And this cannot be underestimated. Macho men have a long history of winning elections. George W. Bush played the macho guy well, always clearing brush on his Texas ranch and challenging terrorists with tough-guy statements ("Bring 'em on," "Smoke 'em out"). Vladimir Putin is so macho his vacations include tiger hunting, judo tournaments and riding horses. Shirtless. Teddy Roosevelt, one of America's great presidents, was a boxer, big game hunter and war hero.
Remember, it doesn't really matter so much if Perry is actually a tough guy. It matters more if he's perceived as a tough guy.
So, please ignore that stint Perry had in college when he was part of a club that was much too similar to being a male cheerleader. Instead, focus on his youth as an Eagle Scout, his service in the Air Force, his propensity for shooting guns and his A+ rating from the NRA. Focus on how he threatened to treat Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke "ugly" if he comes to Texas and how he's challenging Obama's patriotism for nerver serving in the military.
Tough-guy politicians may not actually make the best leaders, but they've been shown to be popular with voters and able to win major elections. Currently, no other leading candidate (not Mitt Romey, Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann) in the Republican field comes across as more macho than Perry.
Evidence of Perry's machismo is surging on the internets. The Twitter feed @RickPerryFacts is a constant stream ofChuck Norris-esque statements about Perry. They're funny, but I also can't help but think they don't speak to a yearning of some part of the human psyche: A basic desire for a strong, tough-guy leader.
Now, this Twitter feed has been active for quite some time, but with Perry's emergence as a top presidential contender, they've stepped it up a notch.
Here are 10 recent tweets from @RickPerryFacts about govenor's machismo:
• Each night before they go to sleep, Barack Obama makes Michelle check under the bed for Rick Perry. #RickPerryFacts
• Popeye opens a can of Rick Perry before a fight. #RickPerryFacts
• Atheists believe in rick perry #RickPerryFacts
• Obama lists him as his emergency contact. #RickPerryFacts
• Rick Perry once played in Texas without having a fiddle in his band. #RickPerryFacts
• Remember how bad Y2K was supposed to be? Remember how nothing bad happened at midnight? Yeah, thank Rick Perry for that one. #RickPerryFacts
• Rick Perry checked up on Annie, and yes, she is okay. #smoothcriminal
• Rick Perry once won the Indianapolis 500 in a rickshaw pulled by a small gerbil. #rickperryfacts #rickperry
• If Rick Perry had starred in the movie "300", the film would have been called "1".
• As President, Rick Perry will protect the Secret Service.