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Suddenly, McCain/Obama battle over lipstick -- Porky's or Palin's

Oh, boy! Or girl! For a presidential race where three of the four major candidates are of the male persuasion, they're spending an awful lot of time talking about lipstick.

Another measure perhaps of how the addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the political mix in the Republican's No. 2 spot has shaken things up on both sides in just 12 days.

Democratic presidential nominee illinois Senator Barack Obama making a speaking point recently--without lipstick

New polls out Monday revealed a 20-point swing in support of white women away from the Barack Obama-Joe Biden Democratic ticket over toward the John McCain-Palin package, attributed largely to the blast of fresh air and down-to-earthness brought by the surprise presence of the 44-year-old reform governor and mother of five.

Today, Obama walked into some Republican machine-gun fire when he appeared to echo Palin's lipstick line from her widely viewed and quoted convention speech last week.

The self-described hockey mom ad libbed a joke in response to audience cheers from Alaska women: "You know what the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" she asked, pausing perfectly. "Lipstick!"

It was one of the best-received lines of the night and widely quoted and replayed for days afterward.

Today, campaigning in Lebanon, Va., and complaining about the GOP ticket portraying itself as agents of change, Obama (see video below) said ...

... "You can put lipstick on a pig. But it's still a pig."

Web browsers could almost hear a gasp of disbelief online.

Could Obama be so stupid as to imply that his newest opponent is like a barnyard animal, this candidate they've tried to portray as an inexperienced lightweight from a rural area who seems to increasingly preoccupy Obama's monologues instead of the GOP's top candidate?

Is that smart for the No. 1 on the Democratic ticket to be so distracted by the No. 2 on the GOP side? And where is Biden in this debate?

To be sure, other candidates including McCain himself have used that pig line or similar pig references about their opponent's programs, implying you can't hide what a hog is merely by applying some makeup.

But, to be honest, pig among men is another word for an ugly woman. And none of those past references came so close on the heels of such a widely read, widely viewed and widely heard lipstick line as Palin's and with the two party's national tickets set, one of them with the first female in its party's history.

Coming in a context where everything in public dialogue is perceived as political and the lawyerly Obama always appears to measure his words so carefully, it hardly seemed an accident.

Although it might plausibly be brushed off as a willful misinterpretation by opponents, as the Obama camp attempted to do during the primary season when its candidate appeared to Lipstick like the stuff Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said you can't put on a pig and fool someone withuse his middle finger to scratch his cheek while mentioning another female opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The GOP immediately activated its so-called truth squad Tuesday, a rapid-response unit similar to one Obama uses to counter perceived smears on him.

"Barack Obama's comments today are offensive and disgraceful," said Maria Comella, a McCain-Palin spokeswoman. "He owes Gov. Palin an apology."

On a campaign conference call recorded by The Times' Maeve Reston, former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, who also served while raising small children, said: "“It’s both a gendered comment and there’s only one woman in the race … and it’s directly analogous to the comment she had made."

Swift added: "“You would think that having gone through a hard-fought primary with Sen. Clinton that the Obama team would have figured out how to respectfully engage in a debate that represents the things they want to do, which is the politics of hope. This is just the same old low road, flinging accusations.”

Those traveling with the Obama campaign in recent days, like The Times' Peter Nicholas, have noted a new, more emotional tone creeping into his comments. His public persona is often described as cool. But since last week, hitting the battleground states of Ohio, Michigan and Virginia as poll numbers dipped, Obama has seemed increasingly combative.

On Monday in Michigan, Obama became exercised when talking about the need to give even suspected terrorists legal rights.

“We may think this is Mohammed the terrorist,’’ he said at a campaign rally, but “it might be Mohammed the cab driver. You might think it’s Barack the bomb-thrower. But it might be Barack the guy running for president.’’

Continuing, he got more heated, his voice booming. Referring to the Constitution, he said: “Don’t mock the Constitution! Don’t make fun of it! Don’t suggest that it’s un-American to abide by what the founding fathers set up! It’s worked pretty well for 200 years!’’

He finished with a sigh: “These people."

If you're one of "these people" or not, what do you think?

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credits: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press (top); Getty Images (bottom).

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Tou wouldn't dare imply a black person was a pig

twin is with lipstick at this time?

