It's only 2013, but Texas Governor Rick Perry is treating the early primary states of presidential contests as if it's already 2016.
Perry will take a two-day swing through South Carolina next week, his second trip to the state this year. He'll make four stops in the state, including speaking at the Rotary Club of Downtown Spartanburg and delivering the keynote speech at the South Carolina Republican Party Winter Dinner and Conservative Banquet in Spartanburg next Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Perry will address the Electric Co-Ops of South Carolina in Greenville as well as speak at a Boy Scouts fundraiser for the Blue Ridge Council. Perry, who was an Eagle Scout, is an avid supporter of the Boy Scouts and opposed the organization's decision to allow openly gay scouts.
Perry is no stranger to South Carolina and had hoped his brand of conservatism would appeal to southern Republicans in the state during the 2012 presidential election. Perry announced his presidential bid in Charleston, and later dropped out of the 2012 race while campaigning in the Palmetto State. The Texas governor last visited South Carolina in August.
Aside from South Carolina, Perry has made frequent trips to Iowa, another early presidential contest where he scored a fourth-place finish in 2012, but so far this year the Texas governor has stayed away from New Hampshire, a state whose primary he skipped during the last few weeks of his presidential campaign.
Perry, who is not seeking re-election for the Texas governor post, has said he'd be willing to consider a second presidential bid in 2016, and his trips to early primary states indicate he may be interested in laying the groundwork early.