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September 10, 2008

Of Lipstick and Pigs

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me

Much is being made of Obama's lipstick gaffe yesterday. The reactions are all over the electoral map:

..."This was just plain stupid on Senator Obama's part. It must be due to Karl Rove mind rays or something."

..."Surely a man smart enough to be elected president should have foreseen how these remarks would be taken. Don’t Harvard law grads know the impact of words?" Everybody stumbles now and then. I say, don't make any more of it than if McCain had said something similar.

... "I think if you look at the entire quote, you realize that Obama was referring to Palin in the 'pig' comment. In the next phrase, as reported by Politico.com, Obama referred to 'old fish' wrapped in a paper of change that still stinks, a clear personal attack on McCain. I think both comments taken together are quite outrageous."
"Palin is, quite obviously, getting inside Obama’s head. This was beyond stupid! This will be played by McCain quite easily: Sarah will continue to bait him and he just goes for it. Remember the Wyle E. Coyote/Roadrunner meme that Ann Althouse set up when Palin was first rolled out? Well, she was right!"

I don't know whether Obama intended (beforehand, at least) to level gratuitous personal insults at Governor Palin with the lipstick/pig metaphor and Senator McCain with the stinky old fish allusion. Moreover I don't much care whether he did or not. What struck me, on watching the video, was that Senator Obama's choice of metaphors seems condescending, divisive, and insulting... to his audience. Succinctly put, Obama's argument appears to be, "If you don't vote for me, you're stupid."

And what is with the faux Bible Belt preacher accent all of a sudden?

"...except for economic policeh... health care policeh... tax policeh... education policeh... foreign policeh... "

For a moment there, I was afraid the good Senator was fixing to go all Blackalicious on us again. During the primaries, Hillary Clinton was mercilessly mocked as a phony for suddenly trying to be blacker-than-thou. Meanwhile, Obama The Post-Racial Candidate seems to view his racial heritage through the lens of political expediency, alternately embracing and distancing himself from his avowed culture as circumstances make each course of action seem more or less desirable.

After repeatedly banging the "...they'll try to tell you I'm black" gong, which I can only interpret as "Don't hate me because I'm Black and Beautiful" (You may imagine the uber-dramatic supermodel flip of the hair if you wish. I know I did), suddenly Obama invites us to see him as authentically black?

Question for the ages: will White America be frightened by the sheer testosterone-laced power of Senator Obama's mighteh dropped 'y's? Onleh time will tell.

Posted by Cassandra at September 10, 2008 07:12 AM

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The two campaigns have each developed a core message, which is conveyed in a small sign posted on the lectern.

Obama's says: CHANGE.

McCain's says: COUNTRY FIRST.

Obama is fighting against a McCain/Palin onslaught that points out their actual record in reform (and his utter lack of such a record). Thus, they are challenging the basic integrity of his campaign's central message.

McCain's message is unchallenged.

If you want a snapshot of the race, that's where it is today.

Obama will spend the day playing catchup on this, but he's going to lose, because thirty million people heard Sarah Palin say 'hockey mom = pitbull + lipstick' right before Obama said 'my opponent = pig + lipstick.' Obama can't claim he wasn't familiar with the speech; it's just not plausible given the focus he's had on Gov. Palin in the last few days. Obviously he's concerned with her, and therefore is familiar with her introductory speech.

When he finally patches up as many of these holes as he feels like he can, he'll realize he's lost a day or three of fighting for the CHANGE message. He'll have to get back to fighting for the integrity of his claim to that core message, after several wasted days on damage control.

The clock is ticking.

Posted by: Grim at September 10, 2008 08:44 AM

The whole Obama-Biden campaign has been terribly ham handed in response to the Palin selection. I think it was yesterday that Biden said electing Palin would be a step back for women in this country. Had that come from Hillary it might have been an effective attack, but coming from a man from inside the beltway (good old boy network) it strikes me as condescending

Posted by: Frodo at September 10, 2008 09:18 AM

This man is a dolt. I took pains to transcribe up to the part where it's still a pig (not enough time right now to look for the "old fish" continuation on a theme). Here is what he actually said, and the way he said it:

Le-le-let’s just list this for a second. John McCain says he’s about change too. Exce- an- an- an- so I guess his whole angle is, “Watch out, George Bush, except for economic policy, health care poliseh, tax poliseh, education poliseh, foreign poliseh, and Karl Rove-style politics, (cheers) we’re really gonna shake things up in Washington.” That’s not change. That’s, that’s just callin’ some… the same…thing, sumpthin different. But you know, you can’t, you, you, you, can put, uh, lipstick on a pig, (cheers) it’s still a pig. (Wild cheers)

Damn! I'll bet George Bush is quaking in his funny cowboy boots. He's probably so scared that he's making plans to pack up his stuff from the White House and run way an hide in Crawford, Texas!

