As Rick Perry decides whether to seek the presidency in 2012, some pundits and others say his relationship with former President George W. Bush will hurt his chances with many voters outside Texas.  They say their shared West Texas roots aren't the problem.  It's the Bush baggage.


Bush left office as the least popular president since Richard Nixon resigned. The economy was in its deepest collapse since the Great Depression. And most Americans had grown tired of the nation's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While Perry is well-known in Texas, where his 10-year record as governor stands on its own, he will have to define himself before voters can decide whether Bush's former lieutenant governor is a chip off the Bush block or his own man.

Partisan wishfulness aside, are American voters ready for another Texas Republican as president after two Bushes?

"Probably not," says liberal Rice University political scientist Robert Stein, "but Perry will work hard to avoid being viewed as another candidate from Texas."

Perry adviser David Carney doesn't think Perry's ZIP code will affect his electability. Carney says Americans want a leader who has shown that he can restore the economy and create the environment the private sector needs to put America back to work.

What do you think?  Will Perry's connections with George W. Bush help or hurt him with voters?  Some say it will help.

As for Bush, many Presidents who left office with low voter approval had their legacies rehabilitated years later, as historians applied hindsight to interpreting their time in office.  Some say history is already being kind to Bush.