Here is your Morning Brief for February 16, 2015.

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Rick Perry in New Hampshire

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is on the unofficial campaign trail and over the weekend Perry traveled to New Hampshire. As we've seen with other articles about Perry, CNN focused on what they call Perry's second chance. According to CNN, many in New Hampshire like what they heard from the revamped Rick Perry.

Voters here cherish their first-in-the-nation primary, particularly the influential role it plays, and seem willing to reconsider Perry's second pitch.

"He's much better this time. I even told him!" said Denise Pressinger, who helps run a food import and export business in Portsmouth.

His fashionable, black-rimmed glasses are the first big difference everyone notices.

A childhood eye injury flared up for Perry, whose vision was strong enough to allow him into the Air Force, in recent years. Instead of surgery, he opted for the glasses -- with rims picked out by his wife, Anita, that lend him a bit of a hipster look.

Gone are his cowboy boots, which he said aggravated the back injury that left him in pain during the 2012 campaign. He's maintained his impressive head of hair and the expressive mannerisms he's always had, but the new look helps -- at least a little -- with the 'I'm serious this time' message Perry 2.0 wants to convey.

"He's got a little bit different look," said Phil Malone, a software product manager. "You know, I'm all for giving a second chance and seeing how it goes."

Perry's message comes in three parts: The formula that left the Texas economy booming can be scaled up. The United States needs a more aggressive foreign policy. And the bumper crop of fresh Republican faces heading toward presidential bids -- especially senators like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio -- aren't battle-tested like he is.

"We took a chance with a young, articulate United States senator who didn't have any record. And I happen to think we're paying a price for it," he said during an event at the Republican Women's Club in Portsmouth.

There are numerous articles about Rick Perry's trip to New Hampshire and time and time again it seems that many who were hesitant about Perry 2.0, come around and like what he has to say. Perry ran an arrogant race last time and one that came right after back surgery. This time I think many will see the real Rick Perry. A down to earth candidate with a blockbuster resume. Will it be good enough to push him through? That depends on how the media treats Perry and how prepared he is for the long run.

Cruz 2016

The Washington Post seems to think that Senator Ted Cruz is the most underrated candidate in 2016. According to the Post, a Republican consultant says that Cruz has just as good of a chance at gaining the Republican nomination as Jeb Bush. The reason? Ted Cruz controls the "Tea Party Lane" of the primary race.

So, Cruz is, without question, the dominant figure in the Tea Party lane. What that means — particularly in the early stages of the primary process in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — is that he will likely be able to win, place or show repeatedly, wracking up enough strong-ish performances to keep going even as the Establishment lane and the Social Conservative lane begin to thin out. (Cruz's ability to raise money, which remains a question, is less important for him than it is for other candidates — especially those in the Establishment lane. His people are going to be for him no matter how much — or little — communicating he does with them.)

The trick for Cruz, according to this consultant, is to hang around long enough to not only be the preeminent figure in the Tea Party lane but also in the Social Conservative lane. (Cruz is decidedly conservative on social issues and talks regularly about his faith on the campaign trail.) The complicating figure in that consolidation effort is Huckabee, who is a) likely to run, b) an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and c) likely to be able to stay in the race for an extended period of time because of the number of Southern primaries in the early stages of the primary process.

The Washington Post says to watch out for Ted Cruz and I would agree. Cruz can win people over pretty easy. Cruz is a special communicator and is seen as a fighter. Two things that Republicans have embraced.

Other Must Read Links:

What Does Rick Perry Have?

Bill's Libido Threatens to Derail Hillary

Jeb Bush Faces Legacies of 43 and 41

McConnell Boxed In

A GOP one-party state?

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard on our KFYO YouTube page after the show and online at