Rick Perry looks runnerish; S&P screws up again

    Texas Governor Rick Perry is said to be clarifying his intentions for 2012 in a South Carolina speech Saturday, and given that he’s headed to New Hampshire immediately afterward, I’d say he’s in the 2012 GOP presidential sweepstakes.

    I saw a cousin from Texas over the weekend, and he told me conservatives in the Lone Star State don’t trust Perry, because they see him as somebody who blows with the wind.

    I like to remind people who regard Texas solely as the place that gave us George W. Bush and a string of executions that the governor who preceded Dub-ya in Austin was Ann Richards.

    I expect Perry will get everyone excited as the flavor of the week, then soon find himself awash in critical reviews of his record and views. This rodeo is far from over.

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    And I just loved this: Politico.com reports that Standard & Poors gave the Treasury Department a sneak peek at the press release announcing its downgrade of U.S. credit, and it turned out to be full of inaccuracies.

    You may remember what a sterling job S&P did on mortgage-backed securities.

    Politico reports the draft “included projections that overestimated U.S. debt by $2 trillion.” The final release had substantially different numbers, but S&P didn’t change its decision about U.S. debt.

    I lost my reverence for Wall Street rating agencies more than 20 years ago when Philadelphia’s finances were tanking, and I would turn to the agencies’ analysts and reports for insight. I found they typically relied on newspaper reports by myself and others for their skeptical reviews of the city’s fiscal condition.

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