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Obama Called Palin a Pig!

The Outrage of the Day is that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig.  Or, at least implied she was a pig.  Well, he used the words “lipstick” and “pig” in the same sentence.

Politico’s Ben Smith appears to have started this one, passing on a report from an Amie Parnes:

Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin’s new “change” mantra.

“You can put lipstick on a pig,” he said as the crowd cheered. “It’s still a pig.”

“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”

“We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

Team McCain quickly pounced, saying this was a clear play on Palin’s now-famous line that the difference between a hockey mom and a bulldog was lipstick. Former Massachussets governor Jane Swift called the remarks “disgraceful” and demanded an apology on behalf of Palin.

It’s the top story on Memorandum, which tracks blog buzz.

But, as Marc Ambinder notes, 1) “lipstick on a pig” is an incredibly common idiom and 2) one Obama used in public fora more than once before anyone outside of Alaska had ever heard of Sarah Palin and 3) McCain has used, too, this campaign cycle.

Still NYT’s Adam Nagourney thinks this was at least “a slip of the tongue.”  And as Jake Tapper reports, the attendees whooped in appreciation, “some of them no doubt thinking he may have been alluding to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s ad lib during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech last week.”  (Editor’s note:  It wasn’t an ad lib.  She’s been using that line for quite some time now.)

Glenn Reynolds is staying above the fray but rounds up several reactions from readers and around the ‘sphere, mostly unflattering to Obama.

So, was Obama calling Palin a pig?  Umm, no.  It doesn’t even make sense.  Palin didn’t claim to be lipstick, she merely wears it.

Was he consciously alluding to Palin’s “pig” reference?  Maybe.  If so, so what?   Indeed, the line’s funnier if he was.  In any case, it’s hardly “outrageous.”  Indeed, Palin got off more stinging lines about Obama her acceptance speech.  That’s politics.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be.  Constant squabbling over nonsense like this no doubt turns people off.  But it’s always been this way and likely always will.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Even prominent conservatives admit that these tactics are in poor taste http://tinyurl.com/5czuxw

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  2. Even prominent conservatives admit that these tactics are in poor taste http://tinyurl.com/5czuxw

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  3. DC Loser says:

    I love it when the Republicans are playing the victim card. What next? Is McCain going to support slavery reparations? McCain/Palin can dish it out, but can’t take it. In the words of “Give’em Hell” Harry Truman – “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Oh my, he must be sexist in saying that about Saint Sarah.

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  4. rodney dill says:

    I already posted this comment at Wizbang…

    Because its a double entendre, Obama really did intend to insult Palin with a sexist remark. It would take someone with less than half a brain not to understand that.

    If McCain used a racial euphemism in a double entendre that also had a non-racial meaning he would be held accountable that he should’ve known.

    If Obama really didn’t know that this was an insult then he really isn’t intelligent enough to be President.

    He needs to apologize to Palin and all woman for his ‘repeated’ sexist remarks.

    Let Suey-Gate begin…

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  5. rodney dill says:

    This ad says it best.

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  6. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Was he consciously alluding to Palin’s “pig” reference? Maybe. If so, so what?

    The outrage here is that the Democrats are the ones saying it. Imagine if Hillary Clinton were the Democrat VP candidate and McCain had used exactly the same comment. Does anyone have any doubts at all that the left side of the blogosphere would be on fire over it, regardless of what was meant?

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  7. rodney dill says:

    So, was Obama calling Palin a pig?

    Someone in Obama’s camp, or Obama himself decide to get ‘smart’ and take a jab at Palin while trying to make a political point. It is funny, I would know. But, that doesn’t preclude it being very offensive as it is in this case.

    Charles Schultz said it best through Linus Van Pelt, “You’re never quite so dumb as when you are trying to be smart.”

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  8. Julian Sanchez says:

    You know, before I put this sort of thing down to pathetic, flailing desperation–but they’re doing reasonably well in the polls now. Has nobody told them they can disengage flail-mode?

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  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Reading what he said leaves the question open to doubt. Watching the video, however, ends that doubt. The crowd in attendance got what he was saying. It was a subtle sexist slur on Palin. The hesitation between pig and is was designed to drive the point. This is a lawyer who knows how to use words. Pity the fool.

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  10. Rocks, glass houses,the ad to the left of this post, “Obama or McCain, Who’s More Likely to Cheat?”

    He tried to be clever and was too clever by half. Did he call her a pig, well, not exactly, but he knew that a lot of people on both sides would take it that way. Altogether this was, what was the word, oh yes, inartful. He tried to call her a pig and revealed himself as one instead.

    Oh, and DC Loser, I don’t think anyone in McCain’s camp is crying about being a victim. I think the hue and cry is about revealing the suave, debonair messiah as anything but. Snort.

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  11. sam says:

    Has nobody told them they can disengage flail-mode?

    I’m pretty sure that “Flail-mode R Us” will be the MO from here on out.

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  12. markm says:

    If nothing else, being that campO is hemorrhaging women voters (says the polls) then wouldn’t you try your best to avoid any wording that may be even remotely be misconstrued negatively towards women?????.

    And just curios, if the shoe were on the other foot, If McCain said something like “Obama is the pot calling the kettle black on Government spending” would there not be equal if not more outrage??

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  13. Steve Plunk says:

    The fact is Obama tried to get cute and it came off as mean spirited. The McCain camp responded with some over blown outrage as political campaigns will do, it’s standard operating procedure. The Obama people responded with their own indignation. This is all par for the course and not that newsworthy but each side is angling for any advantage they can get.

    The clear winner is this exchange is Palin as she called herself a pitbull with lipstick and now the opposition is associating her with pigs. Another mistake by Obama.

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  14. Bithead says:

    Steve’s got this one correct.
    And should we point out that here again we see Obama falling on his face once he’s forced to think for himself? Yup, you got it, he was off the teleprompter.

    He came up with that bit of mush all on his own.

