Kinky Friedman, the self-professed Governor of the Heart of Texas, is the wild man of Texas politics. In fact, he ran against current Governor Rick Perry for the Guv’s chair so when it comes to Perry’s bid for president, one might expect that the Kinkster has something to say about that. Well, he doesn’t disappoint.
Friedman has run for office several times — never won — and in debates was the straight talking “Jewish cowboy” that everyone loved to hear go off on a rant. He’s a singer and writer and entrepreneur (He even has his own line of cigars) for a living, but he really made an interesting name for himself in Texas politics.
Friedman was merciless with Perry when he ran against him for governor in 2006. In fact, it got so heated from Friedman that Perry scolded him about his over the top rhetoric during one of the gubernatorial debates.
But that was then. Today Friedman is all in for a Perry for President campaign. Kinky posted his full-on support for Perry at The Daily Beast website this week.
One thing in particular that Kinky said of Perry shows what sort of man the Texas Guv is. Kinky admitted that he was a bit miffed over losing his bid for governor, but Perry gave him a call that changed Friedman’s mind over Perry’s character.
He is not only a good sport, he is a good, kindhearted man, and he once sat in on drums with ZZ Top. A guy like that can’t be all bad. When I ran for governor of Texas as an independent in 2006, the Crips and the Bloods ganged up on me. When I lost, I drove off in a 1937 Snit, refusing to concede to Perry. Three days later Rick called to give me a gracious little pep talk, effectively talking me down from jumping off the bridge of my nose. Very few others were calling at that time, by the way. Such is the nature of winning and losing and politicians and life. You might call what Rick did an act of random kindness. Yet in my mind it made him more than a politician, more than a musician; it made him a mensch.
Of course, elections for president aren’t about a candidate just being a mensch. There are real reasons to support someone and Friedman has those reasons down.
These days, of course, I would support Charlie Sheen over Obama. Obama has done for the economy what pantyhose did for foreplay. Obama has been perpetually behind the curve. If the issue of the day is jobs and the economy, Rick Perry is certainly the nuts-and-bolts kind of guy you want in there. Even though my pal and fellow Texan Paul Begala has pointed out that no self-respecting Mexican would sneak across the border for one of Rick Perry’s low-level jobs, the stats don’t entirely lie. Compared with the rest of the country, Texas is kicking major ass in terms of jobs and the economy, and Rick should get credit for that, just as Obama should get credit for saying “No comment” to the young people of the Iranian revolution.
In his own inimitable way, Friedman tells us all that Perry could fix the economy. “Hell, yes!,” he says. Friedman ends his endorsement echoing that “Hell, yes!,” saying he absolutely supports Perry for president.
“A still, small voice within keeps telling me that Rick Perry’s best day may yet be ahead of him,” Friedman writes, “and so too, hopefully, will be America’s.”
What else do you need in an endorsement?