Is Rick Perry Preparing to Hurt George W. Bush's Feelings?

Were Texas Gov. Rick Perry to run for president, the consensus take goes, how would he ever distance himself from his gubernatorial predecessor, disgraced former president George W. Bush? They're both "Texas cowboys" who babble on like happy drunks, all the time, so Perry might face the problem of "reminding" voters of Bush. Should Perry, then, work to "distance" himself from Bush, even if this hurts the ex-president's feelings?

This thread of punditry — "Perry is another Texas Governor who talks like George W. Bush" — offers a pretty weak foundation for Perry to avoid the presidential race. Besides, many Republican primary voters wouldn't mind having George W. Bush in office, to this day! He kept us safe, except for that time he didn't, etc.

But Perry is considering going out of his way to attack Bush's legacy, just to break these superficial links as much as possible. How would the Bushies respond to this? Not well, if these anonymous quotes from some sleazeballs in the New York Times are to be believed:

One close associate of the former president, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid a personal confrontation with the governor, warned Mr. Perry against establishing his own conservative bona fides by criticizing Mr. Bush, saying, "If you're really trying to be the nominee and want to go the distance, you just don't want the former president of the United States and his people working against you."

Another, speaking anonymously as well, said, "He's going to need all the help he can get from all the Republicans he can muster, so he ought to be prudent about that."

Now wouldn't this be a treat, to watch all of the ex-Bush flacks come out en masse against Rick Perry for being mean to George W. Bush.. Please proceed, gentlemen! We're about due for an old-timey Bushie ratfucking anyway.

[Image via AP]