EDITORIAL: "Governor Perry, You're No Ronald Reagan."

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  "Governor Perry, You're No Ronald Reagan."

Texas Governor Rick Perry is currently trying to wear many cowboy hats.  To Tea Partiers, he's making the pitch that he is the most Tea Party of all the Republican candidates for President in 2012.  That will be a tall order when considering Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann's record on lower taxes and less spending.  Or Congressman Ron Paul's longtime commitment to seriously reduced government.

Perry is also trying to make himself into the "jobs candidate," due to Texas having created so many new jobs during his tenure as Governor.  This may be his strongest suit as a candidate, as long as people don't ask too many questions.  But the truth is, Governor Perry has been the political beneficiary of a time when oil revenues have skyrocketed.  When the nation needs oil, Texas always has more jobs at the oil companies and money in the state's coffers.

That's not to say that Governor Perry shouldn't be able to take some of the credit for Texas's job production in recent years.  He has managed to continue Texas's longstanding reputation as a pro-business state.  Good for him.

However, the constant attempt to take credit for everything good going on in Texas while running away from the less savory parts of his record won't last long under the glare of the national press.  There, Perry will have to explain his decision to make manditory a vaccination for young teenage girls to protect against cervical cancer.  No doubt the national press will explore Perry's ties to Merck, the only pharmaceutical company that produced an FDA version of that vaccination, one many say caused serious illnesses among those vaccinated.

Who wants a nominee like that, let alone a President?

Governor Perry is also wearing one other hat these days, and it looks like Ronald Reagan's famous "Morning in America" cowboy hat.  Perry is trying very hard to convince people that he is the second coming of Reagan, based on his tough talk on everything from less government to immigration.

But that won't go far, either, with anyone who really remembers President Reagan or even Governor Reagan in his California days.  Because while Reagan could be firm, he was never a hater.  In fact, Reagan could thoroughly enjoy the company of those who disagreed with him, like Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill from liberal Massachusetts.  Reagan found the common ground even with Mikhail Gorbachev, who stood for just about everything Reagan had fought against his entire public life as an anti-communist.

Listening to Rick Perry's classless rhetoric out on the campaign trail--threatening the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernacke, for example--forfeits the Texas Governor's ability to take on the mantle of the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan.  Reagan could disagree without being disagreeable. Perry seems to enjoy being disagreeable.

That might sell in some parts of Texas, but the rest of the country will see it as mindless and rude.  And so we paraphrase another Texas leader, the late former U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, in saying, "Rick Perry, you're no Ronald Reagan."

Ain't it the truth?





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