Rick Perry is contending for the Republican presidential nomination. He is already in a fighting mood. As governor of Texas, he holds the record for executions.

The last time a Texas governor became the president of the U.S., he began his wars only after he was in the White House. The successor to George W. Bush who now strives to move from Austin to Washington is, on the other hand, beginning the hostilities in the first days of his campaign.

In this case, they are directed at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Perry accuses the banker of “high treason,” and threatens that if Bernanke continues to print money, he could be treated “pretty ugly” in Texas.

The 61-year-old Perry is a brawny type. He began his campaign as the latest Republican candidate with a loud roar. At the beginning of August he called 30,000 fundamentalist Christians to a “Prayer for America” in a football stadium in Houston. To the organizers of the mass gathering belonged, among others, the homophobic as well as Islamophobic American Family Association and the controversial evangelical church International House of Prayer from Kansas. “Like all of you, I love this country deeply,” he told the crowd. “Thank you all for being here. Indeed, the only thing that you love more is the living Christ,” the prayer leader spouted off over the microphone.

One week later, last Saturday, Perry shifted his campaign from the pulpit to the political arena. Since then he has been conducting an aggressive election campaign. He made Barack Obama solely responsible for unemployment and recession. He denies that there is climate change, and he rants against “the government” and “Washington,” where his next career goal is located.

American journalists treat Perry as if he were already the official candidate of his party and the most significant opponent of Obama. At the same time, in the first intra-party survey, the Republican party grassroots at the Iowa straw poll last Saturday only gave him 3.6 percent of the vote: the sixth place — far behind the tea party woman Michele Bachmann and the runner-up, rightist Libertarian and opponent of war Ron Paul. The latter is almost only mentioned by most of the U.S. media to label him out of the question and make him look ridiculous.

Record for Executions

Perry was an Air Force pilot at the beginning of his professional career. Afterward he returned to his family farm and entered politics — initially as a Democrat. In 1989 he converted to the Republican Party and laid the foundation for his Texas career. George W. Bush made him his vice governor of Texas in 1989; after Bush’s move the White House Perry became his successor.

Since then, he has been reelected there three times. During his term, more people have been executed in Texas than under any other governor in the U.S. He limited the right to terminate pregnancy in Texas and thwarted same sex marriage; however, he stated in a radio interview recently that he found it “okay” that New York had legalized gay marriage.

Perry considers himself to be a man of action, maintaining that he knows how to create jobs and how to repair the economy. In fact, he has made Texas into an El Dorado for businesses that dodge taxes and environmental regulations and want to pay only low wages. With his dumping regulations, he convinced businesses from other states like California to relocate in Texas.

Indeed, more jobs have been created in Texas than in every other state — in the armaments industry and petroleum sectors in particular, which profited heavily from the Bush presidency. It stands in stark contradiction to Perry’s present anti-Washington rhetoric that he himself collected lots of federal money for Texas. By lobbying in Washington, Perry brought $1.2 billion from the federal budget to Texas in the year 2003 alone.

Unsurprisingly, the petroleum sector is interested in Perry as a candidate. In his past election campaigns in Texas, oil and gas firms were his strongest sponsors. Up to now, they have donated more than $11 million to him.