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Dancing With The Stars

Rick Perry will join “Dancing With The Stars”

Make your own Tom DeLay joke. Mine is in the embedded image.

Who are YOU to judge me?

Rick Perry’s spirit animal

Former Gov. Rick Perry is joining the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Texas’ longest-serving governor will be a contestant in the 23rd season of the dance competition show, which premieres Sept. 12 on ABC. Perry will be paired with professional dancer Emma Slater, the network announced Tuesday morning.

Entertainment Tonight broke the news Monday, and in a round of media appearances shortly before the lineup announcement, Perry declined to comment on the rumors. But he did suggest that the show would help him with dancing at his daughter’s upcoming wedding and that it would be an “extraordinary platform” to draw attention to two issues he has long been passionate about: the military and veterans.

“I just hope I don’t forget my dance steps, were I to be on this program, after the third lesson,” Perry said on Fox Business News, riffing off his infamous failure to remember the third federal department he wanted to eliminate during his 2012 presidential campaign.

I will say that I think Perry is likely to be a better fit for this than Tom DeLay was, because DeLay never appeared to have any actual charm, while Perry, whatever else you may say about him (and Lord knows there’s plenty), does have some people skills as well as a discernable sense of humor. I’m just glad that my kids are into watching “American Ninja Warrior” and not DWTS, so I won’t have to watch any of it. Now if he were to become a contestant on “American Ninja Warrior”, that would impress me. Until that time, here are Perry’s competitors for this title.

Turkey of the Year 2009

Among other things, the Thanksgiving season signals the arrival of year end lists – Top Ten this and that, Best Of, Worst Of, you name it. The local highlight is the Houston Press’ annual Turkey of the Year award, which has been made easier in recent times by the presence of Tom DeLay. He may be gone from the political scene, but thanks to the magic of reality television, he’s still out there racking up the awards. He wasn’t the top turkey this year – click over for that, I won’t spoil it – but you still have to give him an A for effort. It’s a lot harder in the Internet age for a has-been to regain any kind of relevance. As long as he doesn’t take advice on what his next career move should be from Levi Johnston, it’s all good.

Keep talking, Tom

I’ll leave the commentary on Tom DeLay’s dancing prowess to the experts and simply note that he has succeeded in getting himself back in the news. Which means people are asking him for his opinions on things, which in turn means more chances for him to fib and dissemble.

There was one more thing I needed to know, and with the ice pack under his foot melting and his professional dance partner waiting to get back to rehearsing, he himself cut to the chase: “Don’t you want to ask me about Ronnie Earle?” Of course, he was referring to the D.A. who got a Texas grand jury to indict him four years ago, on campaign finance laws; Earle has yet to bring the case to trial, and DeLay has always called the case politically motivated.

So, what is going on with the case? “Well, I can’t get my day in court, that’s what’s going on…Now it’s been four years, one appeal after another, but it’s still hanging out there. All Ronnie Earle ever wanted to do was indict me.”

Of course, the current appeals are being pressed by DeLay’s co-defendants Jim Ellis and John Colyandro, who got a sweetheart ruling from the Republican majority on the Third Court of Appeals last year. The Third Court took forever to get to a ruling in the first place – the appeals Earle made on DeLay’s tossed indictment went all the way to the Court of Criminal Appeals and got a resolution before the Third Court bothered to rouse itself on this one, prompting the Democratic judges on the Court to complain about it being slow-rolled – which the reason why we’re all still waiting for DeLay to get that day in court he says he wants.

Meanwhile, Earle has said he’s considering running for governor, and “What do I say to Ronnie Earle? Run, baby, run. Run, baby run. And I will be at every campaign stop to tell my story.”

I think I speak for every Democrat in Texas when I say please, pretty please with heaping piles of corporate lobbyist cash on it, do exactly that. We would love for you to be out there at every campaign stop, reminding everyone of who you are and why you’re an ex-Congressman. And wear the sequins, too, it’s a great look for you.

Tom DeLay to dance with the stars

I’m speechless.

The news this morning that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will be a contestant on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars” triggered a mixture of chortling and bemusement as it whipped through cyberspace.

“Also: Denny Hastert to be on American Idol. Right, @ryanseacrest?” ABC chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper joked on Twitter.

Even Tom Bergeron, host of “Dancing With the Stars,” admitted he was flummoxed when he heard that the one-time Republican king maker nicknamed “The Hammer” would be participating in the dance spectacle. “This is the one when the producers last week were telling me who the lineup was … I went, ‘You’re kidding!’” Bergeron said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” as he announced the cast of the new season.

DeLay, known for his hardball tactics on the Hill, stepped down from his House seat in 2006 after being indicted in Texas for violating campaign finance laws. The case is pending.

Conrad Green, the show’s executive producer, said he considered the fact that DeLay is under indictment before offering him the role but decided it was not enough to keep him off the show. “Frankly, this case seems to have stalled completely,” he said in an interview. “I believe in innocent before proven guilty.”

Actually, it’s just been going through the appeals process, some initiated by DeLay’s legal team. If you want to blame anyone for the length of time it’s taken, blame the in-no-rush Texas appeals courts. Be that as it may, I don’t even know what to say about this. I guess it’s a good thing Richard Nixon had David Frost around to do his image rehabbing.

I suppose this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. After all, DeLay has apparently been a fan of the show for some time now.