Political scientist Daniel P. Franklin, an associate professor at Georgia State University and an expert on American chief executives, budgeting and the legislative process, is available to discuss the entrance of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Franklin is the author of “Pitiful Giants: Presidents in their Final Term” (Palgrave MacMillian, 2014) and “Politics and Film: Political Culture and Film in the United States” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), among other publications exploring political culture, executive powers and the relationships between the presidency and Congress. “Rick Perry should be the frontrunner in this race,” Franklin explained. “He is a three-term governor from one of the nation’s richest and most populous states. For Republicans, he is right on almost every issue.”

But he has a huge hurdle ahead of him, Franklin said.

“Whether true or not, he is not perceived to be particularly bright,” the associate professor said. “The glasses and the greying temples that give him the look of a college president help. But he suffers from the same problem faced by Gerald Ford.

“President Ford, a former scholarship football player at the University of Michigan, was perceived to be a stumblebum,” Franklin continued. “And that perception magnified Ford’s every misstep.”

Nobody can avoid every single gaffe, but the harsh light of the political battlefield makes it crucial for Perry to overcome misperceptions about him.

“Perry’s problem is that every gaffe, misplaced fact or slip of the tongue will be magnified because of his reputation,” Franklin said.

For more information about Franklin, visit http://politicalscience.gsu.edu/profile/daniel-p-franklin/.