The Big Conversation
Gov. Rick Perry, in an exit interview with The Associated Press, said he didn't plan to make a decision on a second run for the White House "until the middle of next year."
"People think we're going to run, and that's not necessarily a bad thing," Texas' longest-serving governor told the news service.
Perry also sat down with a reporter from the Washington Post this week as he continues to spend the month on prep work for a possible presidential campaign. Among other interesting tidbits, Perry shed light on his immediate plans after he leaves the Governor's Mansion in January.
He and his wife, Anita, are moving into a two-bedroom condominium in downtown Austin while construction is completed on a new house in Round Top, which Perry described as a rural oasis (“really dark and really quiet”).
After Republican Greg Abbott is sworn in as governor Jan. 20, Perry’s immediate priority will be to make serious money, something he has never done. He is considering writing a memoir — how a Boy Scout from Paint Creek became governor and presided over “the Texas miracle” economic boom — as well as giving paid speeches and serving on corporate boards, his advisers say.
Perry this month has also been playing host to a series of meals intended to woo those donors willing to fund a Super PAC backing a presidential bid.
This month’s donor dinners are being held under twin chandeliers in a white tent in front of the governor’s mansion. Anita Perry, who advisers said is pushing her husband to run, welcomes the guests and the legacy video is played. Then the governor answers questions and visits with each table.
And in another sign of Perry's departure, the governor is already having his portrait done for future display at the Capitol. The painting "will show him with two personal items: his Texas A&M ring and a bracelet memorializing Lance Cpl. Colton Rusk, a Marine who died in Afghanistan."
The Day Ahead
• The Sunset Advisory Commission meets at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Extension with commission decisions presented on the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Education Agency. (agenda)
City-Based ID Program Would Aid Undocumented, by Julián Aguilar
New Lawmakers — and the Dearly and Nearly Departed, by Ryan Murphy and Ross Ramsey
Schwertner Files Bill Targeting Tuition Deregulation, by Reeve Hamilton
Higher Ed Commissioner: Increase Focus on Students, by Reeve Hamilton
Texas to Close 14 Charter School Operators, by Morgan Smith
Possible windstorm bill aims to spread risk around state, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Many in Plano criticize expanded anti-discrimination policy, The Dallas Morning News
Two Texas Regulators Tried to Enforce the Rules. They Were Fired., The Daily Beast
Quote to Note
“You would be hard pressed to find any invisible primary going back decades that was this fluid. This is going to be chaotic and cluttered for some time.”
— Former Mitt Romney adviser Dan Senor on the unsettled state of the GOP 2016 presidential field
Today in TribTalk
Cracks in Texas' criminal justice system, by Mustafa Tameez
Trib Events for the Calendar
• Meet the New Guys: A Conversation With Incoming Members of the Texas Senate on Dec. 11 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation With U.S. Rep.-elect Will Hurd on Dec. 18 in Austin