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Local Political Analysts Examine Perry Campaign

Aug. 19, 2011

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Ashley Cruseturner is a political analyst and history professor at McLennan Community College. He's long covered Texas politics, which means he's long covered the career of Rick Perry. Baylor political science professor Patrick Flavin is relatively new to Texas, having grown up in Minnesota. But even from his perspective as somewhat of an outsider to the Lone Star State, he sees why Perry is poised to make noise in the primary process.

That gap between the tea party and the moderates is one that Perry has bridged before. In the gubernatorial primary of 2010 he did just that, defeating Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and tea party candidate Debra Medina before claiming a third term as governor. That race, said Ashley Cruseturner, could foreshadow his Republican primary strategy.

Perry brings intriguing strengths to the race, but he also has his share of areas of possible vulnerability.

Cruseturner mentioned Perry's speech sounding like that of a preacher. The governor's incorporation of faith and politics is one, says Dr. Patrick Flavin, that could serve him well initially, but is something to watch if he reaches the general election.

Both Flavin and Cruseturner see the Texas governor as a formidable candidate. His inclusion in the race is sure to bring national scrutiny to the job creation, immigration, and politics Texas-style taking place here since he took over for another Texas governor, one who occupied the office that Perry now vies to attain. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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