Video: Pelosi rejects Perry's debate invite, goofs on him for good measure

So proud was she of this gag that someone on her staff tweeted it out this morning to double the fun. It makes me cringe — not because the joke is lame but because it’s sad to think Perry has been reduced to such desperate straits that he’s now trying to bait the right’s hate objects into confrontation just to get some positive buzz going again. (See also his needling of Obama on Hannity last night for having grown up “in a privileged way.”) How long before he challenges Michael Moore to an arm-wrestling match?

Then again, maybe it’s time to think outside the box:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign fundraising has gone into a tailspin as a result of poor debate performances and plunging poll numbers, jeopardizing his position as the best-funded Republican presidential candidate of 2012…

Perry’s loyal backers are running into resistance from Republican donors. One Perry fundraiser, who asked not to be named, said he received 15 RSVPs for a recent event from potential donors saying they might attend. But after a gaffe-marred Perry debate performance, none showed up.

“The debates have taken a toll,” the fundraiser said. “The national numbers have taken a toll. People see the campaign on a negative trajectory.”…

Another Perry fundraiser said he expects the Texas governor to raise between $3 million and $5 million in the final three months of 2012 — less than one-third of what he generated in the first six weeks of his candidacy.

How bad is it? Bad enough that some of those staffers who bailed on Gingrich over the summer to go work for Perry (or technically, for Perry’s supporters) are now bailing on Perry so that they can go back to working for Gingrich. Under different circumstances, if Perry were still neck and neck with Romney, taunting Obama and Pelosi would have looked like a flourish of confidence in the fact that he’d be the eventual nominee. As it is, with Pelosi swatting him away and snickering, he looks hapless. If they were smart, they’d take the bait and try to build him up in time for Iowa, as he’s probably their only chance of knocking off Romney in the primary and setting themselves up for an easier general election. Maybe they’re saving that strategy for December?

Update: I missed it on Twitter earlier but Team Perry had a nice comeback to Pelosi’s putdown: “Perhaps the third activity that you have forgotten is the ongoing insider trading?”