December 9, 2010
By STEWART M. POWELL
WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Perry's anti-Washington rhetoric, which helped hand him a re-election landslide, is about to be put to the test as he girds for a series of states' rights clashes with the federal government.
The Lone Star State governor's drive to gain more control of clean air regulations, Medicaid health coverage for the poor, immigration and border security will sharpen the national attention on Perry just as he becomes the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
With that, the ambitious 60-year-old West Texas politician is expected to fortify a coast-to-coast crusade against what he calls the long and oppressive reach of Uncle Sam.
By galvanizing GOP governors, coordinating efforts with ascendant Republicans on Capitol Hill and barnstorming on behalf of his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington, Perry hopes to foment a rebellion against federal regulation that could trigger the most sweeping devolution of federal powers to the states in decades. . .
Perry is preparing to revamp the Republican Governors Association to focus more on policy and energize states' push-back against the federal government.
"There's just no question that Rick Perry views his upcoming term as chairman as an opportunity to raise his issues and his national profile," says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University.
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