Gov. Rick Perry Gives His Cowboy Boots the Boot

Image: Gov. Rick Perry Gives His Cowboy Boots the Boot Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his former boots.

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 08:24 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has walked away from the official Lone Star State footwear: cowboy boots.

Citing protracted back problems, Perry put his boots out to pasture and has gone "West Coast metrosexual," Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a fellow Republican, told the Austin American-Statesman.

"Tell Rick that boots can be purchased with normal heels," Patterson, a retired Marine, told the newspaper. He called Perry’s back problems a "feeble excuse" for ditching his boots.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

Cowboy boots are a hallmark of Texas politicians, including former President George W. Bush, and according to Patterson, serve many useful purposes.

They are "good for carrying knives," small guns, "unmentionables" or "a small flask," he told the Statesman. "Boots also protect against various ankle biters of differing species and end the need to tie your shoelaces."

Perry's recent bootless, bespectacled look could be "part of an attempt to soften his gunslinging image," The New York Times reported, noting that Perry was wearing his boots during a 2011 presidential debate when he forgot one of the three federal agencies he would eliminate if elected.

Perry maintains the decision is purely for comfort and health. Just before the infamous 2011 debate, Perry underwent spinal fusion and nerve decompression surgery and could often be seen since wearing black orthopedic sneakers while campaigning for president in 2012.

A political strategist, Dave Carney, told The Washington Post in December 2012 that Perry’s slow recovery from the surgery had a "big impact" on his failed 2012 campaign.

Urgent:
Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

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