I think the Dems think they have to run against George Bush, and Karl Rove. Hillary invoked the name of Bush and Rove in every speech I listened to, and for me, it got very old. Mostly, I kept thinking, "Don't they know that George Bush is not running for re-election? And how does James Carville stack up against Karl Rove?" Crikey! What a bunch of idiots.

But The One has been given instructions: "Don't forget Bush and Rove!" And now we have Cerebral Titan Barack Obama trying to knit all of these talking points into a coherent sentence to scare his base about George Bush, and throwing out "Karl Rove" to scare them again (woooooh!), and he still had a tube of lipstick rattling around in his brain pan and he knew he should do something with it. And he's trying to suck up to an audience of rubes and use a folksy saying, and part way through his "policy" list he remembers the Black Preacher schtick and "policy" becomes "poliseh", and then out plops the lipstick on a pig thing. I don't think he is smart enough to tie the two lipstick references together ahead of time, I think he realized it after he said it. I mean, listen to the guy talk! This is torture! Are we going to listen to four years of this without perforating our own ear drums with knitting needles? Waterboard me! Quick!

How did this guy rise so far so fast? He is not a quick study. He is a dullard.

Posted by: MathMom at September 10, 2008 10:09 AM

So you noticed the stuttering thing too? He is painful to watch when he's not on the teleprompter, isn't he? Painful because I don't like to see someone struggle like that.

He repeats the same phrases over and over. "Watch out... they'll try to tell you [insert bad thing about me or Michelle here]". I think it's just tiredness. The pace has got to be grueling.

But it kind of points up the idiocy of making fun of Bush. The guy has been keeping this pace up for 8 years with the burden of being President added. Of course the press won't point that out.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 10:20 AM

I'd been struggling on why Sen. McCain's pick of Gov. Palin was so event changing, and came to a similar conclusion to yours. With that pick, Sen. McCain demonstrated respect for the American people, faith that they wanted actions and reality, not symbolism, and, that they share his view that America is great and worthy of love. And only incidentally... that the American people have moved beyond identity politics. Sen. Obama on the other hand has demonstrated contempt. Telling a San Francisco audience that midwesterners bitterly cling to guns and religion, saying that "they" will do the okie dokey and bamboozle you, that "they" will say "he" has a funny name and looks different... the list goes on. I think people respond to being treated with respect.

Posted by: HChambers at September 10, 2008 10:33 AM

I honestly don't know what to think of this. I'm leaning toward it just being a case of foot-in-mouth disease, but I can't be entirely convinced of that. And then when I look at it in deep context (comments both before AND after), it's rather convincing to argue that he meant Palin to be the pig and Obama to be the fish. And furthermore, it's a pretty tightly-constructed passage form a rhetorical standpoint, which implies planning/strategizing beforehand.

But I'm not convinced it's a sexist comment per se. It's certainly obnoxious/insulting, though.

Posted by: FbL at September 10, 2008 10:48 AM

it's just not plausible given the focus he's had on Gov. Palin in the last few days.

But he wasn't running his campaign, as people have pointed out. That was Axelrod's thing. It isn't Obama fault that Axelrod might have mentioned pig instead of pitbull to Obama in an off the record conversation.

How did this guy rise so far so fast? He is not a quick study. He is a dullard.

Posted by: MathMom at September 10, 2008 10:09 AM

That is one of many disadvantages of the Leftist system of "merit". Only the bottom 25% of the human race gets elevated.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 10, 2008 11:12 AM

Whether it was subconscious or not, BHO meant it. With all his ivy league education, the putative leader of the United States of America not knowing the meaning of Freudian slips, innuendo, and double entendres beggars our intelligence.

In one fell swoop, McCain exposed the fatal weakness of the corrupt democratic policy makers in Chicago and the National Headquarters by bringing Palin on board. That fatal weakness is the absolute disdain and contempt these people have for Americans in general.

