Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has yet to formally announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, is certainly acting like he’s in the running. Two associates have said he will visit the early-voting states South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday.

Perry will give a speech in South Carolina “to make clear that he’s running for president” before then heading to a house party in New Hampshire at the home of state representative, Pamela Tucker, who has been encouraging Perry to run.

Saturday, by the way, is the day of the Ames straw poll in Iowa. Although Perry won’t be there this weekend, his presence will surely be felt. He’s not formally on the ballot, but Iowa operatives behind the group Americans for Rick Perry have been aggressively boosting him as a write-in candidate. Regardless, his announcement is certain to suck up a lot of the winner’s oxygen.

While Perry spokesman Mark Miner would not confirm the announcement, he said, “With President Obama’s dismal economic record and Texas’ success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Governor Perry continues to consider a potential run for The White House. Stay tuned.”

[The New York Times]