The Fast Fix
  • Rick Perry is a serious contender for the Republican presidential nod. Here are five things you need to know about him.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry enters the 2012 presidential race greeted by polls suggesting he is a serious contender for the Republican nomination.

    Here are five fast facts on Rick Perry:

    1. Perry was a yell leader at Texas A&M University. It's a much sought-after position and an early indication of Perry's political aspirations.

    2. He used to be a Democrat. Perry was elected to a West Texas state House seat in 1984 as a Democrat and even served as Al Gore's Texas chairman during the 1988 presidential race. He switched to the GOP in 1989.

    3. Perry's first statewide office in Texas was as Agriculture Commissioner. Expect him to remind Iowa voters of that fact early and often given the state's farming-based economy.

    4. Perry is the longest serving governor in the country currently. He took office in December 2000 after George W. Bush was elected president and won a third

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Five fast facts about Rick Perry
  • The Iowa straw poll will kick off the Republican presidential race Saturday. Losing can put a candidate out of the running, but winning doesn't guarantee anything.

    The first major test of the 2012 presidential race will be Saturday in the unlikeliest of places -- Ames, Iowa.

    Every four year, the Ames Straw poll serves as the official kickoff of the Republican presidential race. Winning can mean newfound frontrunner status. Losing can mean you are out of the race.

    Ames is part carnival and part exercise in democracy. Candidates pay to bus in their supporters and spend the day wooing undecided voters with entertainment, food and the occasional bouncy room.

    Nine candidates for president will be on the Ames ballot with Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann seen as the favorite going into Saturday's vote.

    The candidate with the most riding on the Ames result is former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty has struggled to get people excited about his candidacy and if he flops at Ames, he

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: The race begins!
  • The Iowa debate is early in the campaign season, but it's crucial for the Republican presidential candidates who come out on top.

    Ames, Iowa, is the site of Thursday's debate, the first time the major Republican candidates will be on stage together since June.

    The only new face will be former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has struggled to make a dent since entering the race. Neither Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to run, nor former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who still hasn't said anything about her plans, will be at the debate.

    The star of the show is likely to be Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who's been riding a wave of momentum since her strong performance in the June debate in New Hampshire. Polling shows Bachmann running strong in Iowa and she is the favorite to win Saturday's Ames Straw Poll.

    Bachmann's rise over the past two months ensures she will be on the receiving end of barbs from her rivals as they seek to slow her progress. How she handles the slings and

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Facing off in Iowa


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