The "Lip stick on a pig" statement is indicative of how democratic leaders view the very people they need to get elected. McCain wears body armor while BHO wears a sweater. They learned nothing from Dukakis...

Posted by: vet66 at September 10, 2008 11:45 AM

Obama made a gaffe trying to be "folksy" with we Virginia voters. Problem is, Barry don't do "folksy" very well, and hecomes off a phony as, well, as lipstick on a pig. That said, I think that Baryy is just going to have to get used to being under the microscope (finally) and would be well advised to consider his "off the cuff" remarks carefully, lest they be interpreted in a manner unbecoming a candidate for high office.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 10, 2008 11:48 AM

Well, while listening to NPR this am, the newscasters used a soundbite from Obama that actually made sense. I could not disagree with it, but it was the ONLY one they used. I hereby accuse the media of using their powers of censorship...uh...EDITING to make him look centrist, commonsensical and On Top Of The Issues.

The soundbite had to do with funding Iraq while the Maliki government was sitting on their surplus. It made sense, I couldn't argue with it in spite of the source.

Just sayin...

Posted by: Cricket at September 10, 2008 12:06 PM

Well, I can argue with it :p

A barely stable government with terrible problems providing critical infrastructure doesn't need to be spending itself down to the last penny.

Oddly enough, when we were first married we had a fairly large savings account by the standards of the time. That was b/c we lacked medical insurance, etc. The savings *was* our insurance. When you're being bombed daily, running a surplus probably isn't the worst thing you can do. You need to keep money in reserve and you *certainly* don't want to have the federal government driving up the cost of credit for new business (people really aren't used to thinking of government as a competitor for loan funds, but it is).

First lesson: if you're poor don't go into debt.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 12:18 PM

IOW, I suspect there's more to the "surplus" issue than Obama or NPR reported.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 12:19 PM

James Lileks also thinks that is was a mistake, but says it better than I ever could:

I don’t think that Obama meant to call Sarah Palin a pig. Many in the audience may have been heartened by the stray implication, since they already regard her as a hootenanny mama who drinks corn likker from a jug with 3 Xs and smokes a corn-cob pipe after the media leaves, but Obama was just being Folksy and Colloquial in that um-you-know style he reverts to when he’s in Authentic Mode. In short, I don’t believe a line that stupid was delivered with full knowledge of its implications. I’m in a generous mood.

But I haven't finished reading his Bleat, so he might change his mind later. He is certainly right about the Folksy and Colloquial and Authentic Mode. The man is a wordsmith.

Posted by: MathMom at September 10, 2008 12:19 PM

Honestly, the folksy interpretation didn't occur to me.

Maybe b/c I don't know anyone who talks like that :p

But that could well have been what he was trying to achieve. The thing is, it strikes me as pointless to waste time trying to figure out what the man meant. Who knows? And why read the basest possible motive into his mind?

The easiest way out of this for him is just to quickly apologize for the clumsy wording and move on. That's what normal people do if they say something that causes offense, whether intended or not. If you didn't mean any harm, you say you're sorry.

Now what's so hard about that? I do it all the time, and so should a leader.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 12:53 PM

At least if he manages to win, we'll have four more years of funny calendars to look forward to.

I know, always the optimist...

Posted by: April at September 10, 2008 12:59 PM

The soundbite had to do with funding Iraq while the Maliki government was sitting on their surplus. It made sense, I couldn't argue with it in spite of the source.

The Maliki government is sitting on it for a very good reason. It has no way to disburse money, in amounts either minute or gigantomongous, in any way other than *cash*.

The banking system consists of individuals in the neighborhood starting individual banks -- and they still use messengers to transfer funds between branches (read: I run a bank in Tikrit and my mother's third cousin's son runs a bank in Erbil and we cooperate to keep his wife's uncle's second cousin who runs a bank in Mosul from getting too big for his britches).

There is no method to transfer funds electronically, which makes it difficult to get large projects going and *keep* them going. Iraqis *know* this isn't the way the rest of the world runs its finances, but they don't have a choice -- they're building from scratch, they know the Crash of '29 happened because international banks weren't taking care of business, and they want to avoid the mistakes.

Are they being overly-cautious? Maybe -- but bear in mind, they lived under a government that required them to bribe the local ward-heelers just so they could go shopping with some assurance of returning to a house that hadn't been trashed in their absence. Any hint of shady financial dealing will trigger charges of corruption that could get Maliki tossed out on his ear, and the only way to do that these days is to get a real, live person's signature on a receipt for every dinar that goes out of the treasury.

