Rick Perry is once again hinting that he might run for president, saving the GOP from its allegedly subpar slate of candidates. He’s “giving it some serious thought,” Perry told Fox News today a few hours before giving a speech at the Manhattan GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. If Perry does run, the most obvious hurdle he’ll have to overcome will be “Bush fatigue,” the belief that voters aren’t quite ready to stomach another Bush (for example, Jeb Bush, who is sitting out 2012) or Bush-like candidate. Perry, at least superficially, certainly qualifies as Bush-like. Like the former president, he’s a Texas governor who walks and talks with a cowboy swagger, and he served for a year as Bush’s lieutenant governor. (Coincidentally, both men were also, at one time, male cheerleaders.)
Perry will probably be the first person to tell the media and the voters that he and Bush are hardly alike. “We’re different people,” Perry said last October, perhaps already privately entertaining the possibility of running for president. “We came from different backgrounds. Philosophically, we weren’t peas in a pod.” But in December of 2000, when Perry was about to take over the governorship from president-elect Bush, he said something that could come back to haunt him. “Certainly, you are not going to see a great philosophical difference between Rick Perry and George Bush,” he said. “We share the same type of philosophy.” Hard to claim you’re nothing like Bush after saying something like that.