OK, so I’m sure that many of you have heard accusations that Barack Obama said the phrase “lipstick on a pig,” referring to Sarah Palin. Let’s put that phrase into context. This is from an Obama speech in Virginia on Tuesday:
“John McCain says he’s about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, ‘Watch out George Bush–except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl Rove-style politics–we’re really going to shake things up in Washington.’ That’s not change. That’s just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”
Now, the McCain campaign is claiming that Obama used that line in a response to Palin’s convention speech where she said, “You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.”
The McCain campaign has claimed (and I can verify this) that the crowd errupted when Obama made the comment.
McCain, while comparing Hillary Clinton’s 1993 health care policy with her current (back during the primaries) policy, said the following: “I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it’s still a pig,” using the phrase in the traditional sense.
Brian Rogers, a McCain spokesman told reporters that the McCain campaign saw a “big difference” between McCain and Obama’s uses of the phrase, saying, “McCain was referring to a policy proposal. Obama was referring to Governor Sarah Palin. It’s obviously disrespectful and offensive. … Who has been talking about lipstick lately? It was obvious. The crowd went crazy because of it.”
Another McCain/Palin spokeswoman, Maria Comella, “Barack Obama’s comments today are offensive and disgraceful. He owes Governor Palin an apology.”
Obama adviser Anita Dunn told reporters, “The McCain campaign’s attack tonight is a pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy–the same analogy that Senator McCain himself used about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care plan just last year. This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.”
The McCain campaign has even put up on their website, a Web ad, “Lipstick,” (viewable below), which says, “Ready to lead? No. Ready to smear? Yes.”
So, what do I think? I agree with Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR). Let’s see what he said on Hannity and Colmes: “It’s an old expression, and I’m going to have to cut Obama some slack on that one. I do not think he was referring to Sarah Palin; he didn’t reference her. If you take the two sound bites together, it may sound like it. But I’ve been a guy at the podium many times, and you say something that’s maybe a part of an old joke and then somebody ties it in. So, I’m going to have to cut him slack.”
And I absolutely agree. Did Obama mean it against Palin? No. Did the crowd think he was referring to Palin? I think many of them did, but this doesn’t mean that that’s what Obama intended. I think Palin’s line was stuck in the heads of some in the audience, and when they heard that, they thought it was a joke against Palin, but that’s not Obama’s fault. Looking back, should Obama have picked a different phrase? Probably – it wasn’t wise to use that right after Palin’s speech, just for the mere fact that some WOULD connect the two, but I don’t think it was intentional or malicious.
The McCain campaign needs to get back to the issues, not this sound bite crap.
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