    His extreme insensitivity disqualifies him from any presidential duties, particularly with regard to foreign relations. That so many in his audience made the connection seems evidence that Obama himself should have picked up on it, before he uttered it. That he didn’t exhibits an awesome level of insensitivity It’s not hard to imagine his stumbling into an international incident the same way. He portrays himself as what he tried to portray McCain… a hip shooter, whose mouth will unquestionably lead to trouble.

    OTOH, one could assume he did intend what he said, which would seem to suggest a level of desperation, and a vicious streak that has no place near the White House.

    And did you see the response of the Obama campaign?

    “Enough is enough,” Obama adviser Anita Dunn said in a statement e-mailed to reporters at 9 p.m. “The Mc Cain 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.”

    Dunn said, “This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.”

    Apparently, both the head of the ticket and the advisors are both oblibious to reality. How much of whatever these people are smoking does it take to, after Obama’s sexist performance, lecture McCain on a diversity issue? Or maybe they’re simply running out of feces to throw?

    Oops… I guess I just compared Obama and Dunn to chimps, didn’t I? How insensitive of me.

    Well, come to think of it, not by Dunn’s lights, when Obama was the speaker so I guess I’m OK, by that standard, huh?

    does anyone think for a second that if McCain had made any remark of the sort, Obama wouldn’t ahve been all over him?

    Please, Obamasiah, spare us the faux outrage.

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  15. James, it is true that the metaphor is common, but in this context did Senator Obama or those in the crowd he was speaking before have any trouble drawing the wink, wink, nod, nod, say no more, double entendre?

    It’s more than a little sleazy and he deserves all the grief he is getting for trying to cleverly sneak this little bit of misogny through.

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  16. Michael says:

    I think you all are completely missing the meaning of the phrase. “Putting lipstick on a pig” isn’t meant to disparage the pig, or even to call the pig a pig, but to demonstrate that the person applying the lipstick is trying to make something into something it isn’t.

    Why are none of you claiming that Obama says she smells like fish? After all, he used a fish analogy to make the same point, and if you brood over it hard enough you can even convince yourself that it’s a sexist analogy too.

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  17. markm says:

    “The McCain camp responded with some over blown outrage as political campaigns will do”

    Yeah, that was a mistake IMO. Should have laid low. The damage was done, let it work in your favor.

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  18. rodney dill says:

    Why are none of you claiming that Obama says she smells like fish? After all, he used a fish analogy to make the same point,

    Good point Michael. Yes, Obama did make two sexist comments

    No one expects the Obama inquisition. Our chief weapon claim is that he called Palin a pig… and smells like fish.

    … Our two chief claims are…

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  19. rodney dill says:

    The strike was not picked up on weapon

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  20. markg8 says:

    Obama:

    “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,'” he said.

    “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.”

    Where’s the reference to Sarah Palin? There isn’t any. It’s a common phrase and Obama even explained the context. So common even John McCain has been known to use it.

    John McCain: In Iowa last October, McCain drew comparisons between Hillary Clinton’s current health care plan and the one she championed in 1993:

    “I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it’s still a pig.

    He used the same line in May.

    John McCain would be an even worse president than Bush. He seems to be trying to prove it by the dishonest way he’s running his campaign. He’d rather lose his honor than lose a campaign.

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  21. rodney dill says:

    In Iowa last October, McCain drew comparisons between Hillary Clinton’s current health care plan and the one she championed in 1993:

    “I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it’s still a pig.”

    Since there was no juxtaposed ‘lipstick’ joke by Hillary, there is no double entendre. The Palin inference in Obama’s case is blatantly evident. When did Hillary start wearing lipstick anyway?

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  22. sam says:

    Why are none of you claiming that Obama says she smells like fish? After all, he used a fish analogy to make the same point

    He talked about an old fish…no need to ask who that referred to according to the partisans.

    McCain would have a good comeback (if he needed one) for this if he knew this story. Seems in WWII aboard Admiral Halsey’s flagship, the admiral asked for a cup of coffee. When the steward brought the coffee to the darkened bridge, he didn’t see the admiral. “Where is the old goat,” he asked. Out of the shadows a voice growled, “I don’t like that word ‘old’.”

    Probably asking way too much for this level of goodnaturedness to be injected in this campaign.

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  23. Steve Verdon says:

    Just a point of information:

    The actual dog referred to is the pit bull, a.k.a. the American Pit Bull Terrier. A dog noted for its loyalty, strength, stamina, and almost total unwillingness to back down from a fight. Not a bulldog…a dog that can’t run efficiently, corners like a full cement truck, has a serious underbite, can barely breath, and is basically a dog with so many problems its astonishing.

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  24. Freezerburn says:

    If this was indeed a sly wink to Palin’s lipstick/pit bull “joke,” it would be insinuating that Palin is the lipstick, thus making McCain the pig.

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  25. Kald says:

    Errr… no, Obama did not call Palin a pig. He was talking about McCains program for “Change”, that his “change” was the Bush policies the last 8 years with lipstick on.

    One thing is to try convincing us readers to vote this way or the other, but this kind of deception only tells me that you think your audience is helplessly stupid.

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  26. lunacy says:

    Yes, Obama is making the pig analogous to Palin. And the fish analogous to McCain.

    Palin is not the lipstick. That’s ludicrous. The lipstick is the fresh and glamorous facade that the vp candidate wears.

    Is it sexist? No. Is it insulting? Mildly.

    Similar adage. You can paint a turd but it’s still a turd. In which case, Palin would be the turd.

    Obama could have said the same thing were it Mitt Romney. But it wouldn’t have been as funny to his audience given the recent pitbull/lipstick joke by Palin.

    Is there cause for outrage? Not really.

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  27. Mikey B. says:

    Your defense that, “Palin didn’t claim to be lipstick, she merely wears it.” is non-sensical. In the metaphor, the pig is also the one wearing lipstick, not “being” it. Jeez.

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  28. McGehee says:

    When a remark is so easily misunderstood that those who made it immediately have to explain it, it is at the very least a stupid thing to say.

    I’m not going to pass judgment on what Obama meant because, if he didn’t mean it the way many in his audience took it, the fact he’s not sexist isn’t exactly mitigated by his being merely stupid.

