Cross-posted from Mike Malloy
Arrest, mug shot and fingerprinting be dammed. That won't prevent indicted Texas governor Rick Perry from stumping to New Hampshire in what looks like a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. In fact, the indictment may have helped his campaign. It's certainly turned the spotlight on Perry and his perfect wavy coif.
Last Friday, a Travis County grand jury indicted the governor on charges of abuse of power -- abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant (two felonies). But there is more to the story, of course, and many -- including some prominent Democrats -- believe the charges are spurious and politically motivated. After all, they are grounded on a long-standing Texas-style battle between largely Democratic Travis County and the establishment GOP in the executive branch.
Perry is charged with vetoing funding to a Travis County prosecutor's office when a Democratic state prosecutor failed to resign following a DUI arrest. The optics favor Perry on this one. By standing behind his veto decision, he appears to have the higher legal ground.
This may be just the kind of game-changer forgetful pretty-boy Perry needed to rehabilitate his image for a second attempt at the Oval Office, as The Washington Post explains:
"It's no secret that Perry is eyeing a presidential run in 2016, and the debacle of his 2012 campaign is an obstacle that he will need to overcome. If Perry artfully uses this occasion to be a victim, martyr and fighter, it could be just the rehab he needs. For better or for worse, Perry will be getting a lot more media attention than he would otherwise in the coming days and weeks."
Since the indictment, Perry has wasted no opportunity to get in front of the cameras, looking and sounding as presidential as possible, and speaking on a variety of political issues. And here Democrats have hope. For no matter how high and mighty Perry-the-martyr may sound defending his veto in the Travis County case, he's still Rick Perry, and he hasn't lost that GOP Texas-dyslexia when it comes to discussing the issues of the day.
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation today, Perry declared that there was a very real possibility that the Islamist terror organization ISIS had infiltrated the US by illegally crossing our southern border. If this is supposed to bolster his long-standing position on immigration and border security, it comes across as proof that the governor could use a geography refresher course.
CNN has more:
"It's a 'very real possibility' that individuals with the extremist group ISIS may have crossed into the United States at the southern border, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday, though he added he doesn't have any evidence.
"Because the border is insecure, Perry said that 'individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be' taking advantage of the situation. 'I think it's a very real possibility that they may have already used that,' he told an audience at the Heritage Foundation in Washington."
Does anybody outside of the Glenn Beck-head loony bin actually believe there is a serious ISIS presence South of the Border? That a nest of militant Mexican Muslims is plotting to sneak across the border and stage a physical attack on the United States?
This comment is oddly reminiscent of the other tongue-tied Texan who recently occupied the White House. Remember the rainbow of terror warnings in the post-9-11 days? How we were to look for the al Qaeda boogeyman everywhere ... hiding in the shrubbery in our neighborhoods. Lobstermen pulling their pots along the coast of Maine should be ever-vigilant for the swarthy "evildoer" who might be swimming by ....
But the indictment still stands. We know Presidents have been indicted and impeached while in office, but have any indicted candidates ever been elected? And wouldn't it be a riot if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ultimately faced charges in "Bridgegate?" We could have a felonious-face-off at the Republican nominating convention.
Wouldn't be a bit surprising for today's GOP.