"I'm a lot more prepared to be president because now I have these serious-looking glasses, see?" Rick Perry makes the case for himself:
BOCA RATON—Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t ready to announce his candidacy for president in 2016; that decision will come in May or June of next year. But the longest-serving governor in the history of his state said Wednesday that this time, he will be ready if he decides to try again.
“I was a bit arrogant” in 2012, Perry said in an interview at the Republican Governors Association meeting here in Florida, as he looked both back and ahead. His arrogance, he said, stemmed from his belief that, as a sitting governor from one of the nation’s most populous states, he could “step into that role of candidate and stand up in front of the American people…I was mistaken.”
He has spent, by his own admission, most of the past two-plus years paying penance and doing due diligence, trying to undo the damage from his 2012 campaign. His candidacy is now encapsulated by his famous utterance — “oops” — after he could not remember the third of three federal agencies that he would eliminate if he became president.
“It’s never going to go away,” he said of impressions of his failed candidacy. “It’s always there, just as Bill Clinton’s 1988 [long-winded Democratic] convention speech is always there. It’s always part of your past. I’m a big believer that Americans…are interested in how do you perform after you’ve been knocked down.”
Perry’s schedule since has been a combination of looking after his state as he winds down his governorship and doing the homework necessary to give him the knowledge and confidence to run again. “I’ve spent the last 22 months in preparation,” he said.