Seroius hate crime

Someone needs to look into having him arrested, before it goes any further

We dont need a president without a thinking cap

McCain said the same thing about Hillary Clinton. Twice actually. The audacity of these Republicans. It sickens me. Self-righteous, self-service, hypocrites. Jesus forgave sinners, but he was enraged by hypocrites. That's just what these Republicans are: Hypocrites.

Are you . . . serious?!? The lipstick on a pig analogy has been around longer than Palin has been alive, and well used ever since it was first uttered. If one goes looking hard enough, one can find insult everywhere. And from several past campaigns, we know that Republicans find insults even where there are none.

As far as I have always been aware, when men have used the term "pig" when referring to a woman (as opposed to say, a policy), that has referred to a *fat* woman, not an *ugly* one. And there is no question that Governor Palin is slender.

If the two men on this blog saw an insult based upon male locker room common knowledge, perhaps it's time for the LAT to add a woman to this coverage, so that "women's code" can be deciphered as well - even when no such slight is intended.

Glad to see y'all focusing on the cheap and easy stories fed to you by the campaign consultants rather than doing old fashioned investigative journalism. Then again, that takes money, and we know you're pressed for same.

When will both the Democratics & the Republicans figure out that mud slinging and retortic only serves to alienate most of the voters. Neither side has any definite to offer, simply smoke, mirrors and obfuscation.

Yes it's time for a change. It's time to change the whole champaign process. As a former registered Republican then Democractic it's no wonder I finally re-registered as an indepedent, I can't abide being associated with either party.

Honey, the GOP needs more than lipstick to fool us....they need a Mary Kay makeover!

and....we haven't had a white president that was sexist, racist and unpatriotic?

The pig remark is just a distraction.

What worries me is his interpretation of the Constitution as applying not only to U. S. citizens but to foreign terrorists whose goal is to destroy every man, woman & child in the U. S.

Of course, his lawyer pals are making huge bucks from foreign governments defending the terrorists.

Obama's remark that a pig with lipstick remains a pig was the second instance where he showed a dual personality. Earlier he said rural folks cling to guns and religion. It may be that the Palin choice is putting pressure on Obama important to the vetting process where it is vital to discover mental stability.

It's pretty obivious that he was referring to Palin. That's why the crowd cheered and whooped. And it's par on course with the veiled snubs he dealt to Hillary during the Primary. Especially the rap one where he gave Hillary the finger, prentended to brush dirt off his shoulders and feces off his shoes. Obama seems to excel at plausible deniability.

I was going to vote McCain, but
1) the Palin nomination put me back on the fence, since it indicates clearly he will do anything to win (so much for the man of principle)
2) the lipstick ad is so condescending it's driven me right on into the Obama camp--how stupid does McCain think I am?

Obama made a big mistake not picking Clinton. This comment would have meant nothing more than an old school political attack, but now, people are legitimately questioning him. And again, like the other questionable judgement issues swirling around him, he has no clear cut explanation.

These are all signs of an inexperienced candidate on the ropes, and we're seeing even more evidence of his poor judgment now.

He may be a good candidate in the future, but as we're seeing before our eyes, he's not ready.

Irrespective of anyMcCain response, I can't believe that people are actually proud of Obama for saying this. This was beneath him and not presidential at all. Not ready to lead

I was undecided before this came about. Clearly, Palin (and those who are falling for this) isn't ready to lead if she has to cry wolf all the time instead of addressing real issues. Even if Obama said something outright offensive (and this wasn't), at least, in comparison, he has been confronting real issues lately while McCain-Palin have been throwing mud.

Vote for the candidate who thinks our nation's problems are real, not the candidate who is trying to stir up problems.

Your swiftboating isn't going to work this time.

Obama just lost the election with this statement...he lost my vote anyway.

I experienced the lipstick-gate tape twice - once, the first time, I believed completely by first impression, that he meant the comment as a dig at Sarah. He was not speaking extemporaneously, was on topic, thinking about what he was saying and the crowd reacted just like they would to a joke with a butt.

The second time, I wasn't watching the tape, but overheard from across the room. This time I was totally convinced it was no accident. The timing gave it away. Not only did BHO have the timing down he also pretended to give himself time to think of a good phrase - which there are many that would be appropriate.

So, it is clear that BHO knew EXACTLY what he was saying. There is no denying that in those moments of hesitation we so often see, where he reviews his words, he put together a very bad joke - INTENTIONALLY.

