2012: Is Rick Perry waiting too long to jump in?

The Texas governor is reportedly still weeks away from deciding whether he'll run for president, and his potential rivals are already racing ahead

Texas Gov. Rick Perry remains coy about whether he'll run for the GOP presidential nomination.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After Texas Gov. Rick Perry's well-received speech at the Republican Leadership Conference over the weekend, his top strategist, Dave Carney, said there's a 50-50 chance Perry will run for president. A final decision, however, is "at least weeks" away, Carney added. In the meantime, Perry is putting out feelers in Iowa, talking to big-money donors, and has even scheduled a trip to the critical early primary state of South Carolina in August. The governor of the biggest red state in the nation is a popular fiscal and social conservative, and would immediately be seen as a frontrunner for the nomination, if he runs. But by delaying his decision, is Perry running out of time to mount a credible campaign? (Watch a Fox News discussion about Perry's chances.)

It's now or never: Some potential GOP candidates could wait to enter the race, but "Perry is probably not one of those people," says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. To be viable, he has to beat fellow social conservatives Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty in Iowa, and they are way ahead of him in organization. If Perry waits until July to even decide on the race, he may be too late to truly compete in Iowa's early-February caucuses. In that case, his "first clear shot" at a victory is South Carolina's primary. But by then, the race may be all but over.

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