You know it's lights out when a politician starts quoting from the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Amid much speculation about his political future, Rick Perry, the longest-serving Texas governor, announced on Monday that he would not seek a fifth term as the state's chief executive.
"Today I am announcing I will not seek re-election as governor of Texas," Perry told supporters at a campaign-style rally in San Antonio.
Perry, who has served as Texas' governor since former President George W. Bush left the job for the White House in 2000, quoted the Bible and a country music song before saying the "time has come" for him to step aside.
"In the book of Ecclesiastes, it teaches us, for everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. I think it's the book of Darrell Royal that teaches us to 'dance with the one that brung ya,'" Perry said. "I remain excited about the future and the challenges ahead."
Perry said that he will serve out the rest of his term until January 2015, but his work in the state is far from over.
Earlier this month, Perry called the Texas legislature for a special session after State Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis successfully filibustered a bill that would impose new regulations on abortion providers in the state. Perry said in an interview on Sunday that he anticipates that the Texas legislature will pass the bill within ten days.
In his remarks on Monday, Perry, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, did not rule out a second run for the White House in 2016, saying he would "pray and reflect and work to determine" his "own future path." Perry said that he will make announcements about his future plans "in due time."
Although he did not refer to another presidential run specifically, Perry hinted that he has ambitious for another White House run, Texas-based Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak told Yahoo News.
"If you really know Perry and you really looked between the lines—the Bible verse, a season for this, a season for that, the way he talked about his accomplishments—all those things are setting a predicate for a national run," Mackowiak said. "I think over the next few months he'll start to kick the tires on the national side to see what support is there, travel to some early states and do some national media. The benefit is now, he has the time to do these things. ... He was sending a signal: Stay tuned for a future announcement."