Rick Perry's New Sidekick, Grover Norquist
|Office of the Governor|
|Grover Norquist speaks on Tuesday at Manda Machine, along with Rick Perry. It's also nice to see The News's Gromer Jeffers doesn't let boring press conferences keep him from getting his Mardi Gras on.|
Norquist, whose brief remarks at Manda Machine follow, is also considered by many to be the man who helped transform George W. Bush from Texas governor to United States president. From The Nation in 2001:
In November 1998, immediately after Bush was re-elected as Texas governor and began eyeing the White House, Norquist traveled to Austin to meet Bush and Karl Rove, Bush's political guru, whom Norquist has known for two decades. Norquist came away convinced that Bush, if not an authentic conservative, was at least the right's best hope. On five issues, he says -- tax cuts, school choice, tort reform, pension reform and paycheck protection -- Bush said the right things, and that was enough for Norquist. At the time, for most conservatives Bush was an unknown quantity, and his closeness to his father (whom Norquist excoriated in his book for faithlessness and errors of political judgment) made the right queasy. Others in the race, like Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer, all had appeal to the far right -- but Norquist, upon returning to Washington, started spreading the word that the right ought to line up behind Bush.