Rick Perry Goes From The Presidential Campaign Trail To ‘Dancing With The Stars’

This is not exactly what Rick Perry had hoped he'd be doing this fall.


Former Texas Governor Rick Perry hoped to have been competing for the Presidency at this point in the year, but instead he’s going to be on ABC competing for the cheesy mirror ball trophy they hand out on Dancing With The Stars:

Rick Perry is ready to take his Texas two-step on a national stage.

The former Texas governor will join the cast of the wildly popular Dancing With The Stars, Entertainment Tonight reports.

The ABC reality show’s 23rd season will premiere Sept. 12.

Perry joins a celebrity cast that includes rapper Vanilla Ice, retired football star Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and embattled Olympian Ryan Lochte, according to Entertainment Tonight. The full cast will formally be revealed Tuesday on Good Morning America.

Perry isn’t the first political figure to appear on the show. Former Crossfire host and Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson appeared very early in the shows run back in 2006, including a performance that basically consisted of him sitting in a chair while his scantily clad professional partner danced around him. Needless to say, Tucker didn’t last very long on the show. Three years later, former Texas Congressman and House Majority Leader Tom Delay appeared and ended up dropping out after about three weeks due to injury. So, Perry wouldn’t be the first former officeholder to appear on this show, but he’d certainly be the most prominent and the first Presidential candidate to do so. If nothing else, this suggests that Perry doesn’t foresee spending much time campaigning for Donald Trump this fall despite the fact that he endorsed him. Outside of Perry, DeLay, and Carlson, the closest the show has gotten to politics came when Bristol Palin appeared several years ago, along with rumors about other politicos such as Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton being recruited for the show in the past.

Nobody really knows how good a dancer Perry is, so it’s hard to know how he’ll do. So far, the only video of Perry’s dancing ability available online comes from this coverage of Perry participating in a traditional Jewish dance with a group of Texas Rabbis in advance of Hanukah:

Not entirely what will be expected of him on the show.

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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. Mark Ivey says:

    Rick Perry and Tom DeLay would make a cute dancing couple..

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    Well good for Perry. About time he did something more dignified than his Presidential campaigns.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Perry isn’t the first political figure failure to appear on the show.

    FTFY Doug, you’ll get my bill in the mail.

  4. CSK says:


    Hey, this may be the start of his 2020 campaign. If Donald Trump could go from being a reality tv show star to being the Republican nominee, maybe Perry figures the same trick will work for him. And he’ll only be the age Trump is now.

  5. Franklin says:


    Hey, this may be the start of his 2020 campaign.

    Hmm? What makes you think a Republican won’t be the sitting incumbent?!?

  6. C. Clavin says:


    Hmm? What makes you think a Republican won’t be the sitting incumbent?!?

    Because there is no plausible way for Trump to dance his way to 270 electoral votes.

  7. jewelbomb says:

    @Franklin: Polls…All of them.

  8. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:




  9. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Well, “Oops!” was later blamed on painkillers from back surgery, so hopefully he’s fully recovered.

  10. Jen says:

    The folks over at RedState* seem to think that this is a way of increasing name ID. Someone there said that DWTS has a Republican-leaning audience; I have not bothered to verify if this is accurate. It IS an interesting theory though–that the “lesson” learned from Trump’s rise is that strictly politically minded audiences aren’t sufficient, and that what is needed is a soft introduction to the public via reality TV. Also, the one comment that read “maybe Perry will remember his third dance step,” was pretty funny.

    I’m not sure what our nation’s founders would make of this particular twist in the selection of a leader.

    * I hop over there daily to see what they are on about. The piece about hacked notes being edited before being released was interesting.

  11. James Pearce says:

    There have been 23 seasons of “Dancing With the Stars?”

  12. Neil Hudelson says:

    @James Pearce:

    Right? I don’t watch the show, but I’m positive (and now wikipedia confirms) that it is only a decade or so old. So they must be doing two seasons a year.

  13. Pete S says:

    Nobody really knows how good a dancer Perry is, so it’s hard to know how he’ll do.

    As long as he doesn’t fall down and hurt himself the first week he will go down in history as a better dancer than a presidential candidate…..