Saturday is his first day out and about as the latest big-name GOP presidential candidate to take the plate, and Rick Perry has all kinds of people following his every move. Where to next, during the first weekend of his candidacy?
Not Iowa, that's for sure! (Well, he'll get there eventually). Perry's first stop this Saturday is in Charleston, South Carolina for the RedState Gathering 2011. It's also the same day as the presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa, so it's not a far-off assumption that his absence may distract from the task at hand. RedState boasts that RedState Gathering 2011 will "be the largest crowd so far", with "397 registered attendees from just about every state...and a total of approximately 550 attendees present for Governor Rick Perry’s speech." Fancy! And it'll be at this event where Perry will reportedly announce his candidacy for president.
According to RedState, other attendees of the Gathering include: Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, scheduled to give a speech in the morning; Max Pappas, executive director of FreedomWorks PAC; representatives from Heritage Action for America and Let Freedom Ring; followed by a Freedomworks-sponsored reception and ending with a special finale presentation of The Undefeated, the epic Sarah Palin documentary that hit theatres a few weeks ago. Plus, the other Gov. Rick [Scott] of Florida is reported to be attending. You can find the rest of the schedule here.
Perry will then swing through New Hampshire later in the day on Saturday, for a meet-and-greet event at the home of New Hampshire state Rep. Pamela Tucker. According to the Houston Chronicle, "Tucker believes Perry would frame his remarks around “what Texas has done right and we transfer that to the national level.”
Then it's off to Iowa on Sunday, where he will stake his claim in the GOP race somewhere close to home for another popular GOP candidate: Michele Bachmann, right in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. (!)