Rick Perry was in Aspen last week long enough to disappoint a packed room of western conservatives.
The Texas governor, you might have heard, is primping for the presidency. And let's admit: He's the kind of candidate to get tea party hearts arrhythmic. It's not just the hair. It's not just the square jaw. It's that —well, he's everything an anti-tax, anti-gummint', anti-everythin' voter would want.
Perry spoke in Colorado at a fundraiser where his 10-minute spiel was mostly generalities — nothing about running for president, no clothier advice, no hairstyling tips. Then, he jetted off without taking questions. Media reports were almost sorry to disappoint.
That's OK, because I have his announcement speech for president right here.
And let me tell you, if it isn't inspiring to those who want this nation to step back into another political epoch — say, back to the time pelts first were used for clothing — then nothing will inspire.
That Perry has made "forward" the text-message byword of his thus far non-candidacy is but a quibble. To dwell on such a contradiction is just pointy-headed semantics, because, well, just listen:
"My fellow Americans, the time has come for new leadership, a new vision, the Texas vision. For too long — ever since the bitter January of 2008, the nation has thirsted — thirsted for a divinely led Texan to return America to greatness. There can be no doubt that I am that man.
"As with the man who preceded me in the Texas governor's mansion, I make all my decisions with God's counsel, and I have heard the call. The message came to me this winter when I encountered a coyote on my gubernatorial jog. I trained my .380 Luger and beseeched the Almighty to guide my hollow-point. The message I heard was: Train your pistol on Washington's big-spending ways.
"Pursuant, I am running for president. And when elected, I will cut taxes early and often. If anything is apparent from recent debt deliberations, it is that Washington has too much money. I will fix that.
"The big spenders are pointing out that state and federal taxes as a percent of GDP are at their lowest point since Truman was president and a loaf of bread cost 14 cents. Well, that's too much for me. I will bring that slice of GDP down to levels seen when bread was still a futuristic notion.
"My tax-cut policies, modeled in Texas, will turn the nation's economy around. Look at what my state just did. We just told Texas schools that they could get by on $4 billion less than state law was saying we ought spend. We let go of thousands of teachers — a point of pride in our state, as gradeschools and gradeschoolers should be leaner and meaner.
"Critics say Texas has allowed its transportation infrastructure to fall hopelessly behind under my stewardship. But we approach these matters the free-market way. When a road decays, the free-market dictates that if you can buy an SUV or truck with 18-inch clearance, you need no pavement. That's how we in Texas get on down the road.
"With me as president, Washington no longer will tell states what to do. In Texas, we believe that what our polluters put in the air is their business and nobody else's. People who breathe? Unless they're lobbyists or contributors, I don't see them on my appointments list.
"Foreign policy? Well I've taken many a yacht to far-off places courtesy of contributors who believe in good government. And here's the thing: Like my predecessor as governor, I have a leather flight jacket, and I'm not afraid to use it.
"I believe strongly in the divinely inspired 'onward march of freedom' led by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. And so it will resume with me as your president, as soon as we can find on oil-rich nation to march against.
"I look 'forward' to serving as your president, and I know you look 'forward' to it as well. God help the United States of America."
Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.