First Read Flash: Perry passes the torch

Updated
Texas Gov. Rick Perry reaches to shakes hands with supporters prior to announcing he will not seek reelection as governor, Monday, July 8, 2013, at Holt Cat...
Texas Gov. Rick Perry reaches to shakes hands with supporters prior to announcing he will not seek reelection as governor, Monday, July 8, 2013, at Holt Cat...
Photo/Eric Gay/AP

Perry steps aside. “Governor Rick Perry – the longest-serving governor in Texas history and a former GOP presidential candidate – will not run for re-election in 2014, he announced Monday,” NBC News reports. “ ‘I remain excited about the future and the challenges ahead,’ he said, ‘but the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership.’” The former presidential candidate said he’d address future political plans at a later time, but National Journal says Texas Republicans believe “that despite Perry’s insistence Monday that he hasn’t decided on another presidential race, the governor has been passing the word for months he’ll definitely run again in 2016.” Perry’s move leaves GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott as the frontrunner to succeed him. The Washington Post notes that Abbott “Abbott has been laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run for some time. He has built a huge war chest, is well-connected in in Texas GOP circles, and is close to Perry.”

Egyptian uprisings continue. “Egypt will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in early 2014, according to a constitutional declaration issued Monday by the country’s interim president,” NBC News reports. “The declaration by Egypt’s interim leader Adly Mansour spells out the road map for amending the country’s constitution. It calls for the formation of two committees to suggest changes to the now-suspended constitution passed under ousted President Mohammed Morsi.” The election decree caps off “one of the deadliest days of political violence since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown more than two tumultuous years ago,” the Washington Post notes, after “Egyptian soldiers on Monday fired on protesters as they massed in front of a military building where they believe Morsi — ousted by the military on Wednesday — is being held under house arrest, according to witnesses and security officials.”

“White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration believes “it would not be in the best interest of the United States to immediately change our assistance programs to Egypt’ in the wake of” Morsi’s overthrow,” NBC News reports. “Carney’s Monday comments were a direct rebuff to calls from some members of Congress for a cutoff or interruption in the $1.5 billion in annual U.S. aid to the troubled nation.” On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner said he thought Egypt’s “military on behalf of the citizens did what they had to do in terms of replacing the elected president.”

Spitzer’s triumphant return? Monday was disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s first day on the campaign trail as he makes his comeback bid for New York City comptroller. Politico notes in his 24 hours back as a declared candidate for public office,” Spitzer “is having a ball — released after a five-year sojourn through the political wilderness of short-lived talk shows and online columns…And Democrats are privately admitting what most are afraid to say publicly: Spitzer has a very real chance of winning the race for New York City Comptroller, a job for which he is vastly overqualified.”

The New York Times editorial board writes that Spitzer’s ”bid to recycle himself by running for New York City comptroller is unnerving on many levels, and not just because he has suddenly decided to undo the buckles of self-restraint that used to keep disgraced ex-politicians (for soliciting prostitutes, in his case) from re-entering the public sphere. Beyond that, there are Mr. Spitzer’s colossal failures in what he did and didn’t do as governor of New York.”

First Read Flash: Perry passes the torch

Updated