Here's pretty good post to get started on if you're just jumping into the 2012 Presidential election. I know that the GOP primaries haven't even started but Perry is looking like the guy to beat. And a lot can change between now and then.
This WSJ post basically draws a lot of parallels between President Ronald Reagan and Texas governor Rick Perry. Both were Dems before they switch parties. Govs of big states and very conservative. Lots of like about Perry if you like Ronald Reagan, the 1980 candidate.
But there are going to be a lot of issues that will make Perry unattractive to the general public and may for voters to give President Barack Obama another chance in the White House if he turns out to be too out of mainstream.
However, stranger things have happened. The American electorate just isn't as involved as I think they are with the country's welfare on a wide range of issues as I think we need to be. The economy will be a sour spot for the President but there are other issues that Perry really scares the general public.
Anyway, this post is a good jumping point into the race.
Source: WSJ: Perry Battles Same Doubts That Dogged Reagan.