Rice political science professor Mark Jones says Perry's six-month campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has caused some people to look at him with different glasses.
"Before, he was viewed as this really strong campaigner, a skilled politician, who didn't devote a great deal of time to governance and public policy issues. Now he's seen as someone who isn't that great a campaigner, but still doesn't devote a lot of time, which leads to the question of 'what actually is he doing?'"
The report covers just the first 16 days after Perry abandoned his presidential campaign.
"He did just face a grueling presidential campaign where he was 'on' 24/7 for almost six months. It's probably a little unfair to hit him on it right now in January, given that he's just coming off this long presidential campaign. In some ways it is fair, because I don't think it's going to be all that different if we look at March, April, May, June, July, August."
Jones says Perry tends to delegate responsibilities to his team so he can focus on political issues.
"One response the Perry campaign might have is that, given the governor's long tenure, he has a well-oiled machine in place to run the state. So therefore, in many aspects, the state's somewhat on auto-pilot and the governor doesn't have the need to be involved in day-to-day policy issues, particularly when the legislature's not in session."
Perry's aides say even when the governor is not in his office, he's working from wherever he is, especially with today's technology.