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  29. lunacy says:

    Okay. Bad analogy on my part.

    Take away Mitt and put in any unknown “rube” vp candidate.

    It was really a class/small town slam, in my opinion.

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  30. yarrrr says:

    The “old fish” line gave it away that it was preplanned… you can’t say that about McCain’s dig at Hillary’s health care plan… but Team McCain has no business using the sexism card and should have shrugged it off

    Race Man: How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton.
    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=aa0cd21b-0ff2-4329-88a1-69c6c268b304

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  31. DC_Washington says:

    Translation of “Lipstick on a Pig,” taken from American Phrases for Dummies (aka Republicans):

    Lipstick = the ‘change’ mantra McCain/Palin STOLE from Obama and have applied to themselves.
    Pig = the REAL Republican ideology

    Y’all are spending WAY too much time on this, why don’t you tell us what your POLICIES will be instead of griping, moaning, and insulting Obama. That’s the strongest way to get votes and win minds.

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  32. John425 says:

    I’m unsure of how to parse this. If Obma was referring to a policy, it was in line. If he did mean Palin, then it’s an insult.

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  33. Joe says:

    Anyone who thinks this is about Sarah Palin is either total moron or just someone clutching at straws because they know every single issue is against them. I’m beginning to wonder what is wrong with this country. I didn’t like it when Hillary did it and I don’t like it any more now. I’m not even sure if I want to even vote for Obama but this kind of stuff makes me not want to vote for McCain either. It’s sickening what this country is coming to.

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  34. rodney dill says:

    The InstaPoll at Instapundit has ‘Deliberate Sexist Smear’ leading with 51% of the vote.

    inadvertant gaffe 34%

    just thought all those in denial would like to know.

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  35. Michael says:

    just thought all those in denial would like to know.

    Rodney, those of us you think are in denial are arguing about what it is, not how it is viewed.

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  36. Obviously none of you McCain supporters saw McCain checking out Palin’s butt as she spoke the other day and then practically chasing her around the stage to plant one on her. Would he kiss a male v.p. candidate? I don’t think so.

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  37. Alice Engstrom says:

    Sarah Palin compared herself to a pitbull wearing lipstick (i.e., a bitch), so if Obama was alluding to her being a pig, it is better than what she herself compared herself to. A pitbull is vicious and rips people to shreds; a pig is very intelligent and gentle, for the most part.

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  38. G.A.Phillips says:

    If this was indeed a sly wink to Palin’s lipstick/pit bull “joke,” it would be insinuating that Palin is the lipstick, thus making McCain the pig.

    Would have been good for the 2 or 3 of us who could figure it out, but he was talking sh-t, not being super clever, believe me I’m very good at both and can tell the difference.

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  39. Bithead says:

    Rodney, those of us you think are in denial are arguing about what it is, not how it is viewed.

    Not quite. You’re arguing about what you THINK it is, unless you’ve got ability to see into his mind we don’t know about.

    But in fact the argument does go both ways, both what was intended and what is percrived… as it would be for any public person, pol, busniess person …whatever. To set this in light of a recent ad, you may not have intended to call your best customer “Mr. Stinky Fish face”, but your sales are going to plummet because he thinks you did.

    And would Obama take offense, do you suppose, to my comparison of him to a poop throwing chimp earlier? You bet your bananna he would, widely used idomatic phrase or no. In both cases, the context of the use is the question.

    I say again; that a room full of people understood the line means tha at the least, if he had any sensitivity, the dimplomat in him should have picked up on it too.

    That he did not means one of two things; He’s no diplomat and thereby not presidential material… else he did mean it… and he’s still not presidential material.

    Toss this remark up against the question of forign policy, and see how it rests.

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  40. anjin-san says:

    Nothing new here. The GOP wants to talk about anything but the issues. It’s not a bad strategy, appealing to stupidity has kept them in the White House for 8 years.

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  41. Michael says:

    You’re arguing about what you THINK it is

    Well yes, see when you argue “about” something, you’re basically trying to convince somebody else to “think” what you “think” about it. In contrast, Rodney only offered evidence of what people “think” it is, which is arguing about what people “think” it is, which is not what we were doing. Jesus Christ I can’t believe I’m having to explain this.

    a room full of people understood the line means

    See now, you’re the one claiming to know people’s minds.

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  42. Neo says:

    It seems the entire “Lipstick on a Pig” story may have been, at least in part, a diversion to take interest away from the the discovery by the NYT that Obama worked on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

    The piece is considered “unusually deceptive” and an excellent example of “propaganda” by those familiar with his efforts there, but it could simply be that the writer, Sam Dillon, is primarily a writer about education and unfamiliar with the political implications of the story.

    Unexplored was why Obama seems to have left out this job from his resume. Considering Obama has been taking a pummeling for not having any executive experience, this would be an excellent comeback for Obama to all those complaints by McCain and Palin.

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  43. Bithead says:

    Well yes, see when you argue “about” something, you’re basically trying to convince somebody else to “think” what you “think” about it. In contrast, Rodney only offered evidence of what people “think” it is, which is arguing about what people “think” it is, which is not what we were doing. Jesus Christ I can’t believe I’m having to explain this.

    As I think I pointed out to you, however, both angles are valid, here.

    See now, you’re the one claiming to know people’s minds.

    Not at all. I’m simply relying on the reports of the people who were there. I suppose there is vid of the event, so as to confirm those reports, so I’ve not bothered to question them. Nor, I note, have you.(Shrug)

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  44. Bithead says:

    Nothing new here. The GOP wants to talk about anything but the issues.

    Which of course is why David Axlerod has spent the entrire time since Obama hired him, trying to build a cult of personality around Obama, right? The huge statey stages, the high sounding rethoric, the bread and circuses events. All of this is because the Repubicicans don’t want to talk issues, eh?

    I give you this, Anjin, you have a sense of humor.

    It’s not a bad strategy, appealing to stupidity has kept them in the White House for 8 years.

