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Adventures In Anonymous Sourcery: Rick Perry Might Do Something, Who Knows?

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RICK PERRY
AP

What's going on with the Rick Perry campaign, which may or may not be a thing? According to the Wall Street Journal, the answer is definitely something. Though, epistemologically speaking, "nothing" could be "something." So, maybe nothing! No worries though, because this story is so exquisitely sourced:

A Republican campaign veteran tells us that Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided to run for President, though the official word from Team Perry is still a definite maybe.

Awesome. We have an "anonymous Republican campaign veteran" and an "official word" from "Team Perry." Whose take would you favor?

Our normally reliable Republican source reports that Mr. Perry has surveyed the field and decided to get in the race later this summer, perhaps around the time of the national prayer meeting that Mr. Perry is hosting on August 6 at a Houston football stadium. Our source also reports that Mr. Perry is aiming to compete in the Iowa Straw Poll, even though it occurs just a week later, on August 13. The thinking is that apparent front-runner Mitt Romney "does not reflect the Republican Party" and is therefore vulnerable to a credible challenge from the right, especially after Mr. Romney's recent squishy remarks on global warming.

The former, because after all, he/she is "our normally reliable Republican source." I love that the Wall Street Journal takes the care to indicate that a source they have some history with is "normally reliable." You know, most people probably think it's safe to assume that when a reporter cites a source, there's an underlying assumption of reliability. When care is taken to assert a source's reliability in this fashion, I start thinking, "Clearly this reporter doesn't believe this scoop will pan out!"

But sometimes a reporter is stuck with a turd assignment on what daily nonsense is going on inside Rick Perry's not-a-campaign-yet campaign, and one of the only people he can get on the phone is someone who has a lot of off-days source-wise. But he/she called back first and now there's a big fat paragraph where none previously existed, so why not just plug that in and send this thing out into the world.

By the way, here's why this person who says Perry "surveyed the field" and decided based on what he saw to jump into the race may not be all that reliable:

An independent poll shows that 9 percent of likely Texas Republican voters would support Gov. Rick Perry in a presidential race, with most support going to Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

And Perry's camp is denying that anything has changed:

"Nothing has changed," said Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, in response to a Wall Street Journal story citing an unnamed Republican saying that the Texas governor had decided to enter the 2012 campaign.

That echoes what the one named source in the Journal piece, "Perry campaign adviser" David Carney, said: "We don't have to cloak our intentions, because we don't know what our intentions are."

So, BREAKING: Rick Perry will do something at some point in the future, unless he does something else.

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