Rick Perry's Mission

Aggie yell leader. Texas governor. Onetime Democrat. Since launching his campaign for President, Rick Perry has turned the Republican Party upside down. Can he win over the Tea Party without making independent voters cringe?

Platon for TIME

Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry

Rick Perry is the sort of Republican who convenes prayer rallies, scoffs at global warming and says of evolution, 'There are some holes in that theory.' Some 234 prisoners have been executed in Texas during his time as governor — a modern-day U.S. record — and Perry says his idea of gun control is "Use both hands." In short, Perry is the sort of Republican who makes heads melt in faculty lounges from Madison to Middlebury and is perfectly suited to lead the right's long-standing battle against the coastal elite. Yet on Sept. 12 he found himself center stage, at a...

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