Rick Perry Tries to Call on a Mannequin

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 13 2012 1:51 PM

Rick Perry Tries to Call on a Mannequin

UPDATE: Carrie Dann of NBC News, one of the long-suffering trail embeds, gives the context: Perry was joking. "Perry gaffe meme so entrenched that most journos' benefit of doubt is out the window," she tweets. I'll cop! Two days off the trail, and I'm ready to believe that a joke was actually a flub. But the Starship video is important enough to leave up.

A hat tip to Mike Memoli for this one, who noticed a lede buried in the final graf of a Perry dispatch by Alana Semuels from South Carolina.

After Perry left, walking by a mannequin wearing a Squat N’ Gobble t-shirt whose hand was raised above her head – a hand Perry tried to call on during a question-and-answer period -- a spirited political discussion broke out in the restaurant, with some patrons waving Nobama ’12 bumper stickers.
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The Perry campaign may be the one that rescues Alan Cranston from political trivia's slush pile. The senator from California, who ran for president in 1984 for some reason then barely survived re-election to his old job, is no longer the politician who's weakened himself most by bungling a presidential campaign.

But maybe you're an optimist. Maybe you read this and think: Nothing's gonna stop him now.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.