I stumbled upon this anecdote about Governor Rick Perry of Texas:
Recently Governor Perry allowed his Labrador Retriever to accompany him on his daily six mile jog. While on his run, he and his pet were accosted by a menacing coyote. After remaining still and waiting to see what the wild coyote would do, the governor pulled out a .380 Ruger and shot the coyote dead when it become apparent the coyote was after his pup.
When he returned to the governor’s office he was queried about his “heartless” actions towards “innocent” animals. After answering more than one question on the matter, and in a mildly exasperated manner he replied, “Don’t go after my dog!” In other words while the press was confused about his value system, he saw it in very simple terms.
Now, I have no problem with the Guv having a handgun or shooting a “menacing” coyote. But, seriously, isn’t this story sort of weird? Wouldn’t running with that kind of heat be a little, um, uncomfortable? Or, perhaps, he had someone in his entourage carrying it for him (of course running with an entourage sort of takes the romance out of the story: manly governor out running being trailed by a black Suburban filled with his security detail borrows gun to shoot coyote, rather than simply putting the pup in the Suburban for protection).
But the really strange part of this story is that the author uses this anecdote to argue that “Perry has core convictions.” I don’t know, but I might look for something like standing up to Republican donors who want corporate welfare as an example of having core convictions. “Willing to shoot annoying wildlife” isn’t quite the “core conviction” I’m looking for. But that’s just me.
This early in the campaign season, we should all be forgiven for holding uninformed prejudices about candidates (or potential ones in this case). I haven’t caught the fire for Perry yet, maybe because I know little about him. So far I know 1) he is handsome, but in a shifty, Clintonesque sort of way; 2) he is from Texas, never a good sign (think: LBJ, W., and all the annoying Texans you have certainly encountered); 3) he packs heat while jogging.
But, as I said, it’s still early.
Addendum: Apparently life imitates art. A faithful reader (OK, my mother-in-law) sent me this funny comparison between what happens when the governor of California encounters a coyote while jogging and what happens when the governor of Wyoming encounters the same thing. This post (from Jan. 5) is so eerily similar to the Perry coyote shooting that I can’t help wonder if some enterprising aid staged the whole thing! If I were an investigative journalist (or any kind of journalist) I’d try to get to the bottom of this.