It was a busy time for hard-right politicians visiting the Bay Area this week. First, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul stepped into the lion’s den of Berkeley, where he flashed civil liberties cred by denouncing domestic spying before a University of California audience. He was followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry who, with tax breaks and other incentives, tried to coax some Silicon Valley nabobs into burnishing the “tech” in Texas by relocating there. Although these two Republicans are clearly limbering up for presidential runs in 2016, Perry’s visit got comparatively scant media coverage. One reason may be the perception that Paul, who recently won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll, is the man on horseback right now while Perry is, well, Rick Perry.
Another reason might be that Perry’s brief visit seemed like a follow-up house call from his widely covered 2013 grand tour, during which he attempted to poach jobs from six states (California,