This week marked the end of a legislative season in which Texas Gov. Rick Perry got pretty much everything he wanted — especially if what he wanted were talking points for a Republican presidential campaign.
The Texas legislature passed a fiscally austere budget that left $6 billion in the state’s rainy-day fund, and bills requiring women seeking abortions to get sonograms, voters to show photo identification and plaintiffs who bring lawsuits deemed frivolous to pay court costs and attorney fees.
Perry, who declined a request for an interview, is expected to decide within the next few weeks whether to jump into the race for the 2012 GOP nomination. Many here are betting that he will.
“He has shown every indication he is serious about running,” said Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
Political consultant Dave Carney, a longtime Perry adviser, has said that if Perry runs, he will campaign across the map, starting in Iowa. His strategists have been checking in with officials in various states to figure out the deadlines and other requirements for getting on the ballot; meanwhile, two dozen or so of Perry’s most loyal backers — about half of them Texans — are working their contacts to figure out how much financial support could be put together quickly.