Gov. Rick Perry didn't offer any answers Wednesday on what exactly he will say Saturday in South Carolina, where sources indicate he will finally make clear that he's running for president.
But speaking in San Antonio on Wednesday, Perry sketched out what could be the points he'll make once his campaign is under way.
Perry appeared before the National Conference of State Legislatures, and built out what could be the broad contours of his national message.
Like any campaign narrative, there's a beginning, middle and, of course, an ending of hope.
Frist, the beginning.
"Our country's in trouble. Our fiscal house is built on shifting sands," Perry proclaimed. "It took massive debt and they piled it on the next generation's credit card."
And the guys there now, in Perry's view, don't know about the most important thing: Jobs, jobs and more jobs.
"Government doesn't create jobs; otherwise the last two-and-a-half years of stimulus would've worked," said Texas' longest-serving governor.
What's the solution? How does the nation create these jobs? Perry said look to Texas while's he's been governor.
"Over the last two years, 40 percent of the net new jobs created in the United States were created in this state," he said.
How did those jobs happen and what must be brought to Washington? "The single most important contributor to our jobs friendly climate in Texas is our low tax burden," Perry said.
And this narrative's ending of hope, according to Perry, if his lead is followed: "I know our country's best days are ahead of us. I'll tell you, this West Texas optimist sees our brightest hour is just around the corner."
A lot of Texans work in schools, hospitals and state government, and after hearing Perry's speech the Texas Democratic Party had this response:
"Rick Perry needs a reality check on the Texas economy. If Perry thinks we're proud that he demanded a state budget that's estimated to kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, he's dead wrong, and we are going to make sure voters across the nation know the truth about his record."
As Perry rolls out his campaign, his Democratic and Republican opponents will try to punch through his message of job creation.