    So the only reason Republicans hold the White House is stupidity. As a result of this non-thought, you plan to get votes for Democrats by calling the American people stupid,a nd hoping that Obama’s personality will win out over their devotion to Gun Guns, etc. Yeah, that’ll work. Let us know how you make out with that.

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  45. Eric says:

    Wow. You right-wing nuts have gone truly bonkers.

    It’s amazing that you’ve rationalized some sort of slur and worked yourself up into a lather over the most common of common phrases. As Michael rightly points out, it’s not a knock on the pig or the lipstick (or the fish or the paper)–it’s merely the proposition that something can’t be changed into something else no matter how well you dress it up.

    What’s next, a diatribe on how “Two peas in a pod” is some sort of reference to homosexuals? A disquisition on how “You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” is a subtle reference to oral sex? A rant on how “In for a penny, in for a pound” is some sort of socialist conspiracy to take everyone’s money?

    Of course, all of this is coming from the same people who think bumping fists is some sort of terrorist act, or who like to emphasize Obama’s middle name and then claim they weren’t race-baiting.

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  46. G.A.Phillips says:

    It’s amazing that you’ve rationalized some sort of slur and worked yourself up into a lather over the most common of common phrases. As Michael rightly points out, it’s not a knock on the pig or the lipstick (or the fish or the paper)–it’s merely the proposition that something can’t be changed into something else no matter how well you dress it up.

    Dude why? watch the clip and stop lying to yourself, the jerk put his hoof in his mouth, and the idiot liberal donkomie mob thought is was greatness of wit on display.

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  47. Jim says:

    I know I am not a politician but it does not really matter what Obama meant to say but rather how it was perceived. At this point Obama supporters dismiss it while McCain supporters think it was a clear insult. Guess what…Obama supports will still vote for Obama and McCain supporters will still vote for McCain. The real question is how the undecided voters took the comment. It seems a apology of “The comment was not aimed at Palin and I am sorry if anyone took offense” would be the classy response and probably pick up some votes. The antagonistic response Obama made may be red meet to his supporters but makes him look mean and childish.

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  48. MM says:

    Rodney,

    Glenn Reynolds’ instapoll on election day 2006 had republicans gaining seats in the House and losing no ground in the Senate, so take the opinions of his readers with a grain of salt.

    It’s utterly silly that there is this much commotion over a fairly common metaphor. I’d say that this should really be water under the bridge, but I wouldn’t want the McCain campaign accusing me of refering to things that flow (like pre-menopausal women SEXISM!).

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  49. Spoker says:

    Speech & Logic 101 at any community college teaches that the message is not what the speaker says, it is what the listener believes the speaker said. If you can not clearly deliver your message you have failed as a speaker. An amazing mistake for someone that is supposed to be the next coming.

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  50. Bandit says:

    Just remember – any criticism of zer0 is dog whistle racism.

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  51. Bithead says:

    Glenn Reynolds’ instapoll on election day 2006 had republicans gaining seats in the House and losing no ground in the Senate, so take the opinions of his readers with a grain of salt.

    I wouldn’t be quite so quick to discount that, were I you, MM. That Panic that Spenlger mentioned the other day? It’s because unlike you, they understand that coat tails work both ways.

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  52. tom p says:

    I don’t care how much lipstick you put on that pitbull… It is still just a hockey mom.

    C’mon… this is a joke(and no, I don’t mean BO’s statement, I mean the GOP’s feigned indignance). It is laughable that it is even discussed.

    Is this how low the GOP has sunk? Vote McCain/Palin… the end (of the GOP) is near.

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  53. Politix says:

    Clearly, Obama’s scripted “lipstick” analogy was in reference to Sarah Palin – the democratic political pundits may not fess up to this fact, but the crowd laughed right on cue. The Obama camp is crumpling, and Palin is the figurative thorn in their side. And, the democratic Obama surrogates haven’t helped matters for him, either (particularly the DNC chairperson in SC – how low can one get?). Visit my site for more details: http://zazzle.com/politix and support the McCain-Palin ticket this November!

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  54. Bithead says:

    Let Suey-Gate begin..

    Nah. I like ‘the Boar wars’ better.
    Oh, wait. That’s been taken.
    Never mind.

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  55. Jim says:

    One interesting trend that this race has devolved into especially among the Democrats is that they want their red meat. Reading comments here, on the Washington Post, Democratic Underground, and New York Times a common thread is that the Democrats (party and candidates) have been too nice for too long (the only reason Kerry lost is because he played fair or somesuch according to them) and they should attack more often (like they imagine the Republicans do).

    I understand that the converted on both sides are enjoying this little controversy (and other like the S.C Dem Party Chair’s remarks) – it makes them feel superior I suppose. However, lets face it: these attacks are actually hurting Obama whom is looking increasing like a misogynist (not a good idea with 51% of the electorate being female….plus the lingering snubs of Hillary Clinton etc…).

    It is time to the die hard Obama supporters to mount an intervention and save the Obama campaign from itself.

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  56. anjin-san says:

    And yet, Palin’s flat-out lie about the bridge to nowhere elicits no outrage on the right.

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  57. anjin-san says:

    So the only reason Republicans hold the White House is stupidity.

    More like somebody very smart (Rove) exploiting stupidity. And let’s not forget fear.

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  58. Michael says:

    Clearly, Obama’s scripted “lipstick” analogy was in reference to Sarah Palin – the democratic political pundits may not fess up to this fact, but the crowd laughed right on cue.

    Of course it was, but it’s still a far cry from calling Palin a pig. Yes, using the “lipstick on a pig” saying immediately reminded people of Palin’s comments about fighting earmarks, as intended, but that doesn’t mean that Obama said she was a pig, or that the audience took it that way.

    Go take a poll that asks if the audience thought Obama was calling Palin, or her professions of pork-busting, a pig with lipstick.

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  59. Michael says:

    I would also note that it was a brilliant statement in that it now makes it impossible for Palin to continue using that endearing folksy bit about pitbulls and hockeymoms that helped make her so likable.

    If he can do something similar with “Thanks, but no thanks” and “I sold it on ebay”, I will be interested to see how stable Palin’s favorability stays.

