Election 101: 11 questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid

The Texas governor made clear his intention to run for president with appearances in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday and a planned trip to Iowa on Sunday.

2. Why is he running?

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    Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.
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Until recently, Perry wasn’t even considering running. What changed?

His posture has shifted since observing what has been called an uninspiring GOP field and a party electorate dissatisfied with its choices. Given Perry’s credentials – including his executive experience as governor of one of the largest, reddest states in the union – he may feel almost obligated to run. He’s also received encouragement from across the country, including, most importantly, from his wife.

“The GOP electorate is signaling it’s still open to a new candidate that excites them,” says Ford O’Connell, director of the Virginia-based Civic Forum PAC. “Here we have a guy from a booming red state – why not? It’s a great match.”

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