What a difference a failed presidential campaign can make.
When Gov. Rick Perry gave his State of the State speech last week, what he didn't say was as remarkable as what he did. By Perry standards, it was almost moderate.
Missing were mentions of abortion, immigration or even the conservative topic du jour - gun rights. Instead Perry reversed his opposition on tapping the Rainy Day Fund and even promised to work with the Obama Administration.
President Barack Obama's victory in the 2012 presidential race - and Perry's personal drubbing in the Republican presidential primary - has led him and many other Republicans to drop the tea party rhetoric that was so popular in 2011.
As the state's chief executive, he sets the tone for all Texas Republicans.