Rick Perry is more than a punch line.
The former Texas governor is remembered for his mistakes in the 2012 presidential campaign. But he’s still remembered.
In a crowded 2016 Republican field, he brings a known brand name, self-effacing charm and campaign savvy. In 30 years in office in Texas, he has won elections as a Democrat, a mainstream Republican and, lately, as a faith-and-values Tea Party conservative.
This time, he’s running to be leader of the free world, campaigning as a former Air Force captain with a career of overseas missions. Veterans and their families, particularly former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and the widow of late SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Taya, were front and center at Perry’s campaign announcement Thursday in Addison, along with a version of the C-130A cargo planes he once flew.
For voters inspired by American Sniper or Lone Survivor, Perry is the leader who has done much more than watch movies.
A felony indictment towers ahead. But in a campaign field full of Texans, Perry brings both maturity and an uncanny lifelong knack for winning.