Posted by: BillT at September 10, 2008 01:09 PM

Yeah, Cass, I don't know anyone who talks like that either. But Barack has evidently not learned the ways of the bumpkins, so he makes up a phony accent and delivery which he thinks will appeal to us. I think it makes him look stoopid.

Posted by: MathMom at September 10, 2008 01:10 PM

The man is a wordsmith.

No, but he's very good at memorizing the works of the wordsmiths.

He's also very good at Carvilling -- seeming to answer a question and then changing the topic in mid-sentence to an area he's more comfortable with.

Posted by: BillT at September 10, 2008 01:13 PM

But that could well have been what he was trying to achieve. The thing is, it strikes me as pointless to waste time trying to figure out what the man meant. Who knows? And why read the basest possible motive into his mind?

The problem with his gaff is, if he meant it maliciously, then he's engaging in the very smears he's be so vociferously complaining about, and thus is a hypocrit. If he DIDN'T mean it, then he's not careful enough about his wording when he should know better. He's a politician, running for the highest visibility political job this nation has. If he doesn't realize that his words will be parsed, then he clearly doesn't understand what the job is.

Mind you, as things go, this is extremely minor. Politicians botch what they say all the time. GW did, Kerry certainly did, Dan Quayle was famous for it. But really, is that a disqualifier for the Presidency? Not really. Senator Obama has many other problems that are more serious than a lack of restraint on his mouth-brain filter (or his willingness to personally attack while decrying being attacked).

Posted by: MikeD at September 10, 2008 01:13 PM


That's why I think the smartest thing Republicans can do about this is just STFU. Really.

Enough with the snit fits.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 01:19 PM

BillT -

I meant that James Lileks is a wordsmith. I should be more precise. Totally agree w/your other points.

Cass, re the Republicans just STFU, you're probably right. I read somewhere (maybe earlier in this thread, but I can't find it with a quick scan, my apologies if I missed it) that at her next campaign appearance, Sarah Palin should just pull out a small mirror and touch up her lipstick before beginning her stump speech. It would go viral, and kneecap O'Biden again. Hope she does.

Posted by: MathMom at September 10, 2008 01:33 PM

All y'all non-folksy types ought to make use of
this here generator doo-dad
so'ing y'all don't come off as confused as a blind fireman on astroturf.

I smell one of them-thar contests a-brewin'

Posted by: Folksy Folderall, Registered Indy-pendant at September 10, 2008 01:42 PM

I hate you :p

I had an idea for a contest, but I have been afraid to introduce the subject of any more caption contests or games with the last one still unjudged, knowing the torrent of abuse that would come raining down on my head.

OK. I give in!

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 01:48 PM

Oh, and in case anyone is interested, IMNSHO, "As dumb as a sack full of hammers" is still the definitive aphorism in this little country mouse's lexicon.

That is, next to "not the brightest lightbulb in the knife drawer". I love when I whip that one out and people correct me, as though I didn't realize it was a mixed metaphor. :p

Kills. Me. Every. Time.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 01:51 PM

My favorite of all time comes from Foghorn Leghorn and has two varients:

"Nice girl, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice."

"Nice girl, but about as sharp as a pound of wet leather."

Both are all manner of awesome. Awesome like a hot dog.

Posted by: MikeD at September 10, 2008 02:08 PM

You mean... awesome like this?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 02:13 PM

More like this

Posted by: MikeD at September 10, 2008 02:30 PM


This is awesome:

as confused as a snake with a broken leg

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 02:50 PM

This is awesome, compliments of my very own Dad, in reference to the ample backside of a girl on an opposing school's basketball team:

She moves like a sackful of bobcats!

Posted by: April at September 10, 2008 03:09 PM

All I know is the world is just not the same now that the Alanis Morrisette lyric generator has disapparated from the Intertubes. Sigh.

April, that saying is about as cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon.

And that's hitting the nail on the nose, I might say.

Well, back to work. Putting my should to the grindstone and my nose to the wheel.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at September 10, 2008 03:17 PM

Like Alan Greenspan's ass, the Alanis Morrisette lyric generator has gone the way of the now-endangered Alaskan Transgendered wolf.

