Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On Pit Bulls and Pigs ... Lipstick as an Election Issue? [UPDATED]

Geez, I hope not.

I really hope the McCain people don't push too hard on Sen. Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comments from yesterday, even if - in context (the very next line was about an "old fish" in a new wrapper, which appears to be aimed at Sen. McCain) - it was a double entendre meant to insult Gov. Palin. The last thing Gov. Palin needs is to be portrayed as a "victim" by her own campaign, especially about something for which the Obama campaign has some plausible deniability. And pleeeeeeeeease don't push for an apology ... that's just lame.

Gov. Palin is clearly inside Sen. Obama's head. She's knocked him off his game, and needs to keep it up. Sen. Obama is notoriously thin-skinned to humor that pokes fun at his weaknesses (real or perceived). Therefore, THIS is how Gov. Palin should respond to Sen. Obama's remarks from yesterday:
We all know what a fine job Sen. Obama does when it comes to giving well-delivered and lofty-sounding speeches. He has an innate talent when it comes to standing behind a podium and before a large audience and speaking from a prepared text.

But when he's on the campaign trail and speaking off the cuff or working from UNPREPARED remarks ...
[Pause for effect and applause] well, let's just say he sometimes has a problem getting his lines right.
[Pause for effect and applause] For example ...

It's PIT BULL with lipstick, Senator. Pit Bull.
[Points to herself just like she did in her convention speech]
Perhaps, for good measure, she could add a line about

"Maybe someone needs to invent a teleprompter that can help Sen. Obama with his UNPREPARED remarks."

The McCain-Palin campaign has responded with an ad:

Not how I would've handled it, but we'll see how it plays out.

I STILL think Gov. Palin's speechwriter needs to add some lines like the ones I've written above to her standard stump speech.

Anyone have any connections with higher-ups in the McCain-Palin camp?

At The Corner, Mark Krikorian also has a recommendation for Gov. Palin:
I agree with the consensus that the campaign shouldn't whine about the lipstick on a pig comment. Instead, Gov. Palin should simply start each appearance by pausing briefly at the podium to touch up her lipstick, and then move on. People who get the joke will love it, and those who don't will have it explained to them by others, ensuring that pretty soon, even those who don't follow the news will hear about it, to Obama's detriment.
I'm not sure how that would play. But I know if Gov. Palin were to follow my recommendation, it would be like a knee to the groin of Sen. Obama's considerable pride. It would eat him up inside, thereby leading to more campaign idiocy on his behalf as he feels the need to go tit-for-tat with Gov. Palin in order to placate his nutroot base (and his own sense of self worth).

Jonah Goldberg's recommendation at The Corner is closer to what I have in mind:
... If I were McCain, I would make some joke at today's rally about how "some may or may not have likened my running mate to a pig. I'd like to think my opponent didn't intend anything of the sort. But if he did, all I can do is quote Charlotte's Web and say that is 'Some pig!'" Or something like that.

Then Palin could make a self-deprecating joke that let's Obama off the hook and move on. Obama would look small. McCain and Palin would look gracious, self-deprecating and presidential. This controversy doesn't have legs (though who knows if this one does) and it's not worth exploiting at the expense of her tough-lady brand.
(emphasis added)

Kathryn Lopez' email correspondent suggests an all-of-the-above approach:
United in Lipstick

In honor of Sarah Palin, I am wearing my prettiest lipstick this morning....she should go up to a podium with her huge audiences, and say, "excuse me..." then turn a little and put on some lipstick and smile her gorgeous smile! then she should say, "I said "PIT-BULL, NOT Pig!"

Minneapolis suburban mom (farm kid)
Eh, maybe. But I'm just not altogether sold on using lipstick as a prop during a campaign speech delivered by a serious candidate for the 2nd highest elected office in the land.

Forget about all the "lipstick" junk. Now, HERE'S an effective ad against all the smears:

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At 9/10/2008 7:08 AM, Blogger Rick Lugari said...

Actually, I think it was a very good slam on Obama's part. It was also a clever attack, something the "Oh yeah - well F you" left isn't usually capable of. I don't think there's any point in complaining about the remarks, but comebacks like you suggest should be delivered as soon as today.

At 9/10/2008 8:38 AM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

I though Obama's comment about wrapping an old fish in a newspaper and calling it change was autobiographical.

As for the lipstick comment if he didn't mean it against Palin then he is tone deaf in the use of words - his audience certainly heard it that way. Either way he comes off worse. And what is with him calling women "sweetie"?

At 9/10/2008 9:42 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

Few more remarks about Hillary that might be perceived as sexist:

* "She's got the kitchen sink flying, and the china flying, and the, you know, the buffet is coming at me." — April 20
* "You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out." — February, Tulane University
* "I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal." — February

And that veiled ("who, me? I was just rubbing my nose") giving Hillary the finger:

You know, it's hard to say whether he really intended it or not.

But in this case and cases prior, his audience assumed he meant it. And I was looking at a PUMA site last night, and some Hillary voters perceive it as such, and they're pissed.

Not a good way to appeal to the base.

At 9/10/2008 10:19 AM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...


Your tactic would work on so many levels. It would convey to the blue collar worker than Palin is tough and it would on a psychological level pretty much destroy whatever is left of Obama's psyche.


I'd have to say that the

"And that veiled ("who, me? I was just rubbing my nose") giving Hillary the finger"

bit from the primaries was directed towards Hillary. It's a pattern of behavior that Obama has shown already.

I wonder how Michelle Obama is dealing with all of this. It would be curious to know don't you think?

At 9/11/2008 6:08 PM, Anonymous media kingdom said...

McCain has proven time and again that his strategy for winning depends on personal attacks and distracting people from the main issues... i just hope people aren't as gullible as he seems to think they are


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