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  60. Chadzilla says:

    For the Obama campaign to be outraged by this is laughable at best. In the earlier stages of this campaign Obama’s campaign staff perfected the “sentence fragment controversy” tactic. Anybody remember commercials saying McCain wanted the Iraq war to last 100 years? That middle class is anyone under $5 million? That “the fundamentals of the economy are strong”? Obama and his political hit-men really shouldn’t be surprised that the chickens have come home to roost.

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  61. G.A.Phillips says:

    Nothing new here. The GOP wants to talk about anything but the issues.

    lol, FTLW, all we ever talk are your issues.

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  62. G.A.Phillips says:

    donkomie

    You liberals are slipping, I misspelled donkombie and none of you were prick enough to correct me, Palin must really have you smelling fear, smelling like fear, smelling each others poop or what ever in the great green hell a pack of spooked undead domesticated species of the ass do in this feary situation.

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  63. Bithead says:

    More like somebody very smart (Rove) exploiting stupidity. And let’s not forget fear.

    And so again you’re saying the American people are stupid. Like I say, lemme know how that works out for you.

    As to fear, let’s examine that for just a tick. As it happens a reader forwarded me this this morning, and I’ve not had a cance to post it. But quickly, the note had a link to Rasmussen Reports with the results of one of their polls.

    Thirty-two percent (32%) of likely voters say the Supreme Court is doing a good or excellent job. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% give the Honorables poor ratings (crosstabs available for Premium Members)

    .

    But what is that opinion based on? What performance measurement are they using?

    While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree. Just 11% of McCain supporters say judges should rule based on the judge’s sense of fairness, while nearly half (49%) of Obama supporters agree.

    So, Obama’s supporters don’t think, as a rule, that the Constitution should be the basis for USSC rulings. So much for the liberal claims about being a nation of laws. And I’d say the fear is fairly well justified. It’s like I’ve been saying, Obama supporters are not using facts to come to their conclusions, and thereby cannot be argued down by them, either.

    Or were you talking about another kind of fear? Ah. I see. Had you forgotten what today is?

    Hmmm. I suppose I could go off on that one, too. But it seems useless to try to convince you with mere facts, particularly given the polling.

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  64. G.A.Phillips says:

    And then we have Matt Damon, makes me remember why Team America is favorite movie.

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  65. MM says:

    I wouldn’t be quite so quick to discount that, were I you, MM. That Panic that Spenlger mentioned the other day? It’s because unlike you, they understand that coat tails work both ways.

    So you are alleging that the Republicans DID in fact pick up seats in 2006, Bithead? Seems to me that someone who cant comprehend a calendar should dial back his attempts to explain what I do and do not understand.

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  66. Michael says:

    So you are alleging that the Republicans DID in fact pick up seats in 2006, Bithead?

    If he says that enough times, the press will just start calling it an exaggeration.

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  67. Bithead says:

    My apologies… a misread on my part. I mistook 2006 for 2008 in your original comment. (What I get for using my dinky laptop without my glasses)

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  68. Bithead says:

    “I sold it on ebay”,

    Uh… no, Mike. See, the fly in your beer is, she never said that. What she said was “I put it on Ebay”. Would you like a transcript?

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  69. Michael says:

    Uh… no, Mike. See, the fly in your beer is, she never said that. What she said was “I put it on Ebay”. Would you like a transcript?

    Yes, that’s what she said, even if the message was clearly that she sold it on ebay. However, her running mate (you remember, the old grumpy guy on the green screen) did in fact say that she “sold it on ebay”, even taking it one step further to claim she made a profit. Would you like a transcript?

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  70. Michael says:

    By the way, the point I was making wasn’t that Obama needs to debunk her claims (because that’s been done and still she makes them), but rather to poison those catch-phrases that make her so likable so she can’t use them, which he effectively did with the “lipstick” line. I don’t imagine Palin will be making comparisons between hockey moms and pitbulls anymore.

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  71. Bithead says:

    By the way, the point I was making wasn’t that Obama needs to debunk her claims (because that’s been done and still she makes them), but rather to poison those catch-phrases that make her so likable so she can’t use them, which he effectively did with the “lipstick” line. I don’t imagine Palin will be making comparisons between hockey moms and pitbulls anymore.

    I doubt she would have anyway. But what Obama did was give the line legs, and creds, and this is bourne out by the polling data. He shot himself in the foot being a wise- ass. He tends to do that rather a lot when, as in this case, he doesn’t have the teleprompter around to tell him what to think.

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  72. rodney dill says:

    but rather to poison those catch-phrases that make her so likable so she can’t use them, which he effectively did with the “lipstick” line.

    Because Lord knows its time to change away from the same old politics….

    Oh, and I think Obama poisoned himself, not the line. She can still use it, other than she probably already has overused it… and it was based off an old line (probably soccer moms) to begin with…

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  73. Michael says:

    But what Obama did was give the line legs, and creds, and this is bourne out by the polling data.

    No he didn’t, he took a short-term tactical loss in exchange for a long-term strategic gain.

    Because Lord knows its time to change away from the same old politics….

    This is older than politics. Palin’s charming little stories are one of her biggest strengths, Obama’s line turned one of those strengths into a liability, Sun Tzu couldn’t have come up with better. Notice, however, that this wasn’t a smear campaign, it wasn’t an ad hominem like so many think, it’s not even throwing dirt, so it’s not like old politics: it’s smarter.

    Oh, and I think Obama poisoned himself, not the line. She can still use it, other than she probably already has overused it… and it was based off an old line (probably soccer moms) to begin with…

    I’m sure she’d have kept using it, it drew laughter, and people like people that make them laugh, it made her human and likable, as long as people laughed she’d keep using it. Because of Obama, people won’t laugh anymore.

    Like I said above, it may have been a tactical loss for Obama, but a strategic win. Obama is good at that, he took tactical losses in large states during the primaries to focus on strategic wins in small states and caucuses.

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  74. rodney dill says:

    Notice, however, that this wasn’t a smear campaign, it wasn’t an ad hominem like so many think, it’s not even throwing dirt, so it’s not like old politics: it’s smarter.