Click my name, Don.

"Why can't anyone see that Michelle Obama's children are being spied on by Trig Palin? It's all so that Dick Cheney, hidden in a secret HQ near Denver, Colorado can usher in a thousand years of jackbooted Theocracy. After that, Trig Palin will kill transgendered Alaskan wolves when the disorder caused by Dick Cheney reaches a peak. The only thing we can do is let Barack Obama put together a militia to stop them. "

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 03:26 PM

And MathMom, you're correct.

Lileks is awesome.

I can't read him, for two reasons:

1. I'd quit writing in despair.
2. I have an extremely good memory and I live in constant fear I'll unintentionally pick up something someone else wrote and pass it on.

It's bad enough as it is now on the Intertubes. I don't read much in the morning anymore (I used to read 8-10 essays and now I'm lucky if I read one or two!) and I've been amused to see certain "Palinisms" (though they're fairly obvious) crop up here, there and everywhere. For instance, until I read a Kay Hymowitz essay Grim linked I had no idea Ann Althouse had already used 'Palinsanity'. I just threw that one into the title field of that post at the last minute instead of the long winded title I'd originally planned. I don't imagine it was all that original but still it kind of weirded me out.

I guess whenever you get a couple of thousand monkeys all typing in sync on the Intertubes, you get some odd synchronicity. But Lileks' style is distinctive enough that I made the decision not to read him way regularly back when he wrote that 'moose in the room' essay though I dearly love his prose. He's just too good a writer. His words stick in your head and it would be too hard not to imitate him.

The man is a master, and no doubt of that!

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 03:35 PM

...not to read regularly him way back when...

Paste in haste, revise in sorrow!

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 03:37 PM

That's as slick as a boiled weasel on a log, little lady.

Posted by: Folksy Folderall, Registered Indy-pendant at September 10, 2008 03:40 PM

I daresay it's as slick as a visqueen covered weasel in a grease factory.

Posted by: MikeD at September 10, 2008 03:44 PM

Y'all make me as happy as a boiled frog on the moon.

And that's no lie.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 03:47 PM

I just can't see this as sexist. Even if Obama did intend his "pig on lipstick" statement as a swipe at Palin I don't see it this way. An insult, yes; sexist, no.

Look, Obama swiped at how stupid it was to think being a small-town mayor qualified Palin to be VP. That was an insult but it wasn't sexist. In return, Palin swiped at how stupid it was for Obama to think being a community organizer qualified him to be President. That was an insult but it wasn't racist.

McCain swiped at Obama as a vapid celebrity. That was an insult but it wasn't racist. Now Obama has swiped at Palin as a pig in lipstick. That's an insult but it's not sexist. Or at least not clearly, overtly, unquestionably sexist enough for the McCain campaign to go after it.

And that’s the bottom line. The most important thing here - the ONLY important thing - is that the McCain camp not play identity grievance politics. They should never have had a surrogate demand an apology and if what I'm hearing about their response ad is correct they should never have released that ad. (The ad has been pulled due to copyright disputes.)

I firmly believe that the Obama camp cries of “racist” in response to cases where racism is at best questionable have alienated at least as many people as they’ve energized. Most important, they’ve alienated the Middle American voters needed to win. The McCain camp has done an excellent job pushing back on the real sexism (and class-ism) directed at Palin over the last 10 days. Crying “sexism” when none is glaringly apparent is simply going to undermine the way they’ve managed to frame the issue so far. There are plenty of bloggers, commentators, anchors, and pundits who will be glad to cry “sexism” over stuff like this - the McCain camp should either ignore it, treat it humorously, or let Palin push back not by weeping and wailing and gnashing her teeth but by mounting a counterattack.

I found this part of Obama's comments more interesting:

“No, she’s new!” Obama said. “She hasn’t been on the scene, you know, she’s got five kids and my hat goes off to anybody who’s looking after five. I’ve got two and they tire Michelle and me out!”

The latter part of this is much closer to the sexism line because it ties back to the oft-expressed idea that a mother with five children doesn’t have enough time and energy to be a good mother and good Vice-President. It’s still not overt sexism, though, so I think the McCain campaign (preferably Palin herself) should hit that with some funny variation of “if two children exhaust Obama how is he going to handle the Presidency?”

