Confirmation Watch: TX Gov Rick Perry to Sit Before Senate Energy Committee Today

Well, now we know how Democrats will be coming at former Governor Rick Perry, when he sits before the Senate Energy Committee on his way to confirmation.

For fourteen years, Governor Rick Perry presided over the 12th largest economy in the world.

Texas, under Rick Perry, generated job growth, even as the national economy was stagnant and struggling.

The man’s grasp of policy knowledge is tight, and he can riff on a broad range of topics, from international trade to market stability to border security, with absolute ease.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, modified to fit where we are in time, now: In a sane country, we’d be preparing for President Perry’s second term.

The left has this annoying, elitist habit of stereotyping anyone from the south as ignorant country bumpkins.

Sure, Rick Perry served 14 years as governor, but it was governor of Texas. It’s not like that was hard, or required any kind of intelligence, right?

A story from the New York Times is falling back on a caricature of Governor Perry that has oft been used by his opponents.

When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.

In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.

I’ve already seen the liberal snark polluting social media.

It’s a lot of the same, tired jokes about Perry’s intellect, his debate performances, and now the jokes are coming out about his ability to serve as secretary of the Department of Energy.

It’s true. There is a lot to the job, and in this day and age, it is crucial.

The department has an annual budget of about $30 billion, with the bulk of those funds going towards maintenance and safety of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

The upkeep of nuclear facilities, preventing nuclear proliferation, and overseeing nuclear laboratories also falls under the umbrella of duties for the DOE.

So is he ready?

“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”

This is where the NYT points out that Perry, a simple governor of Texas, will be taking over the department from Ernest J. Moniz, a chairman of the Physics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Moniz also directed the linear accelerator at the M.I.T. Laboratory for Nuclear Science.

Or to give the NYT spin:

For Mr. Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.

Mr. Moniz had such deep experience with nuclear weapons that in 2015, President Obama made him a co-negotiator, along with Secretary of State John Kerry, of the Iran nuclear deal.

That last part there is all you need to know about Mr. Moniz.

I’ll take the Yell leader from Texas A&M.

Mr. Perry would sit atop the men and women making the judgments about whether Iran is complying with that accord. In the basement of the Energy Department’s headquarters, the agency’s intelligence unit monitors compliance, working closely with the C.I.A., the National Security Agency and other intelligence bodies.

And in that, I have full confidence that Governor Perry will be on his game, as he called the deal with Iran out for the dangerous, short-sighted, mistake it was, from the very beginning.

He will also, if confirmed, be sitting in on the debate over what to do with that deal – a deal both President-elect Trump and VP-elect Pence have said needs to be scrapped.

In 2011, Governor Perry saw his presidential ambitions go up in flames, when he forgot, during a debate, one of three departments he would cut, as president.

Ironically, the Department of Energy was the agency he forgot.

Running an agency of this nature may not be what Governor Perry is experienced in, but his work ethic is like no other.

He’ll be prepared for the job when the time comes.

Then there’s the added bonus of the fact that he knows who our enemies are and what threats they pose to the U.S., and our allies.

He’s got that over Moniz.