Texas Gov. Rick Perry is busy sending more signals that he may be running for president in 2012. Stories last week about he and his staff calling Republican Party officials in Iowa are now reinforced with similar calls to South Carolina and New Hampshire. On Saturday, perry had a 30-minute phone conversation with Ovide Lamontagne, a top GOP official in New Hampshire. Lamontagne told the Washington Wire that he could not tell from Perry′s tone what decision the Texas governor will make, he did say that it seems that Perry is in his ″final stages″ of deciding. Lamontagne himself is considering a run for governor in New Hampshire and is popular among Tea Party supporters. Perry also spoke with NH State Senate President Peter Bragdon.
A crucial step towards Perry deciding may happen next weekend as the Governor attends a two-day conference in Aspen, Colorado. The conference is hosted by the Republican Governors Association, RGA, and will include some 200 top GOP donors to political campaigns. Each reportedly has contributed at least $25,000 to the RGA. Perry has been the chairman of the RGA this year, raising a record amount of money, $22 million in one quarter. Many, if not all, Republican governors will attend the Aspen conference, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The 2012 GOP presidential field of candidates has generally failed to create much excitement among the base. Apparent front-runner Mitt Romney has yet to breakout of the mid-20s on most polls. Rep. Michele Bachmann just passed him in the latest poll for Iowa, 25% for Bachmann to Romney′s 21%. None of the others are gaining any traction. Sarah Palin is featured in the latest issue of Newsweek Magazine stating ″I can win!″ if she decided to run for president in 2012. A number of anti-Romney websites have popped up produced by various conservative activists. The Tea Party has also been lukewarm to him.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on the other hand, is popular with conservatives and Tea Party members. The ′Texas Miracle′ in weathering the economic downturn serves as an example for how to create jobs and business growth even during a recession. More and more Republicans are voicing hope that Gov. Rick Perry enters the 2012 GOP presidential race. Speculation is that he may do so early in August just before the Iowa Straw Poll.