Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick On a Pig - No Mistake About It

Senator Barack Obama miscalculated big time on this one. Thinking he would get away with using what up until now has been a common, and sometimes overused phrase in politics, this time his use of putting lipstick on a pig with a thinly veiled reference to Sarah Palin just might be his undoing. As Jim Lindgren put it in The Volokh Conspiracy,

"It is not just a case of plausible deniability; the speechwriters were trying to be witty. By referring to McCain and Palin’s ideas using colorful language that will cause his audience to think of the actual people Palin and McCain, Obama was almost certainly trying to come right up to the line between acceptable and unacceptable insults without actually crossing it. That Obama's crowd understood the allusion to Palin is suggested by the enthusiastic cheers that started even before he finished the pig sentence. Without seeing the Palin connection, would they have cheered in the middle of him uttering an otherwise completely ordinary cliche?"

"Was Obama calling Palin a pig and McCain a stinky old fish? No, it would be too crude to do – and he didn’t directly do so."

"But when Obama talked about a pig and a fish, was he slyly referring to them personally? Almost certainly. Very likely, this paired comparison was intended to be a Palin-style sharp, but good natured insult. It misfired because the insult was far less sly (and far more crude) than he and his speechwriters thought it was."

See Patrick McIlheran's Right On comments in today's blog for much more information. Be sure to check out the first reference link in his blog for even more details.

Obama Smears McCain-Palin As Lipstick On A Pig

Is Obama Calling Sarah Palin a Pig? Lipstick on a Pig?

Obama calls Palin a 'pig' -- New low for sexism-plagued Illinois senator as he appropriates Palin's 'lipstick' remark to attack and smear her with repulsive, misogynistic comment

Obama Flips Off Hillary Clinton? Slow Motion!