Texas Gov. Rick Perry chose an interesting word Saturday to describe his increasingly likely presidential candidacy:
“I’m not ready to tell you that I’m ready to announce that I’m in,” Gov. Rick Perry told The Des Moines Register. “But I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”Back home, he walked that word back a notch:
"There's a lot of different ways to be called. My mother may call me for dinner. My friends may call me for something. There are people calling from all across this country ... and saying, 'Man, we wish you would consider doing this,'" Perry said.But the Houston Chronicle caught the undertone:
But asked if that meant his comments were devoid of any religious overtone, Perry quickly added, "Oh no, no, no. ... I am a man of faith. I don't make any apologies about my faithfulness. ... Do I look for signs, and do I look for good Scripture that tells me how to live my life? Absolutely I do that."As the great military leader Colonel Sherman T. Potter used to say, mule muffins. "Calling" was a deliberate religious dog whistle, as in "called to Christ" or a minister being "called," not "hired," by a congregation.
In addition to the religious tone, it also implies a false denial of ambition in the way a British politician "stands for" office rather than "running." As Iowa pols know, Perry has been doing some "calling" of his own.
My take is Rick Perry is the Fred Thompson of 2012: looks good on paper, likely to fizzle on the trail. As for any "calling," I prefer Joe Strummer:
And if it HAS to be a Perry calling, I prefer this Perry.