"Well, he certainly has the hair,” says James Riddlesperger, a political scientist at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. “Rick Perry is someone who you can underestimate very easily,” says Professor Riddlesperger. “What really stands out is his primary asset – he’s a darn good politician.”
His record bears testament. Under Perry, Texas created more private-sector jobs than all other 49 states combined over the past decade, a huge asset in an election that will center on jobs. He also closed a $15 billion-plus budget deficit without raising taxes, refused $555 million in federal stimulus money from the Obama administration, has a strong border security record, and is a fervent supporter of states’ rights, all stances a Republican electorate will appreciate.
He’s also a fund-raising dynamo with a fat Rolodex from a strong Republican state who likes to campaign and effectively uses three Twitter accounts, text messaging, Facebook, and e-mail to build a grassroots base.
No wonder he’s drawing raves from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, who told his radio audience that if Perry joined the race, “it’s a brand-new day, and it starts all over again.”