If Obama knowlingly used this comment to attack Palin, even indirectly, it is bad enough. If he used it to describe McCain's policies, he should have realized how the remark would be taken. It really calls into question his judgment.

Well, I just think a comment like that is HORRIBLY unfair... to the pigs.

~ A ~

He's burying himself. Not too surprising--he's way, way out of his depth.

You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink even if the paper wrapper has Obama written all over it.

(From The Huffington Post (12/30/2007))

McCain told reporters traveling with him in New Hampshire: "Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty - and the pig likes it."

The Boston Globe reported McCain then clarified that he wasn't calling Romney a pig, just speaking generally about American politics.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Sorry, McCain campaign, just because Messiah Palin used the word "lipstick" in a speech, does not give her ownership rights to it.

She called Hillary a whiner? She's taking it to a whole new level... and it's showing. The polls are already starting to show how temporary the Palin phenomenon has become.

It doesn't really matter what he meant, he is NOT very presidential lately.

Obama got his animals mixed up. Sarah compared herself to a pit bull. A pit bull is not a pig, that's a dog.
Now let's see, what's a female dog? I believe it begins with a "B".

"But, to be honest, pig among men is another word for an ugly woman. And none of those past references came so close on the heels of such a widely read, widely viewed and widely heard lipstick line as Palin's and with the two party's national tickets set, one of them with the first female in its party's history."

This is the stupidest thing I've read all day. Pig is used to describe a chauvinist man.. I think you may be thinking of "dog", unless people use different animal metaphors on the west coast. Second, Obama now has to change the way he talks because Palin made a joke using the same word? Do you realize how utterly void of common sense this is? This is what they call the gender card, taking harmless comments from Obama and calling foul just because he now has a female opponent.

And do you really think Obama would start making sexist jokes when he is trying to court Clinton voters? Either he is a sly politician who is fooling people with his eloquence, or he is a moron who is deliberately insulting just over half of the electorate. Pick one and stick with it, you can't have it both ways.

Obama used that same expression long BEFORE Palin was on any ticket.

Obama said, "I think that both Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker
are capable people who have been given an impossible assignment,
George Bush has given a mission to Gen. Petraeus, and he has done his
best to try to figure out how to put lipstick on a pig." So is Palin a cry baby?

Also, John McCain used the very same expression when talking about
Hillary Clinton's health care policy, so should democrats have claimed
that McCain said Hillary was a pig? Of course not. It's just an expression.

McCain called Clinton's health care policy a "pig." Obama called Palin herself the person a "pig." and now Obama is incensed that he doesn't get to call people "pig" and get impunity from the media for it.

The two metaphors hurled were "lipstick on a pig" and "old fish wrapper in the paper of change stinking over 8 years". NO, THIS COULDN'T HAVE BEEN A REFERENCE TO PALIN AND MCCAIN!

It also had to be a coincidence that a Missouri Democrat used this same basic line earlier in the day. Given the obvious parallels, I'm sure this was just a coincidence and that Barack "I'll get back to you later sweetie" Obama isn't himself a chauvinist PIG.

While there was no direct mention of Palin, the audience roared and jumped to its feet in a similar fashion. If Barack Obama wasn't thinking about the joke Sarah Palin told about lipstick and hockey moms at the Republican National Convention last week, the crowd certainly was...laughing and clapping before he even finished the attack.

Perhaps attacks like these explain the 20-point net swing in the pant suit vote?


stoptheattacks.org

McCain used the lipstick on the pig language to talk about Hillary. Its two-faced of him to now hit Obama over the head with it.

Your right she is not a pig. She is a vindictive, self righteous, moralizing hypocrite who would do anything and tell any lie to win this election. Obama is going too easy her.

SO FUNNY! Keep posting liberals! The more you talk about it, the more the media covers it and the more defensive B.O. gets. He has to be the most thin-skinned and ill-prepared candidate in my lifetime. He is so out of his league I almost feel sorry for him.

Look at his decisions since the general election started: He didn't choose Clinton, then compounded the mistake by picking the great "change" agent (sarcasm intended) Joe Biden. It looks like he was wrong on not accepting matching funds. Now while McCain is talking to working class voters in OH, PA, and MI, B.O. will be in front of Barbra Streisand in Beverly Hills on a fundraiser. He put out two conflicting messages on the day of the Palin announcement, then did nothing for several days allowing McCain/Palin to gain the momentum.

