Perry says campaign won't interfere with job

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about Texas Governor Rick Perry continuing to serve as governor while campaigning for the Republican nomination for president.


DALLAS - In the months ahead, Gov. Rick Perry will be out of the state quite a bit campaigning for president.

But, Perry's spokeswoman said he can both campaign and serve as the governor, which pays him $150,000 a year.

As Perry campaigns for president, he enjoys the higher national profile he's nurtured for almost 11 years. He can do that and still be governor because of the lower expectations of his office. . .

Political Science Professor Cal Jillson teaches Texas government and politics at SMU.

"For the next 18 months, he's pretty much on his own," Jillson said. "If there's a parade, he'll ride in it, wave his cowboy hat, he might go make speeches around the country, but it's not a 9-to-5 day-to-day job."

The late Gov. Dolph Briscoe personified how inconsequential the governor's real duties are while serving from 1973 to 1979. Briscoe withdrew to his Uvalde ranch for long periods, becoming to his critics a "caretaker governor."

"So, if you choose to be off at the ranch like Dolph Briscoe did, that's one way to do it," Jillson said

"Trying to look busy in Austin is another way to do it, and that's what Rick Perry has generally done," he added.

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