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Before Announcing, Perry Has Loose Ends to Tie Up

For several weeks now, it's looked more like a question of when, not if, Gov. Rick Perry will run for president. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News reports, Perry still has a few steps to take before making the big announcement.

Gov. Rick Perry in an interview with Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith

Step 1: Decide that running is an option.

You can check that off the list. The governor has gone from “no way, no how” (in 2010) to “I'm too busy to run” a couple of months ago to, most recently, "Yeah, being governor of Texas is a great job. But sometimes you're called to step into the fray."

Step 2: Get public support for a candidacy.

Perry had to be sure that he could mount a successful campaign, said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson.

"You want to try to be called to run rather than to declare as a politician who aches for higher office,” Jillson said. “And that call is coming to Rick Perry."

You can check that off, too. While the governor has contemplated a run largely in private, supporters have launched everything from a "Draft Rick Perry" website to super PACs that are raising money and, as of this week, running campaign ads in Iowa.

Audio: Ben Philpott's story for KUT News

Step 3: Make sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed when setting up your campaign apparatus, strategy and logistics.

"[You need to make sure that] you've got your campaign leadership team in place,” Jillson says. “That you've got your fundraisers in place. And you have your advance teams in place, so that when you leave Texas to go out into the rest of the country, the whole thing is well prepared. Because it is absolutely critical that your rollout [goes] as well as possible."

The governor appears to be working on this. He's been meeting with potential donors and party leaders from around the country over the last few weeks.

Step 4: Handle The Response.

Jillson says Perry's handlers will have to prepare for the possibility that the governor could be held responsible for any controversial statements made at The Response, this weekend's prayer rally in Houston. According to Jillson, it could take the Perry team a couple of weeks to clean up any messes.

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