Theodore's World: Who Is Anita Perry? ~ Wonderful Interview!

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October 11, 2011

Who Is Anita Perry? ~ Wonderful Interview!

Rick and Anita Perry were married in 1982.

Who Is Anita Perry?


Talk about meeting cute: Anita Thigpen first saw Rick Perry at a piano recital in Haskell, Texas, when she was 6 and he was 8. They began dating in high school and wed in 1982.

Known as private and shy, the candidate's wife could be his best spokesperson. Perry, 59, is in fact a warm, chatty woman brimming with Texas charm who finishes her interview by inviting the writer out for a beer.

A former nurse, she has begun traveling the United States to campaign for her husband. In this rare one-on-one, Perry opens up about the man she calls "Ricky." (Look for the full story in the Oct. 23 issue of PARADE.)

LYNN SHERR: Let’s start with an easy question. How would you describe your husband?

ANITA PERRY: I think he’s the most handsome man. And he’s creative, smart, kind, thoughtful. …

What’s your pet name for him?

Ricky. He calls me Nita.

Your husband says you urged him to enter the race. Why?

My daddy was a family practice doctor, and in the 1970s after Medicare began, I remember him telling me, as wise as he was, “We’re moving towards socialized medicine. The first time you take a dollar from the federal government, they’ll start trying to control your life.” I became a nurse, and I’ve seen government take away more and more of our freedom to choose the care we want and the drugs we want.

When did you first talk to your husband about running?

I started thinking about it last November after his reelection. Then in June a friend sent me a magazine article; it was about Obamacare. I read it and thought, “I don’t want more of the same.” One day Rick and I were talking and I said, “I am so concerned with our children’s future and their children’s future and what will happen to them. We’ve given so many years to public service, and we need to make a difference.” I didn’t want us to wake up when we were 80 and regret we didn’t do this. Our country is in danger, in my opinion.

He’s taken a lot of heat over his 2007 executive order mandating that sixth-grade girls get the HPV vaccine unless their parents opted out. [It was overturned by the state legislature.] What role did you play in his decision?

I didn’t know anything about it.

What was your reaction when you heard about it?

I wish he’d talked to me first.

Was it the wrong decision?

No, but I thought he handled it the wrong way. I’ve been cochair for the March of Dimes immunization program, and I’m pro-immunization. I would have supported the vaccine. I do not see it as an opening for sexual promiscuity in any way. I see it as another immunization.

Do you think your husband’s taking some unfair hits?

Yes, he’s said he made a mistake. He just wants to get rid of cancer in our lifetime. I don’t know how many other men would admit, “I made a mistake.”

Presidential campaigns usually get very ugly. Can you handle it?

It’s already ugly. [laughs] It’s so unkind and unfair, because you know what? All we want to do is serve our country, fight for freedom, and bring back America, the greatest country in the world. The other day, an older lady asked me, “What do you think about the polls?” I said, “I can’t look at them. All I can do is get up every day and tell everyone what a wonderful man and leader Rick Perry is.”

If he is elected president next year, what issues or causes will you take up as first lady?

It’s hard to say. I’m a health care professional. I love our military. But we’ve got a lot of work to do before we make it to the White House.

You’ve said your husband prays every night and morning. Yes. He always asks for wisdom for our president. What about you?

I pray that God will send his angels to protect my children.

Is it hard for you to go out and make campaign speeches?

It’s not hard. I’ve had lots of years to do it, and I’ve become comfortable in that role. I love meeting people—goodness gracious, that’s the best part.

When your husband gives speeches, do you ever find yourself wanting to put words in his mouth?
No, because he always says the right thing.


Well, most of the time. Whether he says it in a way that you or I want to hear …

Let me ask you one last question about the future. If you make it all the way to the White House, what will you bring with you?

Fun, humor, kindness, and a love for our country.


Wild Thing's comment.........

Anita would make such a beautiful and wonderful First Lady in our White House.

Posted by Wild Thing at October 11, 2011 03:50 AM


I think Anita Perry will make a very good First Lady of America. We are certainly proud of her as First Lady of Texas.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at October 11, 2011 12:30 PM

Tom, thank you.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 12, 2011 02:08 AM

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Posted by: Gabriel at October 12, 2011 01:18 PM