AUSTIN – Another week brings with it more national press for Governor Rick Perry, and that national press brings another denial that he's interested in Washington politics.
The cover of the current edition of Newsweek has a story to tell well beyond Central Texas: Rick Perry politics continues to play outside of Texas.
In December 2009, the governor was featured in a Sunday story published by The New York Times. In February, a presidential photo illustration appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly magazine.
Perry’s victory speech in March was punctuated with lines like this: "This election was about hard working Texans sending a simple, compelling message to Washington: Quit spending all the money."
That got Politico and TIME magazines wondering if he was pondering a presidential run in 2012.
Despite all the pundits and all the press, at least one man keeps hinting that they've got it all wrong. That man is the governor himself.
As part of the Newsweek story, the governor sat down with the editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune.
"The reason I agree to do interviews with national publications is so that people will pay attention to what is going on in Texas,” Perry told the Texas Tribune.
Professor Paul Steckler, who documents and studies presidential campaigns at the University of Texas, is skeptical.
"Governor Perry is establishing a national presence,” he said. "If you're going to run for president, you have to establish a national organization you have to raise millions and millions and hundreds of millions of dollars. You have to be organized and ready years in advance."
Governing the State of Texas and campaigning to keep governing, keeps the governor pretty busy.
Given that, Steckler thinks a vice-presidential run may be more likely in 2012.
However, the governor denied that to Newsweek and the Texas Tribune.
"Barack Obama said he wasn't running for president until he was running for president and he did OK,” Steckler said.
The governor's 2010 re-election campaign points out that the he has had his name removed from at least one conservative presidential straw poll.
They say that's more evidence the governor doesn't want to go to Washington.