A second Rick Perry run for President in 2016, not long ago considered a long shot due largely to Perry's botched campaign in 2012, is suddenly looking a lot more likely, due to the Central American immigration crisis, analysts tell News Radio 1200 WOAI.
Mark Jones, the chairman of the Political Science Department at Rice University and a respected observer of Texas politics, calls the entire rush of Central American illegal immigrants a 'gold mine' for the governor, who will retire at the end of this year, and says Perry has handled the situation like a political master.
"He suddenly finds himself at the center of the national agenda of this issue of immigration," Jones told News Radio 1200 WOAI.
Analysts say Perry has handled the situation well, by appearing to be a strong but not a radical voice on an issue which has been very much in the public eye. Perry's releasing of a letter that he wrote to President Obama in 2012 warning of the possibility of this exact event taking place due to the President's muddled immigration policy makes Perry look like a wise and prepared leader.
And Jones says Perry's activism as the leader of the effort to scuttle the President proposal to spend $3.7 billion, or $44,000 per immigrant, on the crisis will go over well among the conservative GOP base, which has always been suspicious of Perry.
"Perry does not want to be associated with a massive increase in federal spending, because that doesn't help you at all in the Republican primary," Jones said.
Also helping Perry is a new poll in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a presidential selection primary, showing 2012 nominee Mitt Romney holding a strong lead on all other potential Republican candidates. That shows that the 'Young Bucks' who have attempted to shake up the Republican party and are often mentioned as potential GOP contenders, from Rand Paul to Ted Cruz to Marco Rubio, are not gaining traction among mainstream Republicans, at least not in early decision states.
Perry chose not to seek re-election this year, but he has not announced his future plans. Perry, however, is campaigning actively for Republican U.S. Senate candidates in this year's election, which is seen as not only giving him national visibility, but also giving him IOU's that he can collect in 2016.