Can Perry stand out in 2016 without his signature swagger?

Associated Press

ELLSTON, Iowa (AP) - Rick Perry has ditched his Texas swagger for a humbler approach he's hoping will impress Republicans in early voting Iowa.

After stumbling in his short-lived 2012 presidential campaign, Perry is campaigning this time with sensible shoes, dark suits and measured words.

Gone are the brown ostrich boots, nicknamed "Freedom" and "Liberty," that made him a cowboy figure as Texas governor and a distinctive presence in the GOP field four years ago.

Perry admits to scrapping much of the bravado from his first presidential campaign - but says most Iowans don't miss it.

Some, though, wonder if Perry is watering down what made him unique.

That includes Rocky Carroll, a Houston bootmaker who's been stitching custom pairs for Perry since 2001. Carroll says: "He's gotta wear boots; he's from Texas."

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