Scott’s post makes me wonder just when Rick Perry started thinking seriously about running for president. Yglesias points out that the book Fed Up, which appeared under Perry’s name nine months ago, argues that the modern administrative state is basically unconstitutional (with a bit of hedging for a couple of civil rights laws).
I find it a bit hard to believe that a prospective candidate would go into print with something like this, at least if his handlers had anything to say about it. (In terms of subtle signalling to Wingnuttia, this book seems less like a dog whistle and more like a ceremonial gong). A quick check of NEXIS reveals that between mid-July and mid-August of last year only two stories appeared that featured the phrases “Rick Perry” and “run for president.” (This past month the comparable number for the same search was 529). My theory, which is mine, is that Perry did not start seriously considering the idea of a presidential run until the first batch of GOP contenders started falling on their faces, and the inevitable longing for someone “electable” began to cast about for likely lads. In a nostalgia-riven culture, it’s not too surprising that longing settled on Perry, whose campaign is shaping up as the political equivalent of Beatlemania for those magical years when missions were accomplished and housing bubbles floated ever-upward in great, unbroken rings.