The “she’s new, she hasn’t been on the scene” part of the comment from Obama is even more interesting. It’s an attempt to be very clever, casting Palin as a novelty. It’s actually stupid, though, because it reminds everyone that Obama’s original claim to fame was that he was “new” while at the same time reminding everyone that he’s not so “new” anymore. That’s a really, really bad idea for a campaign that depends on people who are excited about the last new thing. How many of those hip young supporters are going to stay energized about yesterday’s news?

Posted by: Elise at September 10, 2008 04:04 PM

Well said, Elise. I was unhappy with the ad, which had Katie Couric bemoaning the sexism of some campaign (I assume it was the Obama campaign or they wouldn't have used it).

The way to counter sexism, if it exists, is to demonstrate competency. Palin has done that very well, and is more effective when she does that little nose-wrinkle and says something like a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organize, except they have responsibilities. That is sharp, effective, nuanced, can be said with a smile, and can get a laugh.

People like remembering lines that make them laugh, and are more disposed to like the person who makes them laugh. If McCain was going to do an ad about the lipstick, it should have been a funny one with silly music behind the Barack pictures, not the minor-chord "Danger Danger Will Robinson!" music. Just make him look like the buffoon that he is, poke fun at him. He gets prickly when you poke fun at him, and that is fun to watch!

Posted by: MathMom at September 10, 2008 04:48 PM

I'm still intrigued by whether Obama was in 'authentic black church' mode or "folksy" mode, as spd contends.

The thing is, all of his greatest speeches have been when he was preaching in the so-called black church mode: when he tries to speak from conviction. And he was patently unsure of himself in that video, so I very much saw him falling back on the tried-and-true: the whole preachin'-in mode. He's very compelling when he adopts that persona.

spd is right: he doesn't do folksy well. For one, he's too intelligent. But more importantly, his arrogance comes off when he tries to dumb his natural rhetorical elegance down for what he sees as an audience that he has to stoop to. And it rings false. I've watched this in a thousand politicians.

They need to just be who they are. It never works when they try to pander. Not for McCain, not for Obama.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2008 04:59 PM

I think it was an intentional gaffe, intended to provide a talking point today, rather than having to face questions about the NYT article about Ayers.

Posted by: htom at September 10, 2008 05:36 PM

I suggest a serious exercise in connecting-the-dots is in order. One of the most important dots is the 18 million dots/cracks in the glass ceiling of leadership. On a visceral level, Obama understands that Sara Palin represents the Mother figure that is giving metaphorical birth to the anti-multiculturalism child.

In the religion of multi-culturalism the holy trinity, if you will, is radical feminism, abortion, and attainment of power at any cost. When it begins to dawn on women and men that the true power of Sara Palin is what she represents ti will be game over. The democrats/progressives/liberals are beginning to see the existential threat to their cherised beliefs in McCain's choice of Palin for VP and future President.

The confluence of all these factors are too calculated to be a coincidence. McCain had plenty of time in his cell in the Hanoi Hilton to begin his journey of confirmation that will culminate in a Republican win.

Logically, it could be none other than Sara Palin and all she represents that will finally put paid to elitists from both coasts, Colorado, and the tree dwellers of Berkeley. The Pentecostal preacher in Alaska may have been on to something as his prediction of end game may be coming true but without the rapture.

Just the thought must be giving the vapors to Harvard professors and Representative Nancy Boyda of Kansas who famously ran from a hearing room in the face of good news about the surge:

"There was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for awhile."

Posted by: vet66 at September 10, 2008 06:17 PM

Many others have well remarked that Obama can't talk well without a script. That certainly seemed to be the case yesterday when he made his "lipstick pig" remark. He seemed to hesitate just prior to making that remark, putting his hand up to his forehead, phasing, and after a moment continuing on to make his famous comment. My guess, based on his previous extemporaneous talks is that he didn't quite have his thoughts together about when he was trying to say.

While his voice has a tone and quality many others would like to have, IMHO, he does not have a core belief, except that he wants to be president and to have that power.

Obama's 300-foreign advisers will find it difficult to get his ear with all that competition for access to The One's throne.

Posted by: DougW at September 10, 2008 06:21 PM

Listening to the NPR, I just about tossed my cookies. First up, was an interview with Megan McCain about her new book for children, and the reporterette was just so catty when she asked Megan about 'what attacks have been leveled at Palin's daughter...' as if she didn't know, and then the spin on the lipstick comment was that Obama was referring to the oppositions' plans, not Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Cricket at September 10, 2008 09:21 PM

They need to just be who they are.

