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How Will the Indictment Affect Rick Perry Politically?

 
How Will the Indictment Affect Rick Perry Politically?
Posted Monday, August 18th 2014 @ 5am

Texas political analysts say Gov. Perry can emerge from his indictment on misuse of office charges, but only if he moves quickly, and only if the charges are completely dropped or he is completely exonerated, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

  Perry was indicted late Friday on charges that he used his office to bully and intimidate Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.  Perry threatened to veto, and eventually did veto, state funding for the Public Integrity Office of the DA's office, after Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving.

  Cal Jillson of SMU says the biggest problem Perry will face in the near term is being knocked off message.  Jillson says Perry has been climbing in the polls largely on the strength of his actions on the Texas-Mexico border following the surge of Central American unaccompanied children, but he says he won't be able to talk about those issues.

  "Should he go to Iowa now, the first question will be about the indictment now, it's not going to be about immigration or the border," Jillson said.

  Brandon Rottinghaus, an expert on the Presidency at the University of Houston says the biggest problem that Perry will face is that the indictment will hurt his 'electability.'

  "A candidate under criminal indictment does not sell well to Republican activists or important party leaders whom Perry needs to convince he is viable," Rottinghaus said.

  Perry was gradually rebuilding his political brand following the 'oops moment,' which ended his sputtering Presidential campaign in 2012.

  "Republicans are skittish about choosing the wrong nominee after 2012, the rotating frontrunner in the 2012 nomination fight made Republican voters consider electability more strongly," Rottinghaus said. 

  Analysts point out that getting a conviction, especially to a top count felony indictment, will not be easy.  Perry has gone on the offensive, telling interviewers that the veto threat, and later his veto, was completely within his authority as governor.  Perry is framing the issue as an attack on the powers of the office of governor.

 

 

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