The governor admitted recently that he's considering a run after previously shooting the idea down. And now, a source close to the Gingrich campaign tells The Blaze that Perry has offered Gingrich's now-departed campaign manager, Rob Johnson -- who used to be the campaign manager for Perry -- his old job back.
According to the source, "Rob and Perry spoke last week and Perry told him his old job is waiting for him."
"I know that for a fact," the source said.*
That Johnson would hook up again with Perry may not be surprising considering the Perry news recently. Insiders have linked him, as well as fellow former Perry aide David Carney, to a possible Perry run over the last month. For example, just yesterday the Washington Post quoted sources mentioning them both, and who said that a Perry presidential run would be nearly impossible without Carney:
One potential hitch in any Perry planning is the fact that his long-time chief political adviser, David Carney, is now helping former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) in his presidential campaign. In addition, Rob Johnson, who managed Perry’s reelection campaign last year, is now Gingrich’s campaign manager.
But one person close to Perry said he could not imagine Carney not being at Perry’s side if the governor runs. Conversely, this person said he could not imagine Perry deciding to run if he were not certain Carney would be part of his team. As another person close to Perry said, “I don’t want to do this without Carney.”
At this point, Perry has not given the green light to his adviser to begin making plans. Instead, the conversations are more closely held as the governor thinks through the impact on his family and his own political career. “I think he is just trying to weigh how much personal sacrifice is it going to take,” said one friend.
Considering today's events, that "hitch" is gone.
In addition, Weekly Standard Senior Writer Stephen Hayes tweeted this afternoon that Carney had been recently lobbying for a Perry presidential run:
That's a feeling shared by CBS's Jan Crawford, who said that Carney was the "canary in the coal mine" and noted that both Carney and Johnson are now on the market:
Carney was advising Gingrich in New Hampshire and Johnson was Gingrich's senior political adviser. As one top Republican strategist told me on Tuesday, the canary in the coal mine for a Perry presidential run is whether Carney would leave Newt.
Now, Gingrich's entire team has up and quit. And all of a sudden Carney/Johnson are available. And Rick Perry is for real.
"Republican Insiders" recently told RealClearPolitics that they expected both Johnson and Carney to re-join Perry if he was to launch a bid:
Adding more fuel to the fire, a source close to Perry's political team told RealClearPolitics on Thursday afternoon that the Texas governor is "leaning toward getting in" to the race.
Two of Perry's longtime political aides, Dave Carney and Rob Johnson, were among the large group of advisers who announced Thursday that they were leaving Gingrich's team. Carney has been a top political adviser to Perry for 14 years and continues to counsel him, and Johnson managed his most recent gubernatorial campaign.
Republican insiders expect that both would join a Perry presidential effort if he were to launch one.
Perry won reelection in 2010 and it's unclear if Carney and Johnson would join him for a gubernatorial run or a presidential run.
We reached out to the governor's office for clarification and confirmation. While we did talk with the press office, it did not have a comment at the time but said it would get back to us. We did not hear back before publication time.
In addition, we also called Carney for comment, but received no answer and his voicemail box was full.
*Due to some confusion, this story originally claimed that Gingrich adviser Dave Carney was planning on re-joining the Perry camp. We have since updated the story to note our source is only confirming the job offer to Johnson.