Rick Perry's flirtation with running for president might strike some as confusing. He has no interest in running. Now he's thinking about it. But he says he thinks about a lot of things. How's a politico to respond?
Perry might be outside the traditional presidential campaign playbook, but he's well within the rules — and I'm not talking about campaign finance. I mean he's playing hard-to-get, as taught to single ladies in the '90s courtesy of The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right.
Don't believe Perry is borrowing his non-campaign strategy from a dating book? Let's look at some of authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider's top 10 rules.
#1 Be a creature unlike any other
According to a Perry source who talked to The Wall Street Journal, Perry "thinks there is a void, and that he might be uniquely positioned to fill that void," when it comes to Republican presidential candidates. His supporters are playing up the case that he is unique because he has the ability to appeal to both fiscal conservatives, Tea Partiers and social conservatives.
#2 Show up to parties, dances and social events even if you do not feel like it
Perry's had plenty on his plate in Texas, but he managed to give a speech at CPAC in February and will be addressing the New York Republican party next week and attending a Republican function in New Orleans, and he's been making the rounds in his position as president of the Republican Governors Association and on tour with his book.
#3 It's a fantasy relationship until a man asks you out
Back in May the Associated Press reported that Perry was "waiting to be summoned" into the race. Today according to The Washington Post, "A Perry friend said the governor has been surprised at how much pressure from outside the state has arrived encouraging him to run, something he had not anticipated, and that too has prompted him to begin a discussion with family and close friends."
Yes, America. You've just asked Rick Perry out.
#4 In an office romance do not email him back every time he emails you unless it is business-related
Perry gives lots of interviews, and he always tends to have something to say about every issue. It's only when it comes to the presidential run questions that he has blown them off. It's called creating mystery — and leaving them wanting more.
#5 If you are in a long distance relationship, he must come to visit you three times before you visit him
Perry has invited all 50 governors to Texas in August, and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman met with Perry over dinner in Austin last week. If you count a visit from Fox News' Greta von Susteren joining Rick on the Texas border, it looks like Perry is ready for a trip to take this flirtation to the next level. I think in this case "second base" means "trying to get millions of dollars from donors."
#8 Close the deal — Rules women do not date men for more than two years
Perhaps this explains why Perry is jumping in the fray so late in the game. Mitt Romney, who's essentially been running nonstop since 2008, is your typical nice guy who is trying too hard. No one ever marries the desperate ones, Mitt. Now Perry has the casual cool to say, 'Sure I could run for president, but I'd be just as happy and interesting just reading my Food & Wine magazine in Austin.' That's called confidence and guys/voters eat it up.
#10 Keep doing the rules even when things are slow
Remember a couple months ago when everyone was talking about Donald Trump's fake campaign? Perry didn't try to make a splash (well, unless you count requiring women to view sonograms when getting an abortion). He waited, and eventually Rush Limbaugh sent him a love letter.
Keep playing by The Rules, and you never know what might happen.