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Monday, August 08, 2011

Politico reports Gov. Rick Perry to announce for Prez, 8-13

Governor Rick Perry (photo)

By Jonathan Martin & Maggie Haberman & Mike Allen

Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina on Saturday to make clear that he's running for president, POLITICO has learned.

According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.

It's uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry's decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll.

Immediately following his speech in South Carolina, Perry will make his New Hampshire debut at a house party at the Portsmouth-area home of a state representative, Pamela Tucker, the Union Leader reported Monday. Tucker was among the Granite Staters who went to Texas last week to encourage Perry to run.

Perry is expected to head to Iowa in the days following his New Hampshire trek, too, POLITICO has learned.

This week, the Texan will continue the private meetings he's held in Austin for the last month. On Thursday, Perry will meet with a small group of national small business association CEOs to discuss job creation and his economic record.

Whether the Ames winner is Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty or someone else, they will immediately have to compete with Perry for attention in the aftermath of his kickoff, particularly given his plans to visit Iowa. The Texan is not on the straw poll ballot, but several Iowa operatives said the 527 group "Americans for Rick Perry," has been aggressively working GOP events to boost his write-in performance.

The Texan would immediately be a formidable figure in the race, appealing to conservatives hungering for more options — particularly in states where the GOP base is heavily conservative, like Iowa and South Carolina, Perry would have an opportunity to unite both tea party activists and more traditional party regulars who want a mix of conservatism and electability.

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