Politico is reporting that Texas Governor Rick Perry will make it crystal clear on Saturday that he’s going to run for president. State Senator David Johnson, a fan of Perry, says it will ”change the entire complexion” of the race and the Straw Poll. (UPDATE: Here’s the Radio Iowa story, with some who hold the opposite view.)
“Definitely this is going to be good news, I think, for the Iowa Caucuses,” Johnson said moments ago during an interview with Radio Iowa. “…The Straw Poll’s going to be one thing, but I think the Caucuses is where the rubber’s going to meet the road and I think we can organize a strong, strong effort for Governor Perry here in northwest Iowa which is rich with Republican voters.”
Johnson has never met Perry in person and while Perry has been telephoning Iowa political insiders for the past few weeks, Johnson didn’t get a phone call. Johnson supported George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. In 2008, Johnson was a Romney backer. “I’m ready to endorse (Perry) as soon as he announces,” Johnson said this afternoon.
Will Perry’s announcement totally overshadow the Straw Poll? “If he’s going to make some sort of an announcement on Saturday that will definitely have an effect…This will definitely shift the focus,” Johnson said in answer to that question.
Johnson will not be at the Straw Poll to put Perry’s name on the “write-in” line on the Straw Poll ballot. Johnson’s going to be in a parade in Ocheyedan which will pass “right by my house and I will not miss that for anything.”
I also talked with Craig Schoenfeld, state director for “Americans for Perry”. “Over the last few weeks the governor has explored this opportunity,” Schoenfeld said. “It’s welcome news and I’m looking forward to what he has to say on Saturday.”