Nightly News | August 13, 2011
LESTER HOLT, anchor: Moderator of MEET THE PRESS David Gregory joins us now from Ames , Iowa . David , does Governor Perry 's entrance into this race diminish the significance of finishing among the front-runners in Iowa ?
DAVID GREGORY reporting: Well, at least splits the screen and creates two headlines. Governor Perry 's coming in at a time when there's still a lot of Republican money on the sidelines. And there's still a lot of excitement yet to be generated among Republican primary voters who don't really love the field right now. They know that this is a high stakes election and these Republican primary voters don't like President Obama . He's coming in at a good moment.
HOLT: The name of the game here is, of course, is fundraising at his point. If you're near the bottom of tonight's pile and then Rick Perry gets into the race, are you looking at a nail finally going in the coffin?
GREGORY: Yes, I think you are. It's a test of viability, it's a test of organization in Iowa . If you're not breaking through in the polls, if you're not getting a lot of media attention, and if you're not raising the money, that like I said, is still on the sidelines, you've got some problems. This is the first test for Governor Perry . How much money can he raise, how quickly can he raise it? That's really the thing to keep an eye on. Don't forget, it's August of 2011 , not August 2012 . We have a long way to go in this race. But the early metrics have to do with how much of a campaign war chest any candidate can build up.
HOLT: And finally, David , I've got to ask about Sarah Palin . She's been showing up at all the right places, including Iowa , but she continues to play coy with the question of is she running. With Ames now defining the front-runners and Governor Perry now in the race, is she running out of time to make a call here?
GREGORY: No question about it. Sarah Palin is more or less a side show . Someone who gets a lot of attention, but still a side show . She is not doing the kinds of things that you'd expect to actually make a run for the presidency. But she does have access to money and a lot of grassroots support. So you can't completely count her out yet.
HOLT: David Gregory . David , thanks very much. We want to let folks know much more on the Iowa straw poll and presidential politics tomorrow morning on " Meet the Press " live from Iowa . Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will be among David Gregory 's guests.