Personal opinion, but Rick Perry is nothing more than flash in the pan. If you recall, two to three weeks ago, Michelle Bachmann was the undisputed leader after the Iowa straw poll. Every progressive I know was up in arms about that. After Perry announced, her numbers dropped like a good flush after shitting out a spicy meal from the night before. It's September of 2011, and the general election is November of 2012 - fourteen months from now. I'm of the outlook that Perry will flame out long before November of next year gets here.
What does worry me, is the more "seemingly" rational Republicans like Mitt Romney, who made a career out of destroying companies, laying off workers, and making a profit out of cannibalizing American companies for fun and profit. Bush and Rove will work to destroy Perry - they hate him. Romney, on the other hand, has staying power and is much more dangerous - his magic Mormon underwear might just protect him.