This is Texas Gov. Rick Perry. A few months ago I barely knew his name and couldn’t have picked him from a crowd. Probably still couldn’t, for that matter.
But I came across this photo recently and was struck by its dynamism. Great photo. What do you think when you see it? What kind of man is this? Probably depends on whether you recognize him and what your political persuasion happens to be.
My thoughts at the time: This could be some megachurch evangelist. Slick, handsome, charismatic, oozing self-confidence. Giant gestures, fire and brimstone. Probably a deep, booming voice. Loves the limelight. Note the huge ring where most married men would wear a wedding ring, the crisp white shirt with French cuffs, the carefully coiffed hair, the glint of a highly buffed nail. I knew immediately I didn’t like this man — and that was before I knew anything about his political ideas or his record in Texas. That was before he led a giant prayer meeting/rally and reportedly did a fine job of erasing the line between church and state, politics and religion.
If you’re a Republican, you may think he’s the party’s salvation (there’s that religious stuff again). He will officially announce his candidacy Saturday, and I expect he’ll blow “Queen of Rage” Michele Bachmann right off her tea party pedestal. After today, I also expect he’ll move ahead of Mitt Romney in the standings.
Mr. Republican? Maybe not. We’ll see. After all, we are awash with candidates, even though the election is still more than 14 months away.