Gov. Rick Perry is side-stepping the Iowa GOP Straw Polls and visiting South Carolina to discuss plans for a presidential bid. He has not joined the race, but CNN’s Peter Hamby reports that he’ll be talking with some high-powered party operatives in South Carolina, including former SCGOP Chair Katon Dawson and grassroots strategist Walter Whetsell, both of whom recently left the Newt Gingrich team.
Perry’s official appearance this weekend will be to address the 2011 Redstate Gathering in Charleston, a meeting of conservative politicians and bloggers from around the country and will also feature Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Jim DeMint. Politico reports that Gov. Perry will make his presidential intentions clear while he is in South Carolina.