2nd Presidential Bust May End Rick Perry's Political Career

Rick Perry spent four years after his 2012 presidential collapse trying to ensure that "Oops" wouldn't be the final word on his political career.

It didn't work.

For the 2016 race, the longest-serving governor in Texas history swapped cowboy boots for eyeglasses, hit the road again, promoted his state's job-creating prowess, boned up with policy experts. This would be a humbler, better prepared candidate, ready for the national spotlight, he promised.

Now, barely three months after Perry announced presidential bid No. 2 in a broiling airplane hangar outside Dallas, the reboot is history.

So, too, seemingly is the political career he wanted to revive.

It was no surprise when Perry announced Friday in St. Louis that he was suspending a campaign that was nearly broke and polling at close to zero. Still, such a precipitous drop was once hard to imagine for a savvy politician who had presided for 14 years over Texas and its booming economy.

Perry, 65, hasn't announced his retirement, but so far there's been no repeat of the pledge, made after the 2012 debacle, not to ride off into the political sunset.

"You saw a different guy, but he was invalidated by that gaffe," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "He worked his tail off, he put a lot of effort in. But there was no way he could have recovered."

Read more from Will Weissert at The Associated Press

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Analysis & Political Strategy