Already on the rise, the buzz around Texas Governor Rick Perry's presidential aspirations is about to get very loud in the wake of Newt Gingrich's campaign collapse.
Two of Perry's closest aides, Rob Johnson and Dave Carney, were among the wave of staffers to resign
from Gingrich's campaign. Their participation in a potential rivals' camp was often cited by observers as a sign Perry may not be running for president in 2012.
Minutes after news of their departure, CBS reported that Perry was "serious"
about a White House bid, per sources close to the governor. Earlier that same day, the Wall Street Journal
ran a piece quoting unnamed confidants suggesting Perry was looking closely at joining the race.
After well over a year of strong denials that he was interested in a run, Perry told reporters in May that he was considering a bid
and would make his final decision once the state legislature had finished its session. He'd instantly be considered a top-tier candidate given his resume as a long-serving governor, his popularity with conservatives, and the lack of a credible Southern candidate in the field.