The great columnist Molly Invins knew Rick Perry when Perry wasn’t cool. Here is a sampling of her insight into the makings of Perry, whom she dubbed “Governor Goodhair.”
[June 18, 2001] Bush was replaced by his exceedingly Lite Guv Rick Perry, who has really good hair. Governor Goodhair, or the Ken Doll (see, all Texans use nicknames—it's not that odd), is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But the chair of a major House committee says, "Goodhair is much more engaged as governor than Bush was." As the refrain of the country song goes, "O Please, Dear God, Not Another One."
[August 6, 2002] This, in turn, brings up the interesting role of coincidence in the life of Gov. Goodhair. Last summer, the Guv appointed an Enron executive to the state's Public Utilities Commission and, the next day, Perry got a check for $25,000 from Ken Lay. He explained this, to everyone's satisfaction, as being "totally coincidental."
[At a 2006 Texas gubernatorial debate] The Coiffure was in his usual form. As one opponent after another attacked his record, Gov. Rick Perry stood there proudly behind that 35 percent voter support he has so richly earned and simply disagreed. The Coiffure seemed to consider blanket denials a fully sufficient and adequate response.
[Jan. 11, 2004] I have failed to give sufficient recognition to our only governor, Rick "Goodhair" Perry, who is adding to the old je ne sais quoi in truly impressive quantities.
Good hair gave such an amazing performance at his end-of-the-year news conference that I was forced to call a perfectly reliable reporter for the Dallas Morning News and ask if it was a joke. …
The guv remains convinced that his greatest accomplishment was not raising taxes, even though fees, tuition, fines and everything else that the Leg could find to jack up without calling it a tax was jacked sky-high. …
You may think the guv's had a rough year – three special sessions on top of the regular session just to pass that misbegotten redistricting bill, not counting the two bolts by Democrats and such minor unpleasantness as having to hack $10 billion out of the state budget.
For some, the budget-cutting, aimed mostly at services for desperately needy people, was a painful and even tragic exercise. Especially knocking 250,000 poor children off health insurance.
Fortunately, Gov. Goodhair has a firm grasp on priorities, and when asked his biggest disappointment of the year, he replied: "Aggie football."