October 24, 2012
By Petty Fikac
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry, who skipped editorial board meetings in his last race for re-election, is sweet-talking them as he looks toward the upcoming legislative session and the possibility of another bid.
Perry invited editorial writers from around Texas to the Governor's Mansion for lunch last week, fielding questions on key issues and lightly answering "yeah, yeah" when asked if he'll come see them if he runs for office again.
"I enjoy editorial boards," Perry told the group - and, when they said they missed him last time, replied that the situation had been "jacked up."...
Don't start counting those editorial board meetings before they happen, or get your hopes up about debates, counseled Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson.
"I think what he is doing right now is trying to improve his coverage during the period of his term, but if he prepares for another race, he'll look at that race and decide what he needs to do to win. If he doesn't need to muck around with editorial boards, he won't," Jillson said, citing the risk that fielding unscripted questions can carry.
"If he is considering running in Texas and is in a relatively strong position, he won't meet with editorial boards. He won't debate. If he does, he will do it at 11:45 in an El Paso bar - something way out of the way," Jillson said.
The suggestion isn't that Perry is incapable of such activities, it's that Perry "is not going to bother himself with them" unless he has to do so, Jillson said.
"I think Rick Perry is not overly impressed with the idea that democracy deserves to hear from its leaders in diverse settings," he said. "Democracy gets what he feels like it needs."...