Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his second presidential bid today. Perry’s claim to fame is simple: jobs. Between 2007 and 2013, Texas created 1.5 million jobs while the rest of the nation lost 400,000. (What was that about Barack Obama’s recovery?) In 2014, Texas created a record 457,900 jobs. During his entire tenure, the Lone Star State was responsible for more than a third of America’s jobs. Even so — and with a current downturn in the oil industry slowing Texas’ growth — Perry has made a concerted effort to expand his appeal beyond the economy. His generally successful 14-year tenure as governor of a large state should push him toward the top of the field, but he’ll have to overcome two things: A phony indictment that amounts to charges of governing while Republican, and first impressions from the 2012 campaign. The latter could be harder, as his infamous “oops” moment in one of the last cycle’s debates may have defined him too well. Naturally, he’s trying to redeem himself from a bumbling 2012 run, which he blames on ill preparation and the aftereffects of major back surgery. One person who thinks he can do it is Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s campaign manager. “Gov. Perry has worked hard and done the right things to reposition himself for a run in 2016,” Rhoades said. “I believe his candidacy will have a major impact on the primary and voters will give him a second chance.” America is all about second chances, right?
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