Perry Goes National

Governor Rick Perry gets the first chance to appear before a national audience tonight. The Republicans vying for the GOP's presidential nomination will be on the same stage for a debate. Rice political scientist Mark Jones has written about Perry and has an assessment about tonight debate.

Gov. Perry's nomination campaign has seen him shoot to the top of the GOP contender's list.  While he's made that headway with a pointedly agressive style, Professor Jones does not expect to see that side of Perry tonight.

"I expect he's going to adopt a very conservative approach in this debate with the goal of doing no serious damage to his campaign."

Jones say Perry's staff has certainly coached him not to be aggressive, or prickly, or mean to avoid displaying what could be seen as a cowboy image, that while appealing to some could be a seen as not presidential in others.

Jones thinks tonight's format will benefit Perry.

"These large debates with eight people, they're much better suited to his ability to provide relativly short answers and concrete answers  to questions and to require a little less thinking on your feet."

That, says Jones, will not be the case, should Perry win the nomination and have to face off one-on-one with President Obama.

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Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...