Rick Perry makes 'Dancing' debut

Rick Perry joins Dancing with the Stars

AUSTIN - The longest-serving governor in Texas history made his debut on ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars Monday' night.

The governor's inaugural ball in 2011 was the last time Rick Perry publicly put on his dancing shoes, according to an ABC teaser.

"My dance experience is almost nil," said Perry, who explained his reason for joining the contest as a desire to raise awareness for veterans' issues.

"I'm personally doing Dancing with the Stars because my daughter is getting married in October and I don't want to embarrass her at our father-daughter dance," added Perry. "I want to win Dancing with the Stars for the men and women of our military."

In its 23rd season, the show has become a familiar stop for former politicians. Fellow Texan Tom DeLay appeared after a legal scandal forced his resignation from the role of U.S. House Speaker. Although he was later exonerated, he has never returned to elective politics.

After three full terms as governor and two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, Perry has been spending his retirement at his home in Round Top, while earning speaking and consulting fees and acting as surrogate for Donald Trump.

"It's hard to see a downside to doing it," said GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak, who suggests Perry sees an opportunity to boost his favorite issue -- veterans -- while possible angling for a Trump cabinet post.

"We'll see what the future holds. My guess is he's probably not ever going to serve in elected office again, but he would be an attractive choice for Trump if Trump were to win in terms of a number of cabinet opportunities," said Mackowiak.

Betting site Bovada gives the 66-year old the longest odds at winning, tied at +3300 with "Brady Bunch" star Maureen McCormick. The task of training Perry falls to dance partner Emma Slater.

"I'm a lump of coal, and she's shining on that thing to make a diamond out of it," Perry said on Good Morning America.

An active jogger, Perry has dealt with back pain. Some close to his campaign blamed the pain and medication for issues during his first presidential run, which ended in an infamous "oops" moment during a nationally televised debate.

"I've fallen in front of 4 million people before," Perry laughed in the teaser video, "This gives me the opportunity to fall in front of 10 million people."

Dancing with the Stars kicked off at 7 p.m. on KVUE.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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