Perry meets with donors about 2016 run?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is inviting hundreds of prominent Republican donors and policy experts to a series of gatherings next month that are intended to rebuild his damaged national brand and lay the foundation for a potential 2016 presidential campaign, fundraisers and organizers confirmed to POLITICO.

The small-group sessions kick off Tuesday and Wednesday in Austin with a pair of lunches and dinners held in the governor’s mansion wedged between policy briefings at the nearby office of Perry senior adviser Jeff Miller. In all, Perry’s team expects he will meet in person with more than 500 major donors and bundlers from around the country in December as well as a slew of operatives, Republican National Committee members and policy experts.

Perry’s intensive month of foundation-building comes as other prospective Republican presidential candidates – notably former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – are engaging with the wealthy Texanswho for years have been among the GOP’s most significant sources of cash. As the heir to a political dynasty with deep Texas ties, Bush in particular could seriously cut into Perry’s financial base. Bush over the last few months has met with major Texas donors.

Perry has long enjoyed support from Texas’s biggest wallets for his state campaigns, but some of the donors remain skeptical of his presidential viability as a result of his bumbling 2012 run, during which some abandoned him in favor of eventual nominee Mitt Romney.

Perry had entered the race to much fanfare as the most formidable GOP foe to Romney. But his debate performances induced cringes, his anti-establishment tough talk prompted grumbles in the business community and he had only limited success expanding his fundraising base beyond Texas. When he dropped out not long after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses, Perry further alienated his party’s business wing by snubbing Romney and backing the long-shot rival campaign of Newt Gingrich.
I think Perry would make a very good President if he goes to Washington and employs the same policies that have been successful in Texas.   His challenge in dealing with the donors is to show that he is ready to be a good candidate.  He has some obvious political skills and can be quite charming one on one or in small groups.  He is going to have to show an ability to come across on the big stage at a debate.  If he can do that he should have a good chance to get the nomination and win.


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