There is a lot of symbolism, real and imagined, in politics, which is why I find it interesting that Gov. Rick Perry has chosen Charleston, S.C., as the spot to make it clear on Saturday that he is, indeed, running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Most likely, he picked Charleston because it is a major city in an early primary state that offers some of the reddest redmeat conservatives among Republican primary voters. He will be speaking to the RedState Gathering, a conference of conservative bloggers.
South Carolina, you may recall, was where GOP primary voters rescued George W. Bush’s struggling presidential bid against a thenmore moderate John McCain in 2000.
Reaching farther back into history, Charleston Harbor was where the first shots were fired in the Civil War against Fort Sumter.
Perry isn’t a secessionist, although he made remarks last year that appealed to those who like to think secession is an option. And, Washingtonbashing undoubtedly will be a major theme of his presidential campaign.
He probably could still find some applause for the “S” word in Charleston, at least among the voters he will be courting, but you can bet that Perry has dropped that word from his public vocabulary.