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The Brief: Aug. 12, 2011

An early look at Gov. Rick Perry's presidential announcement speech reveals that the governor may have found a familiar campaign message: change.

Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011.

The Big Conversation:

An early look at Gov. Rick Perry's presidential announcement speech reveals that the governor may have found a familiar campaign message: change.

In this morning's Politico Playbook, Mike Allen has a quote from a late draft of the governor's speech, which Perry will deliver Saturday at a RedState convention in South Carolina.

"The change we seek will never emanate out of Washington. It will come from the windswept prairies of middle America; the farms and factories across this great land; the hearts and minds of God-fearing Americans — who will not accept a future that is less than our past, who will not be consigned a fate of LESS freedom in exchange for MORE government. We do not have to accept our current circumstances. We will change them. We're Americans. That's what we do. WE roll up our sleeves, WE get to work, WE make things better."

The tweak of a certain 2008 campaign theme could dominate Perry's speech, which Republican sources indicated earlier this week would serve as a pre-announcement of sorts. The Saturday event, which the sources said would "remove any doubt" about the governor's White House intentions, coincides with the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa — a clear attempt by the governor to siphon attention from the event.

But on Thursday, with a Fox News Republican debate — at which he wouldn't appear — scheduled for the evening, Perry played another round of Steal the Spotlight, confirming that he'll make his run official in South Carolina on Saturday. The Tribune's Jay Root and Ross Ramsey also reported that the governor's campaign staff appears to be taking shape, with Perry, as predicted, recruiting longtime members of his inner circle.

As for the debate, though sniping between Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawnlenty largely dominated the night, a couple of the candidates were asked at one point what they thought of Perry.

“He represents the status quo,” answered U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.


  • The New York Times reported Thursday that Gov. Rick Perry's fundraising team has called on its top bundlers to act quickly. "We are trying to get in the first million dollars of contributions very rapidly to give the campaign its initial capital so important to get off the ground well," reads an email sent by Perry's Texas finance chairman to donors. The email, the Times notes, also included a slate of late-summer fundraisers for the governor.
  • As Tribune's Beth Brown reports, Texans elect their judges, but Rick Perry has picked the winners on the state Supreme Court almost without fail since he took office a decade ago. Only one of Perry's Supreme Court nominees — Xavier Rodriguez, in 2002 — has ever lost an election.
  • A possible race for lieutenant governor in 2014 has already attracted candidates and at least one round of political back-and-forth. But almost no one's talking about a potential 2014 governor's race, and as the Trib's Ross Ramsey notes, that works out just fine for Attorney General Greg Abbott.

“The people of Iowa work very hard to make the straw poll the biggest political moment in the summer. If you have a candidate who says, ‘You know what, I’m not gonna be there, I’m gonna be over in South Carolina, trying to pull as much attention as possible away from your big event,’ I’ll tell you, the people of Iowa are gracious, loving, kind people, and they’re not gonna take kindly to someone, in essence, dissing their big event. Which is what it will be reviewed as in the state of Iowa.” — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to Fox News on the timing of Rick Perry's planned announcement this weekend


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