AUSTIN — Despite his insistence that he's content to stay in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry is attracting more and more buzz as a potential presidential candidate, talk that could shift into hyperdrive after conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh proclaimed Wednesday that Perry has the "potential to light this up."
Limbaugh, widely considered the nation's most listened-to talk-radio host, gave the Texas governor a plug on his afternoon program by declaring that Perry is the Republicans' best hope to bring life to an anemic presidential field. Further, Limbaugh said, "He has great hair."
The never-subdued commentator is followed by conservatives across the country, with an audience that has been estimated from about 14 million to about 25 million. Although Limbaugh said that he wasn't making an endorsement, his mention of Perry could help put the Texas governor on political radar screens across the country in advance of next year's presidential race.
Even before Limbaugh's broadcast, Perry had been gaining increased notice in blogs and a diverse range of publications as Republicans and conservative independents size up potential candidates to run against Democratic President Barack Obama.
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RealClearPolitics, an online journal, reported Tuesday that Perry aides have been quietly making inquiries on Perry's behalf in advance of the 2012 presidential race. Other publications spotlighting Perry include The New York Times and the National Journal, which recently ran a cover profile on the Texas governor.
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