I have my doubts about whether Rick Perry will really be the GOP’s presidential candidate next year–he’s image-correct but he’s never really beaten the spread electorally with the governorship he inherited–but between his pray-off and his “Bush-Squared” national security posture, he’s putting the pieces together astoundingly fast to unite the Republican Party behind him. Romney obviously can’t be the poster-boy of the religious right and doesn’t seem interested in reprising Bushian security themes, so Perry’s actions so far have been fairly canny.

My only question: doesn’t this stuff make him that much easier to pigeonhole as too much like Bush? He can technically be called Bush’s handpicked successor as Governor of Texas, which will likely be shortened to remove the “Governor of Texas” bit during the general election. Which is to say that it all dovetails perfectly with what the Obama team would like to see out of a general election opponent. Which raises an interesting question: is the optimal primary strategy in this case going to be the worst possible strategy for the general election? Is Perry nimble enough to sound Bushian notes during the primaries and then broaden his appeal for the general election? I guess we’ll see.

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  1. Metavirus says:

    i always worry about pols like romney and perry. they have enough attributes to appeal to the lazy, low-information “independents” who might pay attention to the races for a few femtoseconds and mark them down as “the more reasonable choice” on a menu of bachmann, palin and zombie hitler.

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