Will Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani Run?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani have been flirting with a presidential run, and, if recent reports are to be believed, both may be close to entering the 2012 presidential contest.

In the Wall Street Journal , Perry’s advisers say that Perry is seriously contemplating running:

But over the past two weeks, political advisers and friends say, Mr. Perry has changed his tune on a possible presidential campaign. In private conversations, they say, the three-term governor said he worries that the current GOP contenders have yet to stir real excitement within the party and may struggle when facing President Barack Obama.

According to Bill Kristol in The Weekly Standard, Rudy Giuliani will enter the race as well.

I’m told by two reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon.

Rudy’s theory of the race: In the fall of 2007, he decided he couldn’t compete with both Mitt Romney and John McCain in New Hampshire, and disastrously decided to try to pull back there and pitch his tent in Florida. This year, he’ll commit everything to New Hampshire, where he thinks he has a good shot at beating Romney—whom he criticized there earlier this week. He then thinks he can beat whichever more socially conservative candidate(s) is left by winning what are still likely to be winner-take-all primaries in big states like California, New York, and New Jersey.

If Giuliani runs and “commits” everything to New Hampshire,” as Kristol writes, he would have to make a direct play for Romney voters and then, if he knocks off Romney, adopt Romney’s strategy of being the last person standing in a protracted primary.

Perry, though he shares many mannerisms with George W. Bush, would make a strong play for both fiscally conservative and socially conservative voters (he is hosting a day of prayer in August). Perry would also have a significant advantage, should he run, as the Governor of Texas who has presided over the state while it has been cited as the anti-California in terms economic growth and recovery over the past decade. Basically, Texas has done what liberal states such as California and Michigan have not been able to do and have attracted businesses. In fact, Texas was one of the last states in which the recession hit and is one of the first to see signs of a recovery.

Just in the last month, Perry has also signed legislation dealing with tort reform and eminent domain, issues dear to the conservative base and has stood firm against the so called “Internet tax.” He has been praised by Palin, and POLITICO reported that Perry saw a path to the nomination if Palin did not enter the contest.

If Perry throws his hat into the ring before Palin makes up her mind on whether to run, it will be interesting to see if Perry’s potential entry changes Palin’s calculus.