Commentary: How does Vice President Perry sound?

Rick Perry on the 2012 ticket?

Heck, he might have made it in 2008.

Months before John McCain won the Republican presidential nomination, early favorite Rudy Giuliani said Perry was "on the top of everybody's list" of running mates.

But Perry wasn't on McCain's list, and Perry didn't have a book or a national profile.

Meanwhile, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had both religious followers and a newborn named Trig.

Two years later, Perry has both a new book and new possibilities -- that is, if a presidential nominee from the north like Mitt Romney needs a religious Southern Republican to stir Tea Party turnout.

Right now, both Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee remain possible candidates for president, if they decide to ditch their TV jobs.

But if the choice for the No. 2 spot on the ticket comes down to Southerners Huckabee or Perry, one of North Texas' most influential social conservatives says she thinks her allies would prefer Perry.

"I think people are aware of the results in Texas, what the governor has done here," said Shanda Perkins of Burleson, the chairwoman of Perry's campaign in Tarrant, Dallas, McLennan and Johnson counties -- much of that a Huckabee stronghold in 2008.

Even in Johnson County, one of Huckabee's strongest counties, she said voters would prefer Perry because Texas is better off than Arkansas.

"People have told me they don't think Huckabee would have done as well in Texas as Perry did," she said.

"His background is so different from Governor Perry's."

She's hoping for a Romney-Perry ticket.

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, was a state co-chairman for Huckabee but has also been a close Perry ally.

He declined to talk about 2012.

"Far as I know neither one of them is running," King wrote by e-mail.

"Texas really needs Perry right now, and I suspect Fox News really needs Huckabee."

On NBC's Today, the governor himself said that he's not running in '12.

Or did he?

Perry said, "I'm not running for the presidency."

But when asked whether he might accept a vice presidential bid, he said only, "I don't see that scenario at all."

Just read it in the Tea.

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