Will Rick Perry Join the Presidential Race?

Article excerpt

Supporters are urging Texas Gov. Rick Perry to seek the GOP nomination for the 2012 presidential race. He's fueled speculation by making high-profile appearances around the country.

The clock is ticking on Rick Perry.

When the charismatic governor of Texas suggested, in late May, that he might run for president, he said he would make a decision after the state legislature had finished its session. That has now happened.

But Governor Perry is still weighing his options. And some of his fans are hoping they can sway him. An independent "draft Perry" group, called Americans for Rick Perry, is raising money and working on acquiring vendor space at the Ames, Iowa, straw poll in August to press their case.

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"I'm looking at the field at it is, and I think it's a pretty good field," says Bob Schuman, the San Diego-based GOP consultant who started the group, speaking by phone from Iowa. "But when Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels decided not to go, I really felt like there was a void."

Those three men - the governor of Mississippi, former governor of Arkansas, and current governor of Indiana - were all seen as credible potential contenders, and all decided they didn't have the fire in the belly to run for president. Perry may ultimately wind up in that club as well. But Mr. Schuman, who held senior positions in the presidential campaigns of former Rep. Jack Kemp and former Sen. Phil Gramm, wanted to get something going on Perry's behalf while he decides.

Presidential draft efforts are difficult. The last person to be drafted into running for president who actually reached the Oval Office was Gen. …