Obama Called Palin a Pig!
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.