Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Only Republicans Can Talk About Lipstick

This has me seething. So many parts of this campaign have left me feeling this way, but this is just petty BS. Has anyone in the McCain campaign ever listened to themselves? I mean, really taken a step back to listen to the words coming out of their mouths?

Here's Barack Obama in a speech yesterday:
"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."
Some colorful analogies. The "lipstick on a pig" one in particular has been around for many years and is useful in many situations.

As CNN reports, "Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focused on the remark, which they said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: 'You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.' McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told CNN the campaign saw a 'big difference' between the two references: 'McCain was referring to a policy proposal. Obama was referring to [Alaska] Gov. 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." [emphasis mine]

"Who has been talking about lipstick lately?" Really? So Sarah Palin makes a funny and all of a sudden no one else is supposed to use an analogy that's been around for years? Or even talk about lipstick?

More to the point, Obama wasn't talking about Palin! Anyone with a grade school education can figure out that he was comparing McCain's policies to the proverbial pig. Senator McCain and Governor Palin weren't even mentioned in that part of the speech! (And if, as McCain spokesman Brian Rogers claims, Palin is the pig in that analogy, I guess that makes McCain the stinky fish. But no one's complaining about that, even though it would be just as big of an insult.)

CNN goes on to actually do a bit of journalism and points out occasions when John McCain himself has used the same analogy (once last year in reference to Hillary Clinton's healthcare proposal) and other times when McCain supporters have used it (one even made it the title of his book). Mike Huckabee is even taking Obama's side.

Let me second the Obama campaign in calling the McCain camp dishonorable.
"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 Sen. McCain himself used about Sen. 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."
Still, McCain intends to run with this. His campaign has already made a web ad out of it.
"If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things." -- Barack Obama
Edit 9/10: Obama's response this morning was good overall, although I think he probably shouldn't have criticized the media quite so much. Sure, this was "catnip" to them, but it's really the McCain camp that should be scolded.


At 9/10/2008 12:26 PM, Anonymous Paul Mason said...

Great post. McCain's campaign is now acting like the bogeyman "feminazi's" they decry as "hiding behind their skirt" at any confrontation.

This is of course, intended to put Obama off message one more day so they can sit on their lead until the clock runs out.

Palin not talking to the press and agreeing to only one debate is a big part of that strategy as well.

No doubt, the journalists/pundits will puff up Biden before the debate and conversely set expectations extremely low for Palin in an effort to make it a win-win for Palin inevitably (perhaps merely by not fainting during the debate) exceeding these minimal expectations.

This is a much more cynical campaign from McCain than I ever expected.

At 9/10/2008 1:05 PM, Blogger nitsudima said...

Don't worry. Charlie Gibson will tear Palin a new one. His hard-hitting journalistic skills are world-renowned.

Oh, wait. I forgot to turn on my sarcasm filter. Maybe I'm cynical because one of Gibson's questions in a Democratic Primary debate was so bad that the audience laughed at him.


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