Rick Perry, purported conservative and governor of Texas, has endorsed Rudy Giuliani's bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Giuliani currently leads the GOP race, having opened a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney at Iowa Electronic Markets. (McCain's spike seems to coincide with Thompson's slide and the possibility -- as I see it -- that Thompson will withdraw from the race before long.)
Why has Perry endorsed front-runner Giuliani? Perry's term as governor runs until January 20, 2011. But why play on the Texas stage -- big as it is -- when you have a shot at national office? Perry, as a purported conservative and known Texan, would "balance" Giuliani's watery Republicanism and Noo Yawk accent. Perry's "clout" as a big-State governor and presumed appeal to Southern and Southwestern conservatives might just garner him the number-two spot on a Giuliani ticket.
P.S. As a Giuliani-Clinton race has become increasingly likely, bettors at Iowa Electronic Markets have begun to see a closer race in November '08. The odds still favor the Democrat nominee, but the gap is narrow in the vote-share market, where the current betting is 0.516 Democrat to 0.489 Republican.