Perry to seek 2016 GOP presidential nomination
"We have the power to make things new again. To project American strength again, to get our economy going again. And that is why today I am running for the presidency of the United States of America," said Perry.
A C-130 aircraft served as a backdrop for Perry's announcement- it's similar to the type he flew while in the air force. With several prominent military veterans standing with him, it is clear Perry's new campaign has a much different tone than the cowboy swagger his ads offered 4 years ago.
"So he is really trying to reinvent himself," said political analyst Brian Smith.
The challenge for this new look Perry, according to Smith, will be substance.
"I think 2016 foreign policy is going to be a much bigger issue than it was in 2012, because of everything that's been going on in the Middle East and other parts of the world."
Perry has spent the past few years traveling to world economic and political summits to expand his credentials beyond the Lone Star state. Thursday he continued to criticize the Obama Administration's foreign policy decisions.
"The truth is we are at the end of an era of failed leadership. We have been led by a divider who has sliced and diced the electorate, pitting American against American for political purposes," said Perry.
Before his announcement in Addison, the Perry campaign posted a video on its new website promoting his West Texas roots, tenure as Governor and why he wants to be in the White House. It didn't take long for the democrats to tweet out their own video, which poked fun at Perry's debate flub from his last White House bid. That past mistake, according to Smith, will make or break Perry.
"He has got to be flawless in the debates, in the sense any mistake and everybody is going to say, Candidate Oops at it again. So he has got to be flawless in those debates. And also on those debates the bar is going to be set very low because his poor debating past, so if he exceeds that bar he is going to look very strong as compared to all the other candidates," said Smith.
Perry's biggest challenge may not be on the campaign trail but in a courtroom. There's a pending abuse of power case that Perry so far has tried to spin to his political advantage. Perry's indictment stems from his veto of funding for the Travis Co. Public Integrity Unit when democrat District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign after her drunk driving conviction. His case, according to Smith, needs to be resolved before the primary season starts in January.
"People are not going to elect or nominate or vote for a candidate who is under indictment the absolute worst thing that can happen to the Republican party is, Rick Perry gets the nomination and then has to go to jail," said Smith.
It's believed Perry is the first candidate from a major party (in modern history) to run for president while under indictment. In 1920 a socialist candidate ran his campaign from a prison cell and got 3% of the popular vote.