Rick Perry has made two announcements of national significance this weekend: he is going on a national book tour and he won't commit to a full term as Governor.
First, on the book tour. From the Associated Press, “White, Perry each try to rally faithful in strongholds“
Speaking on a campaign plane between Lubbock and Midland, Perry said he would keep up the pressure by staging a book tour soon after the election. He said he's putting himself on the national stage to promote states' rights, not his own career. Asked if he might run for president in 2012, the governor said, “No. I've answered that about as many times and as many ways as I can.”
Perry followed that up by saying he won't promise that he'll serve his full term as Governor. Also from the Houston Chronicle, “No slowing down for Perry, White as vote nears“:
If his message propels him to another term as governor, however, Perry is not guaranteeing he will serve the full four years.
“I'm guaranteeing people that I'll get in there and do the best job I can for 'em as governor,” Perry told reporters on a flight from Lubbock to Midland during Friday's West Texas campaign swing. “I just think it's always very premature to be making a statement about what you're going to be doing two, four, six or eight years from now – I don't ever take anything off the table.”
Bill White released the following statement regarding Perry's national stage presence:
“Staging a self-promoting book tour in the face of a crisis? We deserve a real leader, not a yell leader. I will tackle the budget crisis by squeezing efficiency out of Texans' tax dollars, while Perry's going to be squeezing dollars out of his book tour,” said Bill White.
“Only a relentlessly self-promoting, 25-year career politician could dream of launching a book tour three months before what will be the most important legislative session in decades as Texas faces down a $25 billion budget deficit. Texans are 'Fed Up!' with a governor who's only in it for himself and will be firing him on Tuesday. So he'll have a lot of time for those Barnes and Nobles in Iowa and New Hampshire,” said Katy Bacon, campaign spokesperson.
Perry's national ambitions have been in question for some time. Jim Henson with the University of Texas thinks he'll run for President:
“I don’t think anybody should expect Rick Perry to announce any plans he has when he’s concluding a campaign that was hinged on defining Washington, D.C., as toxic,” said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project and a lecturer in the government department at the University of Texas at Austin.
Henson predicted Perry’s debut in the race for presidential nominee: His supporters will draft him as a successful governor who must come albeit reluctantly — to Washington to clean it up.
We'll see what happens. Perry has been polling in Iowa…