They're allies now, but if the two governors for president, they could turn into rivals as they both seek tea-party votes
Sarah Palin jokingly calls Texas "Alaska's little sister state,'' but its governor -- and her political ally -- Rick Perry could be a big obstacle to her own potential White House run.
While the breakout performance by Rep. Michele Bachmann at Monday's GOP presidential debate has set off speculation that the Minnesotan could usurp Palin as the favorite of Republican tea party activists and religious conservatives, Perry's announcement that he's taking a second look at a White House run sets up an intriguing potential showdown between two politicians who, up to now, have had an unusually warm relationship.
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In a GOP field devoid of a commanding front-runner, Perry's crowd-whipping talent, rapport with the evangelical community, tea-party-friendly disdain for government, and prodigious fundraising network make him an increasingly attractive presidential candidate. Those are the same assets that Palin would bring to a campaign -- except that she also carries all of the political baggage collected since John McCain chose her as his running mate in 2008. What's more, the three-term governor of Texas can point to far more executive experience than his pal, who quit her job as governor of Alaska after two and a half years.
"When you line them up next to each other, he's superior in every facet," said Texas-based political consultant and lobbyist Bill Miller, who has never worked for Perry. "His entry into the race would be very bad for Palin if she wants to run. The only thing she has that he doesn't is celebrity, but that's not enough to become a nominee."