Aug 18, 2014 7:34 PM GMT
Ironically, this may make him more of a viable candidate for the Republican nomination.
Unlike the New Jersey bridge scandal, where political wrongdoing was a given and the only question was the governor’s knowledge and complicity, Perry’s indictment is widely seen as a ridiculous political stunt. Most pundits, pols and voters concede that vowing to veto funding for a department unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after a drunk driving arrest is commendable, not illegal. Liberal commentators have decried the indictment while conservative media and even potential 2016 opponents have rallied to his side.
Moreover, Perry went on offense quickly. He appeared on Saturday to condemn the indictment, looking defiant and in command. On Fox News Sunday he followed up with a solid performance, decrying this as another example of the rule of law being trampled. He declared, “I had lost confidence in her, the public had lost confidence in her and I did what every governor has done for decades, which is make a decision on whether or not it was the proper use of state money to go to that agency and I vetoed it. I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas. If I had to do it again I would make exactly the same decision.”
Rather than play the victim as too many conservatives do when treated unfairly by the media or opponents, Perry is rising to the occasion. Coupled with his attacks on the president for inaction on immigration and dispatch of national guardsman to the border, Perry is stepping out at the Republican willing — and able — to take on liberal incompetence and abuse. This surely will be his 2016 theme if he runs for president.