Calling All Inanimate Objects: Rick Perry Will Now Take Your Questions

Rick Perry perhaps jokingly called on a mannequin with a raised hand while taking questions at a South Carolina campaign stop, and a meme is ready to be born.

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Update 5:02 p.m.: As promised, here's the video, via National Journal. We have to say, it looks an awful lot like Perry was joking the whole time, but we'll leave it up to you to form your own impressions.

Update 3:24 p.m.:The updates to "Mannequingate" as it is inevitably already being called, are coming fast and furious! Intrepid New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza tweets the account of one source who was there and suggests Perry did in fact think the mannequin (pictured below) was a person when he began to answer her question but quickly turned it into a joke. "I think he [thought] it was a person out of the corner of his eye... immediately realized it was a mannequin, and made fun of himself by saying, 'I thought this lady had her hand up over here.'" (As you can see, the mannequin does actually have its hand up.) So then, maybe he did mistakenly call on a mannequin. But this still doesn't pass for Most Embarrassing Perry Gaffe of the campaign, or even the day, really. Nevertheless, what fun!

*Update 2:51 p.m.: Rebecca Kaplan of CBS News tweets that the press corp following Perry thinks he jokingly called on the mannequin. As does a waitress interviewed by New York Magazine just now. So then ... good one, Perry! We regret jumping to the conclusion that you would do something so foolish. We're looking for footage of the incident so our readers can make their own evaluations should that be how they'd like to spend their Friday afternoons. We shall keep you posted.

Original: Rick Perry should prepare himself to take a lot of ribbing for mistakenly* calling on a mannequin with a raised hand while taking questions at a South Carolina campaign stop. The Los Angeles Times's Alana Semuels has composed what must be one of our favorite sentences in all of political journalism:

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.

Squat N' Gobble, for the curious-minded among you, is a restaurant in Bluffton, S.C., where Perry had stopped to talk to voters, both human and plastic. Actually, we're not sure why Samuels relegates the mannequin incident to an aside between two dashes. (Okay, okay, probably because it's just a frivolous mistake from a guy whose gaffes usually denote some sort of lack in policy knowledge. This just reveals his lack of eyesight or depth perception or something. Also the mannequin, pictured at right, is kind of a babe. So who can blame him?) Maybe the real loser in all of this is singer Katy Perry, (yes her) whose YouTube videos for her song "Mannequin" should prepare to lose the "Perry mannequin" Google search war for at least the next few hours. (Just kidding, we're sure they will remain the top hit. So catchy.)

[Image from Squat n' Gobble's Facebook page]

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