Four years ago, Texas Governor Rick Perry entered into the 2012 presidential race with a ton of momentum. At the time, the Texas Governor filled a void in the GOP field of candidates. He quickly led in the national polls, raised big money, and for a moment, seemed like the legitimate alternative to Mitt Romney. For as bright as Perry’s star shined in the late summer and early fall of 2011, by the time the weather turned cold in Iowa, so too did his prospects of winning the Republican nomination for president.
Perry finished a distant fifth place in the Iowa caucuses, and worse, seemed bitter about his Iowa experience. Most politicians would have probably been done with Iowa’s caucus politics, but not Perry. Instead of avoiding the First-in-the-Nation caucus state, he’s embraced it. Perry’s been a frequent visitor to Iowa in since the conclusion of the 2012 presidential race, and all the hard work seems to be paying off.
Unlike his 2012 race, Perry’s going to have to claw his way back to the top if he’s going to have a chance at winning the 2016 Republican nomination. Among Republican activists in Iowa, he’s done a good job of rebuilding his brand. By and large, people like him and are willing to give him a second chance. He’s also taking a different approach to a potential 2016 candidacy. Perry’s first foray into Iowa in 2011 came just four months before the caucuses. Getting in late has its advantages, but it also puts you behind in terms of organization and introducing yourself to Iowans.
Perry’s approach this time around is much different. He’s already held small meet and greet campaign events, and his leadership PAC is announcing that they have hired four Iowans to lead his efforts in the state. The hires include Bob Haus, a seasoned GOP operative who was with Perry in 2012, as well as Andy Swanson, Dane Nealson, and Kip Murphy.
A slower, more methodical approach to Iowa will likely serve Perry well. He exceeds at retail politics, but that takes time and campaign infrastructure. Below is the RickPAC press release announcing his recent Iowa hires.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezorgaphy.com
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