In the 1850s, on the steps of the Waco courthouse, Wallace Jefferson’s great-great-great-grandfather was sold. Today, Jefferson is chief justice of Texas’s Supreme Court. The governor who nominated him also nominated the state’s first Latina justice. Rick Perry, 61, the longest-serving governor in Texas history and, in his 11th year, currently the nation’s senior governor, says these nominations are two of his proudest accomplishments.
French cuffs and cowboy boots are, like sauerkraut ice cream, an eclectic combination, but Perry, who wears both, is a potentially potent candidate for the Republican presidential nomination because his political creed is uneclectic, matching that of the Republican nominating electorate. He was a “10th Amendment conservative” (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”) before the Tea Party appeared. And before Barack Obama’s statism–especially Obamacare’s individual mandate–catalyzed concern for the American project of limited government.