Gov. Rick Perry addressed the convention this afternoon and gave one of the most effective speeches of his governorship. Perry started by mentioning the fire at the governor's mansion and emphasizing that the mansion will get restored. "It's a place where good people have pondered grand things for a great state," Perry said of the mansion. "And it will be again."
Perry then talked about how proud he is to govern a state where people respect human life. He highlighted the parental notification and parental consent laws he helped to pass. He then lauded the Texas economy and the state's record on job creation. Perry cited the 2003 legislative session as critical to the state's economic success, in particular tort reform and the decision not to raise taxes. Perry also called for a revised state constitutional spending cap.
One of Perry's better applause lines was on the subject of change. "When Democrats talk about change they really mean the change they'll be sucking out of your pockets, along with your dollar bills." He also pledged to support more police on the border and to oppose giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.
At the end, Perry brought in a group of musicians. He noted that "like a musical instrument with a unique and pleasing tone, we can only do so much alone" (then one musician plays). But if you assemble these instruments under the direction of an inspired leader, with an agreed upon song and a common purpose, you'll have more than a mob; you have a movement." (then a whole band starts playing)
The speech was well received. Here's the key. When Perry gave his State of the State address, he rubbed it in to the legislators. He made prominent mention of both the Trans-Texas Corridor and the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine (HPV) mandate, two of his policy initiatives that infuriate legislators and grass roots activists alike. This time he avoided both entirely.