Steffen Schmidt, IAFC Blogger
Steffen W. Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Iowa State University, WNYC blogger, and chief Political correspondent of Insider Iowa.
A commenter named James Johnson posted a comment to a Texas newspaper article last month that I found fascinating. He wrote, “I would rather have Rick Perry as president of an independent State of Texas. To hell with the United States. We do not need to be dragged down by the dead weight tax-you-to-death states like California or Michigan, and we do not need to have our laws made by our own constitutionally prescribed means erased by an out of control supreme court. Independence now!”
To which BillinCA responded, “As a conservative, I will never vote for him. He lost my vote when he threaten to secede Texas from the union. When it comes U.S.A. I am a unionist, so under no condition I will accept breaking it apart, even when it’s just a bluff. When you break up countries it weakens them. It is what we tried to do U.S.S.R. and it was successful, indirectly or directly. In our back of our minds it is, also, what we are hoping will happen with China, even if it’s a long shot.”
So why am I sharing this with you since I know you don’t give a fiddle about Texas or Perry?
Because it looks like Rick Perry is running for President of the United States!
Yes, another hat may be thrown into the ring as Gov. Rick Perry governor of Texas “ … today gave his strongest indication yet that he may run for president. “I’m going to think about it” after the legislative session ends Monday, Perry said after signing a bill.
On the face of it this is not all that interesting, but this year it is.
Although there is a substantial field of GOP candidates or about-to-announce candidates in the wings, you get a clear feeling that the party heavyweights are not satisfied that it includes anyone who can beat President Obama in November. I mean, you have this Iowa delegation of poobahs going to New Jersey in an effort to entice governor Chris Christie into running, which is pathetic proof that the current crop of White House wannabes looks weak. Of course one poll showed that only half of all Republicans were satisfied by their choices and a third were dissatisfied, so it’s not surprising that the search for a faster horse is still on.
There already has been some incredible wishful thinking by Republicans (and the news media) about the prefect GOP candidate.
There was Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, the most recent “Great GOP Hope” who teased, and teased but finally said “no” for “family reasons.” A guy who can’t negotiate with his family or withstand the scrutiny of why his wife left him and his daughters for four years only to return and remarry him is, pay attention here, NOT PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL no matter what Iowa GOP gray hair Doug Gross has said.
Earlier Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who was praised up and down as a great governor, pragmatic and for having all the big money GOP interests lined up just waiting to pour the liquid assets into his campaign said he lacked the necessary "absolute fire in the belly" to run. As if just plain old “fire in the belly” were not enough! "I will not be a candidate for president next year," Barbour said in a statement, adding that he wasn't ready for a "10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort." So he did not think about what a tough job it is to be POTUS when he was “ … laying the groundwork for a campaign for months?”
Former Arkansas Gov and pastor Mike Huckabee, the clear front-runner for a while decided to run in 2012. Here is what he said and if only you people would read Christian news media you’d know this already and I would not need to spoon feed you, “Only when I was alone, in quiet and reflective moments did I have not only clarity, but an inexplicable inner peace — a peace that exceeds human understanding," Huckabee said. "All the factors say 'go,' but my heart says 'no.' And that is the decision I have made and in it have finally found resolution.... I know that under the best of circumstances, being president is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her human capacity. For me, to do it apart from an inner confidence that I was undertaking it with God's full blessing is unthinkable. I can't know or predict the future, but I know for now my answer is clear and firm." ChristianExaminer.com
So we are back to wishful thinking. Can Rick Perry get the nomination? He has conservative credentials, just signed a restrictive abortion law, and has cut lots of spending on programs in education, for the poor, sick and old so he seems to fit the GOP mood. But he also has raised taxes and shifted taxes to small business and many “true conservatives” call him a RINO (Republican in Name Only), so that can’t be good.
Perry has been called “ … someone who could rack up a 70 winning percentage in the Confederacy, but not carry a single state east of the Mississippi, north of the Ohio/Mason-Dixon line.”
Then there is the question of whether someone who even mentioned secession from the United States would do so well in Iowa which was not even part of the Confederacy!
Message from Schmidt to the Republicans: Better keep looking.