IF HE CAN'T MAKE SOUND DECISIONS UNDER PRESSURE IN HIS CAMPAIGN, WHAT MAKES US THINK HE CAN MAKE SOUND DECISIONS ON POLICY MATTERS UNDER PRESSURE?

It's going to be a landslide for McCain.

It is not a good idea to say that. A pit bull is a big dog and VP candidates are usually called attack dogs so it is apparent for Palin to call herself a pit bull.

Calling Paylin a pig might be exciting Obama's base. When Obama said that, the audience cheered wildly. Of course, the conservatives are very angry with the comment. How do independents react to the comment?

Obama is becoming very combative and he seems to become an attack dog himself. Where is Joe Biden? He is supposed to be the attack dog, not Obama.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

Well, the only obvious pig here is Obama, constantly proving that only mindless desperate $hit comes out of his mouth. And the pig WITH lipstick is his butt ugly wife who looks like she's got a permanent wedgie and a wad of tobacco under her lip.

But I must apologize for my above pig comment. It's very rude, insulting, and unfair....to all the pigs out there.

I am a democrat and this is the first time I have to say I am truly ashamed of my party. The statements made by the SC chairperson about Palin and Obama not apologizing for his unfortunate statement is deplorable. This was a time when my party should have won a presidential election but it's lost. Also, Joe Biden is following the path of stupidity and talking about lipstick. Even if it was not meant to hurt Palin it was either a slip of the tongue or a thoughtless remark. Just try to do the same thing when talking to an international leader and we're fighting another war. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Stephen Gianelli ,

You are quite possibly the dumbest person I've ever encountered, on the internet or in person. How do you even spell your name correctly? It must be a painful process, even with your mother's help.

Okay, so Obama brushed off his shoulders, and yes, Jay-Z has a song called "Dirt off Your Shoulder." Do you really think you can then make a connection to any one of Jay-Z's songs you choose? That's really hard for me to believe, assuming you managed to type your comment in without using spell check.

Oh, and by the way, McCain's made the same pig remark before... misogynistic Bush clone!

Swine rights! Protect the pigs!

I'd rather vote for someone you call a "misogynist" than a Bush clone who's completely changed his stance to win voters and an inexperienced vice president with a pregnant daughter and who's actually so retarded she doesn't "believe" in evolution, as if it's not a fact. And who's under investigation for getting her ex-brother-in-law fired. Wow!

I would like to know which of these birthdays is Obama's?

8/4/61
8/13/61
4/8/61

The second one is when Obama's mother registered him in Honolulu

The third one is from his school records from Kenya. It not only has him registered as an Indonesian citizen, but has his religion listed as ISLAM!!!!!!!!!!!

Which is it???????????????????? I'm confused????????

http://www.obamacrimes.com

each campaign needs someone /w common sense to ok "remarks" especially the playground reaction, opponent owes us an apology. O'bama used a saying that included Palin's great one word punchline "lipstick!" It's ok she doesnt have copyright on the word, so now McCain (or his spokespeople) look like idiots. ...Actually I'd like an apology for this nonsense.

Anyone who thinks Obama's lipstick comment wasn't aimed at Sarah Palin is Pig Headed and is also admitting that their socialist candidate is a dolt for who WOULDN'T draw that conclusion after her own recent lipstick joke? If he makes a gaffe like that, then imagine what his dunderheadedness would do in the global arena. It's amazing to me that he's the Democratic Presidential nominee. And Democrats, you let the socialist politicians hijack your party. What are you thinking? Keep it up! I'm enjoying seeing you stick your collective feet in your collective mouths.

All I have to say about this is Palin must think she
is a PIG if she thinks Obama was talking about her.
She is a pathetic woman.
McCain must be a HOG!!!!
Barn yard animals are better than these two.

Speaking of the constitution:

"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."

Also, where in the constitution are Miranda rights guaranteed to non-nationals abroad?

Maybe Obama should read what the Geneva Convention suggests we do to saboteurs. His attitude is typical however, as he doesn't really believe anyone is a terrorist or that the terror war should be fought, he just knows he must say it.