    It is the same old attack politics as usual, and as you note Obama is good at it and certainly has not turned away from it. If you’d think Obama’s attack is not sexist, you’d also probably wonder why Don Imus was fired for calling a bunch of basketball players garden tools.

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  75. Bithead says:

    …garden tools….

    (Quiet chuckle)

    You’ve only got two choices here, Michael… either Obama got stupid or his people did. Since he wasn’t working form a teleprompter, I doubt it was the latter.

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  76. Michael says:

    It is the same old attack politics as usual, and as you note Obama is good at it and certainly has not turned away from it. If you’d think Obama’s attack is not sexist, you’d also probably wonder why Don Imus was fired for calling a bunch of basketball players garden tools.

    It was an attack on their policies and statements, not on their persons. I have no problem with candidates attacking each other’s positions and public statements, do you?

    For the record, Don Imus called women hoes, Barack Obama call McCain’s “change” message a lie, and you don’t see a moral difference? Sure you do, because you’re intelligent, but you don’t like Obama, so you accept what you hear from other people that don’t like Obama.

    You’ve only got two choices here, Michael… either Obama got stupid or his people did.

    You’ve got two choices here, Bithead, either there is a flying spaghetti monster, or you’re making a false dichotomy.

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  77. rodney dill says:

    I see the exact meaning of Obama’s statement. He used a double entendre to attacked McCains policies AND infer Palin was a pig at the same time. I’ve been pointing this out for two days now and haven’t seen any argument to the contrary that doesn’t imply a significant lack of intelligence on Obamas part.

    This is why it IS morally equivalent to the Don Imus incident. They both knew the message they were making. Imus wasn’t specifically employing a double entendre.

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  78. Michael says:

    He used a double entendre to attacked McCains policies AND infer Palin was a pig at the same time.

    Tell me exactly how he called her a pig, other than the fact that both her comments about herself, and his comments about McCain’s positions involve a common expression involving lipstick.

    I’ve been pointing this out for two days now and haven’t seen any argument to the contrary that doesn’t imply a significant lack of intelligence on Obamas part.

    And as I’ve been trying to point out, is that you can link someone’s statements to your statement, without making any animal reference in your statement apply to that person.

    See for example the fact that nobody is claiming Obama called Palin a smelly fish, even though he used that analogy in exactly the same way as he used the pig analogy. Can Obama also not use the phrase “That dog won’t hunt”, because Sarah Palin likes to hunt? Would that phrase be calling her a dog? How far are you willing to follow this flawed premise?

    This is why it IS morally equivalent to the Don Imus incident. They both knew the message they were making. Imus wasn’t specifically employing a double entendre.

    Don Imus came up with an original expression that explicitly labeled those women. Barack Obama reused a very old, very common expression to explicitly label McCain’s positions, using the expression in exactly the way it is meant to be used. Again, how can you possibly think they are comparable?

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  79. rodney dill says:

    I’ve already covered all this you should read my comments here, on Wizbang, and rightpundits. My quote on Imus also covers their equivalence, Imus knew he was making a racist (and sexist) remark. Obama knew he was making a sexist remark OR he’s lacking in intelligence. Done Deal.

    My point wasn’t about their moral equivalence, however, you brought that up and I was able to see the equivalence.

    My point was that thinking Obama’s statement was benign is as ludicrous as thinking the Imus’ statment is benign.

    The fact the Obama used an old statement doesn’t the negate the inference based on the juxtaposition to Palin’s joke. You’ll have to do better than just trying to ignore the elephant in the room.

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  80. Michael says:

    My point was that thinking Obama’s statement was benign is as ludicrous as thinking the Imus’ statment is benign.

    If Obama had said “Sarah Palin is a pig”, or something comparable, I would agree with you. But he didn’t. He didn’t mention Sarah Palin, he wasn’t talking about Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin didn’t even enter into the conversation until somebody decided that she should be offended by it.

    Sarah Palin does not get to be offended by any old saying because it happens to use a word that she once used. “Putting lipstick on a pig” isn’t sexist, it isn’t a double entendre, and it is not about Sarah Palin.

    The fact the Obama used an old statement doesn’t the negate the inference based on the juxtaposition to Palin’s joke. You’ll have to do better than just trying to ignore the elephant in the room.

    So, your premise is that any juxtaposition of statements involving Sarah Palin and an animal is necessarily a direct comparison between Palin and that animal? If that is indeed your premise, then we must agree to disagree. If that is not your premise, then you how do you justify your offense?

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  81. rodney dill says:

    Let’s make this more direct. By YOUR own criteria, if McCain chose to speak about Obama’s democratic principles as the democrats being so greedy and so addicted to taxes, that its like the Monkey that sticks its hand in the gourd to retrieve a rock and won’t let go, thus trapping the monkey in its own greed, that there wouldn’t be ANY outcry of racism from ANY of the left, as ALL the left are so astute, it would be apparent that McCain was only comparing a ‘monkey with its hand stuck in a gourd’ to the democrat principles.

    If you don’t think this meets your criteria, let me know and it can be rewritten, and still include the monkey and gourd simile. (an old parable/story I heard at least 40 years ago)

    If you can agree to that then you just might have a chance of making your case here.

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  82. Michael says:

    By YOUR own criteria, if McCain chose to speak about Obama’s democratic principles as the democrats being so greedy and so addicted to taxes, that its like the Monkey that sticks its hand in the gourd to retrieve a rock and won’t let go, thus trapping the monkey in its own greed, that there wouldn’t be ANY outcry of racism from ANY of the left

    I won’t say there won’t be any outcry, but I will say that they will be wrong too. I never made any claim about the left being better or worse than the right, I only claimed that those who think Palin was insulted are wrong.

    If you don’t think this meets your criteria, let me know and it can be rewritten, and still include the monkey and gourd simile. (an old parable/story I heard at least 40 years ago)

    Here in the south the parable involves raccoons and something shiney, if you’re hoping to provoke calls of “racism”, that will probably work better. However, they’d still be wrong.

