Texas want Rick Perry to show up

Rick Perry will be in Iowa to participate in a family values forum Saturday evening, but he has yet to light in the small Iowa town that bears his name. With a month and a half to go before the Iowa caucuses, the people of Perry, Iowa, 40 miles northwest of Des Moines, say they would like to see the Texas governor, since about the only thing they know about him is his “oops” moment in a Michigan debate last week.

“You can’t win this state without showing up,” said Phil Stone, a retired high school history teacher and current Perry city councilman. The lifelong Republican favors former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, although he says he is relatively happy with the Republican field.

Perry, an old railroad town on the banks of the Raccoon River, is in many ways a typical Midwestern community – tidy, modestly prosperous and proud of its civic tradition as expressed through the caucuses. Perryites, like their counterparts in the small towns of New Hampshire, are eager to meet presidential aspirants every four years.

Friday morning, Stone, 69, was sitting in the food court of the Hy-Vee Grocery with a group of fellow retirees who call themselves SORE, Society of Retired Educators. The group of old friends collects dues each week in a clear-plastic lipstick-wearing pig; the money goes to charity.

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