on some parts of Romney’s personality and approach:

    1. If he wasn’t such a RINO, it would be his turn run for President. Sadly, he IS a big RINO, so people are looking for a Mitt lookalike and think Perry’s the one.

    2. Romney IS the only credible candidate in the GOP. Unfortunately, he is a credible candidate in the GOP instead of a party that is looking for a credible candidate.

    3. Romney DOESN’T have the “fire in the belly” quality, but that may be because he is seeking to be President based on some misguided notion of service to the nation instead of for the power of the office. Again, that idea may not really sit well with the camps in the GOP who want “their” President to drive the final spike into the heart of the vampire of government and return us to those halcyon days of the 1880s and 90s before we had all of those regulations that have so hampered our national productivity ever since.

    The race is still the GOPs to lose–even after the spectacle of the debt ceiling (and NO DOUG, BOTH SIDES AREN’T equally to blame)–and Perry’s entrance into the race is simply another opportunity for them to lose the race.

  11. Pug says:

    Another “farmer” who sticks $80,000 in farm subsidies his pocket and hates it when some “welfare queen” gets $140 worth of food stamps.

    Oh yeah…and a good Christian man.

  12. EddieInCA says:

    Rick Perry: A meaner, dumber GW Bush with better hair.

  13. Davebo says:

    Does Perry appeal to the white-professional whites in Northern Virginia

    Good God, SD can’t even try to hide it.

  14. superdestroyer says:


    The Repulbicans have lost a lot of support from suburuban middle-class and upper-middle-class professional whites. Romney is the only Repulblican candidate who appeals to that group.l Rick Perry with the bad accent, the religious talk, the inability to read up on issues, and the laziness to not to the hard work to learn about issues does not appeal to those voters.

    There are not enough rural middle class whites to sustain the Republican Party. Having a candidate that only appeal to that group is a mistake.

  15. geek news says:

    Rick Perry needs to have handled this the same way that Mitt Romney did! He should insist the question be asked in a civil manner then he should answer the question after which remind them that when they don’t really agree they are able to vote for someone else!!