Now that Texas Governor Rick Perry is officially a 2016 presidential candidate, let’s let Vox explain why he should be president.

And, yes, you read that correctly. Here’s Vox’s Matt Yglesias debunking the major talking points Dems threw at Perry in 2012 and making the case for why Perry could be the GOP’s best candidate in 2016:

Incredible, right? Here’s an excerpt where Yglesias takes us back to 2012 when he was at ThinkProgress and his analysis of the “Texas Miracle”:

I was working for ThinkProgress at the time Perry kicked off his campaign, so I got to see the kind of “Texas Miracle” debunkings that liberals were working on before Perry’s campaign imploded. It mostly consisted of very bright people coming up with not-so-persuasive arguments.

  • It was all about oil: Factually, this just doesn’t hold up very well. Oil extraction is a big business in Texas, but the state is far too large for a single industry to power its entire economy.
  • Yeah, but the jobs are low-paid: There are a lot of low-wage workers in Texas. But the people who have those jobs evidently think they’re better than no job at all. And Rick Perry’s Texas generated a lot of jobs.
  • It’s really just population growth: This is true. Texas’s unemployment rate did get pretty high during the recession. Job growth was so robust because the state’s labor force was growing so rapidly. But this is really a point in Perry’s favor. People were voting with their feet — in droves — to move to Texas.
  • It’s just warm weather: Again, it is true that there is a marked tendency for warmer states to grow faster than colder ones. Scott Walker can’t change the fact that Wisconsin is just a little cold and remote. But California has better weather than Texas, and its population and workforce aren’t growing nearly as fast.

Obviously, you can’t lay the credit (or blame) for a state’s economic success or failure at the shoes of a single person. But Perry is a leading member of a larger Texas conservative movement that has been politically dominant in the state for a long time and has clearly shaped the situation in important ways. Due to Perry’s long tenure in office, Texas public policy very much reflects his values — a light regulatory touch, low taxes, and spending that’s focused on infrastructure rather than social assistance. And it’s more or less achieved what it’s supposed to achieve: rapid job growth.

That had to hurt to type.

It worries us, too. Of course, not everyone is pleased with Yglesias’ analysis:

Heh. “Dinosaurs” is all ya’ got to rebut this fine piece of scholarship?



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