SMU Experts: Rick Perry’s quest for the presidency

Rita Kirk, SMU.edu, August 17, 2011

DALLAS (SMU) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to be the next president of the United States. SMU experts in communications and ethics, political science and religion analyze what his race holds for the GOP and the nation.

Prof. Rita Kirk “Populist Swagger

"He can't avoid the press like he has in Texas. They, as you know, are on the bus. They're constantly in the face. They're drawing comparisons with other candidates. So, he's going to have to deal with the national press in a way that he hasn't had to do in Texas for quite some time."
“Say what you will about his policies, but voters will be drawn to his style,” Kirk says. “That will make a lackluster Republican race to date finally start to sizzle. “ Perry’s team will run the race his way, she says, bypassing traditional media.

“They refuse televised debates, knowing that debates serve mostly to rally the faithful rather than persuade the undecided. His populist swagger is his brand. He preaches American exceptionalism, and he drives his message directly to the voters, avoiding the media interpreters who have traditionally controlled the flow of information. Good hair, a smiling Texas drawl and Air Force comportment – he is telegenic.”

Kirk is director of SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communications Studies.

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