The Dallas Morning News has named Rick Perry its 2010 Texan of the Year. In an editorial posted online Saturday afternoon, the newspaper labeled the recently re-elected governor a "peerless political brawler" whose "impact on Texas politics" is beyond dispute.
Supporters and allies laud him as a consistent, dependable conservative. He is fiercely protective of business interests and committed to keeping taxes low in Texas — even if the resulting cutbacks are painful. He has become the face of Republicanism in one of the nation's reddest red states
The News' inevitable sop to Perry's critics will not please the governor or his allies. Calling him "ruthless, Nixonian even," the paper makes many of the points it did during the last cycle, when it endorsed his main challenger, U.S. Kay Bailey Hutchison, in the GOP primary and his Democratic opponent, Bill White, in the general election.
His style raises a stream of ethical red flags. And despite his lengthy tenure, Perry can lay claim to few signature achievements, making him a more accomplished campaigner than leader.
Other finalists for the Texan of the Year award were Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington and former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey.