Rick Perry, the current governor of Texas, has rushed to the top of the Republican presidential field in perhaps the shortest time in recent history. Perry is an attractive candidate with that presidential look, a folksy demeanor and a story to tell about the economic success that he has brought to the Lone Star state.
Of course not everyone, Democrats certainly and his Republican competitors, are singing the praises of the governor. All acknowledge that nearly half of all the new jobs created during these tough times have been in Texas and the overall economic picture there is a lot brighter than in most states.
But there are some real red flags about Rick Perry’s Texas. Despite the oil and gas bonanza that is driving the economy, many of the jobs created in the state are low wage and dead end. For comparison, Massachusetts has a lower unemployment rate than Texas and many of the new jobs offer more pay and more opportunity.
There are other problems with the Texas ” miracle.” Texas has the largest number of people in the country without health care, the poverty rate is at the top of the national chart and the educational and infrastructure systems are in a dismal state.
Perry, however, has shrewedly presented himself as an economic savior with the track record to show that he can create jobs just like he has done in his home state. This message could certainly help position him as the go to guy to run against Barack Obama.
There are other problems with Perry that can’t be avoided as he seeks the White House. He holds out of the mainstream views on evolution, scientific inquiry, and believe it or not secession from the Union.
Awhile back Perry was so peeved at the federal government, in large part over the lack of an immigration policy, that he suggested Texas secede from the union. This is the same guy who called out the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke as guilty of treason. Seems to me that you don’t get any more treasonous than to talk about seceding from the Union.
It is likely that Governor Perry will tone down the caustic rhetoric and present himself as the economic savior of America rather than an odd extremist. But count on the Democrats and Obama reminding the voters of the downside of the Texas “miracle” and Perry’s called for secession.