Perry is one of the finest politician working in America today. Most of what you have seen in the media is Perry catering to the key voters groups he needed for his next election. Do NOT underestimate the man!
Here is a revealing article on Perry in today's Houston Chronicle. It's called "5 lessons Perry learned in his political career." I have no doubt at all that Perry is the sharpest politician and the best placed one in the running for the Republican Presidential nomination today.
The second element "Trust your Team" is going to be important after he goes far right to get the nomination and then has to move to the center for the election. I am certain they already have that planned out as neatly as they planned his announcement to suck the wind from the sails of all the other Republican candidates during Iowa. If the very professionalism of that announcement does not just leave you with a feeling of strong admiration then you are not a true political junkie. Perry and his team have repeatedly demonstrated that level of skill here in Texas.
A second element stands out in the Houston Chronicle article. Like Obama, Perry has quickly become adept at using social media to campaign extremely effectively below the level of the MSM. Political wonks don't see this level so the results often come as a nasty surprise as the votes are counted.
The Republicans don't particularly like any other of the candidates for the nomination either. As soon as they see Perry is serious and moving on the nomination they are going to coalesce around Perry like salt crystals on a string in a supersaturated solution. (Do they still do that experiment in high school chemistry these days?)
One element of the coalescing is going to be to bury the embarrassing secessionist and similar statements in a mass of FOX and Limbaugh verbiage. It was done for "Shrub" and it'll be done again for "Good Hair" - but smoother and more effectively.
Don't plan on "Good Hair" making a major misstep on the national political scene. His reputation for being stupid is a self-defeating lie spread by his (very many) political enemies, much as Bill Clinton's Arkansas political enemies spread lies about him. If you believe it you'll never take the actions needed to defeat him. Unlike the other potential Republican Presidential nominees, to defeat "Good Hair" the Democrats will have to bring their A-game.
Addendum 1:44 PM CDT
I just discovered Red Dirt & Sand. It's a blog on Texas politics, and the blogger has been focusing on Rick Perry.
I'd like to do a similar focus but with a family member undergoing chemotherapy I simply do not have the time I need. Right now I am more likely to spend time posting on care of the Central Venous Catheter, changing dressings and flushing. Nursing was not one of my preferred occupations, but you do what you need to do.
Go read Kenneth Franks blog. We are all going to need to know more about Rick Perry quite soon.