DALLAS - On Friday, Gov. Rick Perry gave the clearest indication yet Friday that he may have his eyes on the White House.
So, has the governor had a change of heart?
I think I have clearly stated, if your intent here is to question where I would want to go any better than being the governor of the state of Texas, that place hasn't been made yet, Perry said in January 2010 during the Belo debate for the GOP primary race for governor.
In an interview that took placer later in 2010 with KVUE-TV, he flatly said no when asked if he would run. But, this week he told Fox News of being tempted. At the ceremonial signing for the voter ID bill Friday, Perry said after the legislative session he'll sign on to consider a White House run.
I'm going to think about it, he said.
Conservative activists in Texas say they're delighted and not surprised. Some say they're not enthused about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who's considered the front runner so far. That same group believe Perry's record of job growth and limited government would resonate nationally.
Cathie Adams is the past chair of the Texas Republican Party and former leader of the Texas Eagle Forum.
I think a lot of people would be excited because the economy in Texas is a model for the rest of the nation, she said. We have a balance budget amendment, we live by that. We are cutting the size of government right now in the legislature.
But, Perry's record, which would be examined nationally, is also one of leading the state with the highest percentage of people with no health insurance and cutting education funding while the state sits on billions of surplus dollars.
Then, there's the political puzzle of what Sarah Palin will do.
If Sarah Palin gets in, and she's looking at this race as well, she would suck a lot of the oxygen out of the room that Perry needs, social conservatives, Tea Party conservatives, said Cal Jillson, an SMU political science professor.
All factors for Perry to think about. Doubtless he'll consider the timing, which once again appears aligning in his favor.
With politicians, once that whistle blows and you look up and there's a path to the presidency, it's hard to say, 'No, I don't want it,' Jillson said.
The Texas Democratic Party said in a statement that Perry would fit right into a GOP field that's already well-treaded by aspiring celebrities hawking books and reality TV shows.