So, first thing’s first: Rick Perry is running for president. His 2012 run was obviously disastrous (“oops”), and he’s trying again. Here’s the thing: Rick Perry is probably not a stupid guy. He was the governor of Texas for three terms, which is nothing to sneeze at, and it’s easy to forget that when he entered the Republican primary in 2012, he was hailed as the conservative savior that would knock Mitt Romney off his perch. That is obviously not how it turned out (and the runner-up ended up being Rick Santorum, for some reason), but he was seen as a legitimately formidable challenger for a while there.
My point is that he wasn’t necessarily wrong to be seen that way. There’s definitely an argument to be made that he missed his chance, but there’s an equally good argument to be made that he’s a sleeper contender. He’s a good politician who can potentially balance the disparate elements of the GOP. The question is whether any of that will matter with a bench as deep as the 2016 Republican field.