This Aggie joke is not on Rick Perry

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Question: How many Aggies does it take to pull off a joke on the entire state of California?

Answer: Just one, so long as it's Rick Perry.

Our country-boy governor must have been laughing all the way back home to Austin on Wednesday.

First, he said last week in a 30-second ad aired on just six radio stations in the Golden State (as ad buys go, that would be a really cheap one) that California businesses should pull up stakes and move to Texas.

That must have hit on a slow news day (sometimes jokesters are lucky with their timing), because it got some of the West Coast local news hounds excited.

They asked California Gov. Jerry Brown about it. He said it wasn't news and compared Perry's words to a four-letter synonym for flatulence. That got the newsies even more excited.

News commentators in both states go to town on it, making it look like a battle between governors for economic prizes.

For their part, writers in California go off on both Perry (for his poor performance in last year's Republican presidential primary) and Texas (for its various faults in things like educational achievement, healthcare and even workplace injuries).

None of this bothers Perry a bit. He jumps in with both feet, heading off on a three-day trip to California paid for by a Texas business recruiting group, saying he'll be meeting with leaders in the high tech, biotechnology, financial, insurance and film industries.

A top graduate of Texas A&M (in fame, not in grades), he meets the media hordes in his usual folksy way. To the question about workplace injuries, he jabs back with something along the lines of, "You folks in California don't know much about the oil and gas business, do you?"

Then he goes about his meetings, even throws a big party, along with economic development boosters from companies like Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway and several cities across Texas, for his targeted California business types.

All the while, he keeps grabbing headlines.

Some of the Californians even say he makes some good points about their state's drawbacks, like its state income tax and budget woes.

And that's the whole point. Everybody knows it. Rick Perry thrives on publicity. Some people out west end up admiring him, and he gets a whole lot of attention.

If things keep going this well for him, he might even run for president again.

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