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  83. rodney dill says:

    I’m not hoping to provoke racism, just point out a similar point of view in the opposite direction. I know there would be an outcry if McCain or anyone on the right actually said this. I think McCain is smart enough to avoid this, to avoid even the appearance of racism. In my earlier comments on several threads on this blog and others I stipulated that Obama was EITHER insulting Palin or should’ve known that it could’ve been construed as such and should’ve avoided it. Commenters tend to just cherry-pick what they want to respond to. myself included. As both Bithead and I have said if he couldn’t have even seen it as being derogatory then it speaks directly to his intelligence. Actually I think he is intelligent enough to have intentionally meant the double entendre, knowing he could just deny it.

    …and your raccoon comment is race baiting. I thought of my argument within 15 minutes of when this scandal broke out and wasn’t going to use it. But, I also have not intention of relenting in my responses while the comments are open.

    If Obama was even as careful in his wording as I have been, and I’m no saint, he wouldn’t have been put under this scrutiny. Not that anything I say here can be construed as applying any such scrutiny that he would be aware of.

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  84. Michael says:

    In my earlier comments on several threads on this blog and others I stipulated that Obama was EITHER insulting Palin or should’ve known that it could’ve been construed as such and should’ve avoided it.

    That comment is based on the premise that either A) the comment was insulting to Palin, or B) the comment has been construed that way by reasonable people. I don’t believe that either is true.

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  85. Michael says:

    …and your raccoon comment is race baiting.

    No it’s not, raccoons actually do that, and it’s a perfectly good analogy of somebody’s reluctance to give up greed being the sole cause of their misfortune. Just because “coon” is a racial epithet doesn’t mean that any comment or analogy involving a raccoon is racial in nature.

    If Obama was even as careful in his wording as I have been, and I’m no saint, he wouldn’t have been put under this scrutiny.

    There is a fine line between being sensitive of people’s feelings, and self-censoring a perfectly valid statement because it might be construed as insulting to someone. Personally I can’t think of a better way of Obama making his point about McCain’s “change” message, so to not say it would be self-censoring to try not to offend someone, which used to be considered a bad thing by conservatives.

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  86. rodney dill says:

    …yet you’re the one that said I should use the raccoon analogy if I wanted to provoke racism. Why would I want to provoke racism? Why would you think that? The left seems to thing that they can egg someone on over what? Sounds more like something Anjin or Hal would do, I thought you were above that.

    I just wanted to point out that Obama’s behavior is sexist (and its not the first time).

    So here we have a significant number from the right saying ‘Sexism’. The Instapundit poll had 5000 voting that way (yes, I know its not a scientific poll, but 5000 is a lot more than just me.) Three thousand said it WAS a gaffe.

    You, yourself said there would be an out cry from the left if the tables were turned. (I’m gonna have to email Bithead and point out that you admitted even this much)

    And Obama is not intelligent enough, at least in your world, to think that either is a problem

    …and self-censoring even a perfectly valid statement because it might be construed as racist or sexist IS the expected standard that politicians are held to. And I’m certainly not implying that any are that good at it. If McCain had made the statement I outlined earlier he would be raked over the coals just because he should’ve known it could be construed as racial.

    I’m not sure that any on on the right are against self-censoring. I’d be interested in seeing evidence of anyone stating so. Most I would think are against state sponsored censoring, but I personally would consider self-censoring little more that just being self-control. Too bad Obama doesn’t seem to have much of it.

    If you have any more to say I’ll get back to it in the morning. G’night.

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  87. Michael says:

    …yet you’re the one that said I should use the raccoon analogy if I wanted to provoke racism. Why would I want to provoke racism? Why would you think that? The left seems to thing that they can egg someone on over what? Sounds more like something Anjin or Hal would do, I thought you were above that.

    You were asking if your example would draw cries of racism from the left, I thought you were looking for an equivalent of the “lipstick” comment, and I didn’t think a monkey parable would quite provoke an equivalent level of outrage on the left.

    The Instapundit poll had 5000 voting that way (yes, I know its not a scientific poll, but 5000 is a lot more than just me.) Three thousand said it WAS a gaffe.

    Well it obviously was not a gaffe, the intended to say exactly what he said. The question that should have been asked was whether or not they thought it was calling Palin a pig. The poll was worse than unscientific, it presented a false dichotomy(*). By and large the only people that would bother answering a poll with those two options are the ones who want to make Obama look bad, and those who want to make Obama look good.

    You, yourself said there would be an out cry from the left if the tables were turned. (I’m gonna have to email Bithead and point out that you admitted even this much)

    I also added that the left would be wrong. McCain could sneeze and there would be elements on the left that will cry racism, that doesn’t make McCain’s sneeze racist.

    …and self-censoring even a perfectly valid statement because it might be construed as racist or sexist IS the expected standard that politicians are held to.

    McCain had better not sneeze then. Or better yet, I find everything that McCain can possibly say to be both racist and sexist, now he’s under an obligation to not talk. Again, how far are you willing to follow this premise?

    If McCain had made the statement I outlined earlier he would be raked over the coals just because he should’ve known it could be construed as racial.

    I still don’t get how a parable about monkeys behaving like monkeys could possible be considered racist.

    I’m not sure that any on on the right are against self-censoring. I’d be interested in seeing evidence of anyone stating so.

    There was that story about newspapers self-censoring comics of Muhammad that Muslims would find offensive. I seem to recall more than a few on the right flinging spittle they denounced it so hard.

    (*)No, that’s not my new favorite phrase, I just seem to be encountering a large number of them lately.

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  88. Bithead says:

    You’ve got two choices here, Bithead, either there is a flying spaghetti monster, or you’re making a false dichotomy.

    Heh. Really? Fine. Then give us some other logical conclusion to draw. Hint: Saying ‘it’s a commonly used phrase’ don’t cut it.

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  89. Michael says:

    Heh. Really? Fine. Then give us some other logical conclusion to draw. Hint: Saying ‘it’s a commonly used phrase’ don’t cut it.

    Oh, you’re still in this conversation? A lot has happened since that post, which should suffice to answer your question.

