Rick Perry’s going for it folks. Why not? The Texas Governor’s seen his campaign go from boom to bust in a heartbeat, so why not take a crack at redemption and respectability by going right at the Right-Wing’s biggest foe not named Obama.
Rick Perry has reportedly challenged Former Speaker of the House (No not that one) Nancy Pelosi to a debate. Yes, I said debate; and yes, I said Rick Perry. Whodathunkit? The GOP presidential candidate most likely to get laughed out of a high school debate audition wants to go toe-to-toe with the face of big government liberalism madam Perma-Smile herself.
“I think it would be a tremendous service to the American people to see a public airing of these differences,” he continued. “Let the people decide. If Monday doesn’t work, perhaps we could find a time in Iowa over the course of the next month to discuss these issues in front of the people of America’s heartland.”
Never going to happen, right?
The Perry camp thought of that already; and included this…
“Should you choose not to respond or engage in such a healthy discussion, I will take it to mean you will continue your obstructionist ways in the face of much needed Washington reform.”
Well played sir.
Some are going to be quick to label this as nothing more than a move of desperation. Those folks would be absolutely correct. Perry’s hit the mat twice and he’s a few punches away from a TKO. The only thing saving him at his point is that his corner’s still full of very rich donors unwilling to throw in the towel. Desperate – yes; but brilliant nonetheless.
Obviously, Pelosi will never accept. Perry may be a Godawful debater, but Nancy Pelosi’s anything but a pro at fielding and handling hostile questions. It may turn out looking like the “Suck for Luck Bowl” of Washington politics, but I’m fairly confident Perry would come out the “winner.” Add that to the fact that Pelosi is probably the most hated figure among Republican voters and represents everything small government conservatives despise about Washington in general, and I’d say Perry’s made one heck of a move calling her out.
The other thing this gimmicky challenge has done is answer the question of how he and his campaign plan to link his Overhaul Washington proposal to the primary race and make it relevant. Even those who despise the current system and would love to see Congress on a permanent vacation understand that the President hardly has the power to cut Congress’s pay or change rules on the fly regardless of a presidential mandate. Separation of Powers makes his message/mission somewhat moot. That said, Perry is anything but the first candidate to run on things that would ultimately be out of his/her direct control. Whether it’s health care reform, tax reform, or Social Security reform; the President’s still left as an outsider vested only with the power of the veto and the bully pulpit.
So, I say why not? And for what it’s worth, the guy might actually fair much better if matched up with a liberal. For those not accustomed to debating the finer points of policy on a daily basis, the distinctions between and among conservative/republican ideas can be overwhelming. Maybe what Perry really needs is a forum where the only options on the menu are red meat and tofu.
I wouldn’t pay to see it, but I’d certainly set the DVR and bring a beer.