As Rick Perry suspended his second campaign for president Friday, it was hard to remember how big a deal his first one had been just four years ago.
Perry was riding high in the saddle in the summer of 2011. He was the thrice-elected governor of the nation's second-most-populous state, which is, by far, the largest source of Republican votes on the map.
He had raised $17 million in his first few weeks in the game, and he brought a grin and a swagger and an attitude to the national stage. (There were no thick nerd glasses in those days.)
Could he talk Southern? Yes.