Obama *is* being who he is.

A chameleon weathervane occupying that which would otherwise be an empty suit.

Posted by: BillT at September 11, 2008 06:21 AM


> I say, don't make any more of it than if McCain had said something similar.

McCain: "Say, Barack. C'mon down to this festival in North Carolina. We'll swap stories over some watermelon."

Would we EVER hear the end of it before November (the next one if Obama won, the one four years away if Obama lost)??

I think we'll be more magnanimous than that, and probably only mention it for a month or so.

But then...
> "Surely a man smart enough to be elected president should have foreseen how these remarks would be taken. Don’t Harvard law grads know the impact of words?"

Well, he somehow didn't see enough to grasp how his associations with Wright and Ayers would be taken... so pardon me if I conclude that you agree he's not smart enough to be PotUS?

No? How strangely inconsistent...


Posted by: Obloodyhell at September 11, 2008 10:38 AM

> A chameleon weathervane occupying that which would otherwise be an empty suit.

Aw, come on.

The suit's got at least a fan blower and a heating element...

That's required basic equipment for all political suits.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at September 11, 2008 10:41 AM

> Obama's says: CHANGE.
> McCain's says: COUNTRY FIRST.

Palin's says: ...Y'All.

Biden *would* say something, but his back is bothering him so he can't get his foot up to his mouth right now...

Posted by: Obloodyhell at September 11, 2008 10:46 AM

And, last but not least, this 'toon should be amusing to y'all.

(courtesy Dr. Sanity)

Posted by: Obloodyhell at September 11, 2008 10:56 AM

McCain has become quite the politician since he got his party's nomination... he has proven time and again that his strategy for winning is based on personal attacks and distracting people from the main issues

Posted by: media kingdom at September 11, 2008 06:03 PM

Sean Penn is a very convincing actor when he's working from a script. Sean Penn was a buffoon in a boat (couldn't start the engine, the small boat was overloaded when he set out to "rescue" Katrina victims etc) when he doesn't have a script.

I'm afraid that Obama is a good actor when he has a teleprompter. But he gets in trouble when there's no script. He's never really had to campaign before--since he and his surrogates usually managed to get his opponents kicked off the ballot before the race--or managed to get Chicago courts to "unseal" divorce records so there was a messy scandal for the opponent just before the election. In terms of real electoral campaigning experience, he's got less experience than Mrs. Palin. And yes, he managed to knock off the Clinton machine--which is no small accomplishment. But he did it with the media in the tank for him, and a cast of thousands of Chicago pols behind him.

He's going to screw up, repeatedly, when he has to think on his feet. There's just no way to put "lipstick" on his lack of preparation and experience. Actually he is loaded with "slip" stick.

Posted by: Mike Myers at September 14, 2008 01:35 PM

I'm sorry, media kingdom..what color are the skies on your planet?

To be sure, there is an element of "false umbrage" on both sides but the personal attacks..oh..where to begin from the Barry O camp?

Sarah Palin is just a mayor of a small town? Sarah Palin's a bad mommy because she has 5 children and how could she have it all? 30 lawyers descending on Alaska to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin?
Sarah Palin's husband had a DUI 22 years ago?
Sarah Palin wants to ban/burn books?
Troopergate? The Bristol Palin pregnancy issue?
The Track Palin anger/juvenile delinquency and had to join the military to get out of jail issue? The "here is what unit Track Palin is in and his mission is this" issue?

Perhaps these are fair questions..I wouldn't know..I'm just a SAHM who didn't have a career but I would wonder why we're not allowed to ask questions about Barry O's community organizer days, Barry's small voting record, Barry's lack of experience, Barry's record with the Annenberg Foundation, Barry's time with Bill Ayers, et al..

If you want to go there wrt John McCain, that's fine..just expect an equal if not bigger number of questions for Barry O...even if the media is in the tank for Barry..I'm still allowed to ask even though I'm bitter and clinging to er..umm,...something..

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at September 14, 2008 04:51 PM

Oh and I forgot the one that made me chuckle the most..
the "I haven't been living out of hotel rooms and missing my kids for the last year to be beaten in this campaign" gaffe.

That was even too rich for my blood. Well, except for the Biden "stand up" gaffe..

that was fricken' priceless...

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at September 14, 2008 04:54 PM