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Perry turns booking into campaign style rally

Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center
Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center
Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images

Breitbart Big Texas noted on Tuesday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry presented himself to the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin to be fingerprinted and to have a mug shot taken in relation to his criminal indictment for abuse of office and coercion. The booking quickly took on the aspect of a campaign rally, with Perry addressing a cheering crowd and offering defiance at what he calls a politically motivated prosecution. The Boston Globe adds that he is prepared to further capitalize on the indictment to further his political aims.

Perry was charged in connection with his veto of funding for a public integrity unit run by Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg. Lehmberg had served jail time based on a drunk driving charge, yet refused to resign her office. Perry made the veto in order to pressure her to do so. The indictment is widely seen as political retaliation for the move.

Thus far Perry is riding high with Republicans because of the indictment. He is headed for Washington to deliver an address on immigration. After that he will visit New Hampshire, the first in the nation primary state, where he will attend six events. Next week he will visit Iowa, the first in the nation caucus state.

Most analysts suggests that whatever the long term legal outcome of the case, Perry has gotten considerable political benefit from it. His stumbling performance in the 2012 campaign has become all but forgotten. In its place is the narrative of an embattled conservative being set upon by capricious liberal prosecutors who have criminalized his duties as a governor and have perverted the political process.

Of course even the preliminaries of the 2016 campaign cycle is months away, not to mention the first state contests. Much depends on how long it takes for the legal process to play out. It goes almost without saying that the quicker Perry can dispose of the prosecution, the better.