It's never too early to begin the horse-race punditry on the 2012 presidential race, and National Journal has taken on the job.
They've published their rankings of who's likely to get the GOP nod, and -- in what's good news for America but bad for Texas -- Rick Perry comes in a feeble 11th.
Maybe everyone just believes him when he says he doesn't want the job?
NJ puts Perry in the "Governor/VP/`16" tier. which means there's still plenty to be scared shitless about, it just might be a little further down the road.
In that tier, he's behind Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey.
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The thrice-elected Texas governor maintains he is uninterested in living in Washington, but a national book tour and his unabashed courtship of tea party conservatives hints otherwise. Bringing up the 10th Amendment during his tough primary bid was a smart move, and it solidified his place among a segment of GOP-primary voters who may prove essential to deciding the 2012 nominee.
The publication's "A-List Tier," by the way, is Mitt Romney as the leader, followed by Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, John Thune of one Dakota or the other, and Haley Barbour of Mississippi (Seriously? Haley Barbour?)
And they're highly skeptical that Sarah Palin will make a run.
So....Rick Perry, one heartbeat away from the Presidency?