The Big Conversation:
A buoyant Rick Perry bounded through the Big Apple on Tuesday.
Addressing a group of Republican donors in New York City last night, Perry, as our own Jay Root reports, sounded a lot like the Perry of 2010, whose fiery, unapologetic tirades against Washington propelled him into a third term in office.
The governor began by joking about replacing Donald Trump, who was originally set to deliver the night's keynote address before announcing he wouldn't run for president. "He's known for saying, 'You're fired!'" Perry said. "We're known for saying, 'You're hired!' That's what we do in Texas!"
Perry continued touting Texas' successes and bashing the Obama administration for delivering "economic misery." He called the federal government the "Oz standing behind the curtain, moving the levers, limiting the freedom of our people," at times sounding as if he was delivering the "draft of a stump speech," as Politico puts it.
As for the reason he's got a pack of reporters following him around this week (he spoke at an anti-abortion event Sunday, and he'll address a Republican leadership conference in New Orleans on Saturday), Perry had this to say: "I have a lot of out-of-state travel that some might analyze that 'Oh, he’s got a game plan and they’re implementing it.' That’s not correct. There’s not a game plan. I’m giving it some thought. There are a lot of people calling and saying, 'Hey, we would like you to consider getting into the race.'"
That didn't stop him, though, from meeting with "potential donors" in Manhattan yesterday to discuss his support for Israel and free trade with Mexico.
The governor then stopped by Fox News, where he again touted Texas, called U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., a "sick fella," talked Hispanic voters and abortion politics, and compared himself to a "prophet."
Perry will meet with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani this morning. Some have claimed that Giuliani, whom Perry endorsed for president in 2008, has been eying a 2012 run of his own.
- After six hours of debate, the state Senate early Wednesday morning passed SB 9, the so-called sanctuary cities bill, which would keep cities and other entities from adopting policies that would prohibit police officers from enforcing federal immigration policy. The legislation, which Senate Democrats kept at bay during the regular session with the help of the chamber's two-thirds rule, again drew impassioned debate, with Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, at one point asking Hispanic members of the Senate to stand so he could "put a face" to the bill, which he said would "impact every Hispanic citizen in the state of Texas." With the chamber's two-thirds rule not in effect during the special session, lawmakers approved the bill — the last remaining piece of legislation that Gov. Rick Perry had declared an "emergency" — along party lines, 19-12. It now moves to the House, where passage is expected.
- The House on Tuesday tentatively approved congressional redistricting maps that would preserve Texas Republicans' dominance in the state's Washington delegation. Republicans again knocked down Democratic attempts to create so-called minority-opportunity districts but then got into a spat of their own over a parcel of land set to contain the new world headquarters of ExxonMobil.
- The El Paso City Council voted Tuesday to restore health benefits to gay and unmarried partners of city employees, overturning a ballot initiative that voters approved in November. The council, as expected, split 4-4 on the vote, with Mayor John Cook breaking the tie. A prominent El Paso pastor has promised to mount a campaign to recall the mayor and members who supported the measure.
"The prophet is generally not loved in their hometown." — Gov. Rick Perry on criticism he has received in Texas
- Will Rick Perry help Romney?, The Washington Post
- The Baddest Bills, The Texas Observer
- Armstrong Encounter Draws Scrutiny by F.B.I., The New York Times
- Interactive Timeline: The Budget Battle, The Texas Tribune