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  90. rodney dill says:

    Well it obviously was not a gaffe, the intended to say exactly what he said.

    Which is what I’ve been saying all along. You’re coming dangerously close to seeing my point of view.

    I still don’t get how a parable about monkeys behaving like monkeys could possible be considered racist.

    What part of the south did you say you were from? you’ve never heard someone imply a racial slur without actually saying it. You’re denying something that happens all the time. Its disingenuous for Obama to claim that he couldn’t have seen the implications.

    Later.

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  91. Michael says:

    Which is what I’ve been saying all along. You’re coming dangerously close to seeing my point of view.

    No, you’ve been saying all along that Obama called Palin a pig, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I’m saying it wasn’t a gaffe, that is it wasn’t a mistake, slip up, or misspeak, Obama intended to say exactly what he said, which just so happened to not be insulting. We basically agree on everything except whether or not the phrase as used was calling Palin herself a pig.

    What part of the south did you say you were from? you’ve never heard someone imply a racial slur without actually saying it. You’re denying something that happens all the time.

    There’s a huge difference between calling or even implying that Obama is a monkey, and saying that the actions of his party mimic monkey behavior. Your example would not be racist, nor would it be labeling Obama as a monkey.

    Its disingenuous for Obama to claim that he couldn’t have seen the implications.

    Well a lot of people, myself included, don’t see the implications that you seem to see, so why should I believe that Obama would? Going back to McCain’s sneeze, if enough people on the left decide that it’ll help their candidate if they feign outrage over it, does that mean that McCain should have seen the implications? No.

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  92. rodney dill says:

    We basically agree on everything except whether or not the phrase as used was calling Palin herself a pig.

    Meaning the double meaning was foreseeable by everyone, both left and right, and yourself, and Obama is protected from being a sexist because he has a ‘plausible’ excuse. Sound along the lines of ‘depends on what the definition if IS is.’
    Your just pretending he didn’t intend it, but I will continue to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

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  93. Bithead says:

    Oh, you’re still in this conversation? A lot has happened since that post, which should suffice to answer your question.

    Not much, actually. You’re still trying to duck the obvious.

    Tell you what, Mike, I’m gonna make this easy on you…

    I’ll say publicly that Obama’s recent attack ads are simply him throwing feces, and trying to toss a simian wrench into the election process.

    Given the context of Obama, what do you suppose is being implied by the statement?

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  94. rodney dill says:

    ‘depends on what the definition of IS is.’

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  95. Michael says:

    Meaning the double meaning was foreseeable by everyone, both left and right, and yourself, and Obama is protected from being a sexist because he has a ‘plausible’ excuse. Sound along the lines of ‘depends on what the definition if IS is.’

    I still don’t see what evidence you have that lets you draw the conclusion that the majority of people, left and right, would take that comment to mean “Palin is a pig”.

    I’ll say publicly that Obama’s recent attack ads are simply him throwing feces, and trying to toss a simian wrench into the election process.

    Given the context of Obama, what do you suppose is being implied by the statement?

    That he’s gone negative in his ads and is trying to undermine the election process. You can use all the animal analogies you want, but unless you directly label Obama as that animal, it’s not racism and it’s not an ad hominem.

    Did Obama insult Palin? Yes, he said she’s dressing up an ugly policy and trying to deceive the American people, that’s insulting to anybody who believes it’s not true. But the insult was not labeling Palin a pig, it was labeling her a pig dresser.

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  96. rodney dill says:

    Did Obama insult Palin? Yes

    you said it. by inferring she’s a pig.
    Words have meaning
    context has meaning
    perception has meaning

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  97. Michael says:

    by inferring she’s a pig.

    You said that, not me. I saw no inference in anything that Obama said.

    Words have meaning
    context has meaning
    perception has meaning

    His words, in that context, meant that what McCain and Palin were doing was dressing a pig. If you believe that the perception was otherwise, take a real, scientific poll to determine that.

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  98. rodney dill says:

    I don’t need a scientific poll. I can read his meaning, just like his audience, just like most of the right, and just like most of the left that are denying it happened. I posted the second comment on this thread and don’t see one argument to the contrary. He was trying to be clever and shot himself in the foot.

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  99. Michael says:

    I don’t need a scientific poll. I can read his meaning, just like his audience, just like most of the right, and just like most of the left that are denying it happened.

    You don’t need facts, everybody who agrees with you is right, and everybody who disagrees with you is lying.

    Okay, I think this conversation is done now.

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  100. rodney dill says:

    The line/joke is not that good. It would rate a mild chuckle or smile at best, but it got a big laugh, and Obama waited for it. That is only because he meant for the connection with Palin to come through. What’s pathetic is that you yourself already know this as well, regardless of your denials.

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  101. Michael says:

    Give me a reason to continue this conversation, when you have already decided that you know the truth, and you don’t need evidence to back you up. You’ve already decided that you and everybody that agrees with you is right, and then use an appeal to the masses to use that as evidence of support for your argument. You then reject the masses that don’t agree with you as being in “denial”, so that you don’t have to take into account a similar appeal to the masses to counter yours.

    So really, rodney, why should I think that continuing this conversation will ever accomplish anything?

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  102. rodney dill says:

    I think this conversation is done now.

    You’re back? So you are capable of holding two opinions on the same subject. I guess only Obama is incapable of that.

    I’m not making any attempt to continue this conversation. I only continue to point out the truth in my original case. Perhaps I should use the thread to create a non-humor post here at OTB called the ‘Angry Left’ to demonstrate how some continue to fly in the face of fact and reason.

    I’ve already outlined the all evidence I’ll ever need. I don’t need a scientific poll as I don’t need to show a fair distribution of who believes what. I only needed to demonstrate a lot of people got Obama’s intent to call Palin a Pig. The Instapoll serves that purpose without being a scientific poll.

    If you wish to continue, you’ll know where I’ll be.

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  103. Michael says:

    You’re a nice guy Rodney, and I look forward to having other conversations on other topics with you.

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  104. rodney dill says:

    I’m sure we will.

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