Bud Kennedy

For Perry’s campaign, a big plane and a rap intro

A rented C-130A became the backdrop for Rick Perry’s speech at Addison Airport.
A rented C-130A became the backdrop for Rick Perry’s speech at Addison Airport. AP

Rick Perry’s presidential campaign rollout Thursday included a mighty big prop, and I am not talking about 260-pound country singer Colt Ford’s campaign rap.

The stage backdrop was 13 yards tall, 32 yards long and weighed 38 tons.

Did I mention that it was flown into and out of Addison Airport?

To project an image as the strong leader for America’s future, Perry’s consultants chose to bring in a 1957 C-130A Hercules, the same plane he flew as an Air Force pilot in the 1970s.

To help get this campaign off the ground, his campaign rented the plane and added a campaign logo and sign “Perry for President.”

The aircraft is one of five rented by a Mesa, Ariz., company, sometimes for film and video scenes but also for firefighting and ocean oil spill cleanups.

Perry’s campaign rented the aircraft and crew by the hour, said Bill Grantham, the chief executive of International Air Response Inc.

“We’ve been doing a lot of entertainment industry stuff lately, but it’s our first campaign,” he said. The plane Perry rented also starred in a Mountain Dew commercial.

Perry made only a passing reference to a C-130A in his speech, but the visual message was unmistakably that the former Texas governor’s years as Capt. Perry make him the strongest military leader in the campaign.

For more tough talk, Perry’s campaign added a custom intro to Ford’s 2012 Answer to No One.

When Anita Perry introduced him, he strode out to a husky chant:

Shotgun toter

Republican voter

Rick Perry supporter

Let’s protect our border

The line was added only days ago, a Ford spokeswoman said.

A Perry rap shouldn’t be surprising, UT Arlington political science professor Rebecca Dean said.

“Incorporating music, or whatever fits the age, has been around a long time,” she wrote by email, naming Bill Clinton’s Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow).

The rap “fits Perry [version] 2.0,” she wrote, “strong, patriotic, salt-of-the-earth, no-nonsense, Second Amendment-loyal.”

And always entertaining.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538

Twitter: @BudKennedy

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