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Jews for Perry?

Rick Perry: Is he good for the Jews?

10:16 AM, Aug 25, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Andrew Ferguson inexplicably neglected, in his fascinating and entertaining piece on Rick Perry in the current issue, to raise the question that’s surely on so many readers’ minds: But is he good for the Jews?

Rick Perry photo portrait, August 28, 2004

To begin to remedy this oversight, I’d call your attention to two posts. One is by the estimable Kinky Friedman, who ran as a liberal third party candidate against Perry for the Texas governorship in 2006 (a race memorably covered for THE WEEKLY STANDARD by Matt Labash—see here). The world’s most famous Jewish cowboy (or so he says) explains why he would vote for Perry for president:

“I have been quoted as saying that when I die, I am to be cremated, and the ashes are to be thrown in Rick Perry’s hair. Yet, simply put, Rick Perry and I are incapable of resisting each other’s charm. He is not only a good sport, he is a good, kindhearted man, and he once sat in on drums with ZZ Top. A guy like that can’t be all bad. When I ran for governor of Texas as an independent in 2006, the Crips and the Bloods ganged up on me. When I lost, I drove off in a 1937 Snit, refusing to concede to Perry. Three days later Rick called to give me a gracious little pep talk, effectively talking me down from jumping off the bridge of my nose....You might call what Rick did an act of random kindness. Yet in my mind it made him more than a politician, more than a musician; it made him a mensch....

“If the issue of the day is jobs and the economy, Rick Perry is certainly the nuts-and-bolts kind of guy you want in there...

“Compared with the rest of the country, Texas is kicking major ass in terms of jobs and the economy, and Rick should get credit for that, just as Obama should get credit for saying ‘No comment’ to the young people of the Iranian revolution....

“As a Jewish cowboy (or ‘Juusshh,’ as we say in Texas), I know Rick Perry to be a true friend of Israel....

“A still, small voice within keeps telling me that Rick Perry’s best day may yet be ahead of him, and so too, hopefully, will be America’s.”

Don’t trust Kinky Friedman? (I don’t think I do either.) Then go to the website, There you can read about—you’ll have the opportunity to buy, for a mere $999.00—“The Rick Perry Mezuzah.” Let the folks at explain why there is a Rick Perry mezuzah:

“Over the last few years we have been following with great interest the different stories of condominium boards making rules prohibiting Mezuzahs....

“Recently in June of this year (2011) Texas did something unique in passing a special law explicitly permitting the display of a Mezuzah up to 25 inches tall. This law overrides the authority of the Condo boards to ban Mezuzahs....

“After the bill was passed by the Texas legislature, the only question was whether Governor Rick Perry would sign it into law. When he did, we came up with the idea of commissioning a large, Texas style Mezuzah in his honor....

“In order to push the envelope a bit we told them to make it 26" tall - one inch taller than is protected by the Texas law. They loved the idea and got right to work on it. It arrived in our store in Los Angeles only a few days before Governor Perry announced his presidential campaign. What timing!”

The endorsement of Kinky Friedman! A 26” tall mezuzah! As they say—what could go wrong?

UPDATE: I appear to have left out another “Perry, Good for the Jews” item. Perry urged Attorney General Eric Holder to enforce the Neutrality Act, effectively helping to prevent the latest Gaza-bound flotilla from setting sail.

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