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Inside the Beltway: Is Gov. Rick Perry mulling another White House run?

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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It's called the most popular parlor game in Texas: Is Gov. Rick Perry mulling another White House run? We should know on Monday when Mr. Perry steps before a microphone at the Caterpillar heavy equipment dealer in San Antonio — which happens to be the nation's largest — to reveal his "exciting future plans," among other things.

"Perry's expected to keep the door wide open for another White House campaign. And perhaps he might associate himself with an organization or foundation that gives him a platform to talk about small government and the Texas economy to a national audience," says Wayne Slater, a political writer for The Dallas Morning News.

But there's talk about Perry fatigue, even in the Lone Star State.

"What's he got to lose? His last stab at the White House was so disastrous that expectations this time would be below sea level," Mr. Slater notes. "Just showing up and not making a mistake, demonstrating he can remember three things in the same sentence, might earn him a second look from voters.

"At the very least, Perry could repair the damage to his public image. Should lightning strike, he might even become the consensus choice of the conservative GOP base looking to counterbalance the moderate wing of the party that includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush."

REALITY FOR YOUNG VETS

Stark and unsettling employment numbers for an overlooked demographic have been released by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, a research group that tracks month-to-month employment among American vets, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics. The reality: a fifth of the nation's young warriors are jobless.

"The nation's youngest veterans, ages 20-24, are experiencing one of the highest unemployment rates at 21 percent," the research says.

It notes the rate is 7 percentage points higher than that of non-veteran peers of the same age, adding, "Approximately 68 percent of post-9/11 veterans ages 20-24 have been unemployed for more than five weeks,"

NOT MY KID

President, lawmaker, delegate? Forget about it. By a 2-to-1 margin, 64 percent to 31 percent, Americans would not like their child to go into politics as a career, reports Gallup poll analyst Jeffrey Jones.

These numbers have been consistent since 1944, when the pollster first posed this question to the public.

"Most Americans would not prefer their son or daughter to go into politics as a career, and this preference has not changed appreciably over time even as Americans' frustration with the government has grown," Mr. Jones says.

"Compared with other possible careers, politics ranks fairly low in Americans' pecking order. Another historical Gallup question has consistently found Americans mentioning a career in medicine or technology as the one they would advise a young man or woman to pursue.

"A career in politics or government has historically ranked well behind those professions as well as law, business, teaching, and engineering," he says.

BUSH DIPLOMACY

"Because he's busy, and I'm retired."

— Former President George W. Bush, explaining to ABC News why he doesn't talk much to President Obama.

MARKEY MARK

It's never too early to track the trajectory of campaign contributions, An Open Secrets analysis of available data from the 2014 election cycle finds that the top 50 recipients included 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans.

"Democrats, led by high donation totals to Sens. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Max Baucus of Montana, have won the early battle. The 26 liberals surveyed have so far benefited from a total of nearly $1.1 million this year, while their conservative counterparts have racked up $705,388 from lobbyists over the same period," reports David Steinbach, an analyst fro the watchdog group.

Mr. Markey, flush from his victory in a Massachusetts special election campaign, brought in $183,340 from lobbyists. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, incidentally, will swear him into the office Wednesday. Mr. Baucus, meanwhile, attracted $125,000.

"While Markey's road to the top spot is easily explained, there are other factors at play in Baucus' placement as runner-up. His office has an extensive history of both feeding and favoring the 'revolving door' — dozens of Baucus staffers have left his office to become lobbyists, and vice versa. Baucus has even been called 'K Street's Favorite Democrat,'" Mr. Steinbach says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 45 percent of Americans say it's "extremely" or "very" likely that a "large number" of illegal immigrants will enter the U.S. in the near future; 61 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats agree.

• 38 percent overall say it's extremely or very likely that the U.S. government will become "unable" to borrow money due to a huge debt load; 50 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

• 34 percent overall say there will be a significant loss of U.S. jobs to foreign nations; 40 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 29 percent overall anticipate a major stock market crash; 33 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

• 27 percent overall expect the banking system to undergo a major collapse; 32 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

• 25 percent anticipate major riots in the U.S.; 30 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

• 23 percent overall all expect terrorist attacks on U.S. aircraft; 27 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

• 11 percent overall expect a significant rise in ocean levels; 11 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,249 U.S. adults conducted May 8 to 13 and released July 1.

Catcalls, churlish remarks to jharperwashingtontimes.com.

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