Texas Gov. Rick Perry's jump into the Republican presidential race Saturday promises to jolt the crowded field and threatens to cast a shadow all the way back to the Midwest, site of an important early test of his rivals' strength.My guess is it will be covered live by Fox News and CSPAN. You can also watch via the live stream at Breitbart.tv.
His announcement was set for 1 p.m. EDT at a meeting of conservative activists in South Carolina, only a few hours before the release of results from a straw poll in Iowa, the nation's first caucus state. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are hoping for a boost.
Perry's advisers said this week he would use his appearance at the RedState Gathering to make his plans official. But his first speech as a candidate was certain to draw attention from the Republicans competing in the Midwest.
"I have never seen this landslide of emotion for a candidacy. I cannot literally keep up with the emails and messages coming into my cellphone," said Katon Dawson, a former GOP chairman in South Carolina who's a Perry supporter.
"There is an excitement for Gov. Perry that there just isn't around the other candidates."
Whatever comes out of today's Ames Straw Poll in Iowa will be largely irrelevant after Rick Perry's announcement.
Perry's official website is now online. You can click on the logo above to go there.