Forty percent of Obama's jobs record is Perry's jobs record. Even if the Texas governor isn't "responsible" for it, that's still a formidable record.
If Texas Governor Rick Perry is the Republican nominee for president, the 2012 election will have a striking parallelism. President Obama would ask voters to overlook a bad national economy for which he's not fully responsible. The Republican challenger would ask voters to credit him for an impressive state economy for which he is also not fully responsible.
There are two themes here. One is that the likelihood of a politician to take ownership over an economy is directly proportional to the health of the economy. The other lesson is that even as political leaders can try to guide an economy, they are ultimately victims, or beneficiaries, of its underlying fundamentals.
The Texas miracle is, like so many miraculous things, complicated upon closer inspection. Texas accounted for 40 percent of the nation's new jobs since June 2009. This impressive statistic is the result of geology, geography, history, and politics.
-- Geology blessed Texas with oil, natural gas and other energy and agricultural resources that powered Texas through the early part of the recession and bolstered the state's recovery in the subsequent global commodities boom.
-- Geography gave Texas open, arable land that encourages wide, cheap housing and a Mexico border offering a steady stream of cheap immigrant labor.
-- Recent history, especially the S&L crisis of the 1980s, gave Texas a lesson in conservative banking practices that served it well in the 2000s.
-- And as national politics is responsible for high military spending that is a backbone of the San Antonio economy, many companies in Texas also benefit from the state's conservative regulation, which holds down the cost of business.