Pig is not a name used among men for an ugly woman. It is a name used among women for a brutish or vulgar man. Men call ugly women dogs and fat women cows - we call cops pigs, bacon, the heat, etc. FYI

I guess McCain can call anyone he wants to a
horrible name. McCain and Palin are a real
piece of work.
If they get voted into the White House you can bet
they will Whine and Name Call and use foul
language when they don't get their way.
They are so embarrassing to America.
McCain needs to take his sorry tail back to Arizona
and Palin needs to take her sorry tail back
to Alaska.
I thought the Bush's had no class but McCain and Palin
out beat the Bush's. They are all a disgrace.
No Class, All they are, are a bunch of loud
mouths. Take a good look at them and be honest
and say you would be proud as a American to
have these two representing America.
They will be such an embarrassment.
It's not enough we had to put up with the Bush's
embarrassing us.
Bush sold us to China, I wonder who McCain will
have getting in on the deal.
Wake up before it's to late!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, the comment is exciting Obama's base, yup, yup. I donated more money to his campaign today!!!

WHY is it exciting us? Not because he was poking fun at McCain's attempt to use Sarah's blinding lipsticky smile as a diversion tactic, but because it shows that Obama knows he has to fight fire with fire to win this thing. We don't need a wimp right now, we need our own attack dog, thank you very much.

I think it was a BRILLIANT political move. The spotlight is now on the McCain camp's ridiculous attempt to make a big deal of it. McCain and Sarah look very petty and whiny.

The anniversary of 9-11 is tomorrow, (or today depending on your time zone.)

McCain is going to look like a freaking idiot if he doesn't just let this rest. It's stupid and petty and he let Obama bait him into looking like a fool. Obama scored on this one. It's going to get much nastier... the press is starting to dig up some more damning stuff on Palin, as expected. If Obama can just ride it out, and show the world that McCain is just a puppet of the Rovians, he wins.

And you know what? McCain only has ONE celebrity on his side, Sarah Sarah Sarah! And she is really just a corrupt hypocritical politician with lipstick. Obama has MOST of the celebrities, including OPRAH!! Just you wait..... Obama is saving the best for the last. There will be dancing in the streets.

When the country wakes up and realizes what is at stake here, that we might end up with someone like Palin in the White House, the tide will turn. The tide is already turning.

Red/Blue/Green - let's rally together to stop tabloid-worthy campaigning. Enough is enough! Our nation is in too grave a state to let issues get lost in this haze.

September 22nd (right before the debates). Let's show the candidates how to unify so we can move forward on the ISSUES AT HAND.

[email protected] for more info.

What about McCain calling Chelsea Clinton ugly because her dad is Janet Reno

Or the crack about the gorilla who rapes and murders some gal in the street.

Or How about McCain calling Hillary clinton health care plan "a pig with a lipstick"

The most sexist item I see in the McCain campaign is shielding Gov. Palin from mainstream Political journalists who have legitimate questions on her views on key issues. I am tired of her script written by her Bush handlers.

McCain and Palin claim they are the "change" when in fact they are sorrounding themselves with the same O'le polictics of the Bush's and Rove avoiding the important issues by slandering, insulting the other apponent with LIES LIES LIES and hope they can distract the American People by crying out sexism and avoiding the real crisis this Nation is facing! Senator Obama, stay on point regarding the issues. However, this is Karl Rove politics and you have to FIGHT AND SWING BACK HARD. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK. THE REPUBLICANS WON'T.

BHO's "joke" was a stupid mistake on his part. No one can watch that tape and decide he didn't know, or the audience didn't know, EXACTLY what was meant. He actually used timing to magnify the punch line. We see BHO in these moments ALL the time, as he reviews each word before he speaks. HE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS SAYING. This is not a small issue because it reveals BHO's true character.

The so-called Palin effect is starting to be stale. Here's a VP candidate who describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick--whose very first national speech at the GOP convention ridicules Obama and lies about his policies as well as his time as acommunity organizer.

Yet when any criticism is directed at her--no matter how justifiable--the person criticizing her is somehow "sexist."
For someone who seems to relish spewing insults, she seems to have a problem taking them. How does she expect to last out there in the national arena?

The fanfare about the "pig in a blanket" remark is overblown to the point of absurdity. Obama's words HAVE been taken out of context. The danger of using the "sexism" charge too often is that the word becomes trivialized and may very well cause people to be dismissive of legitimate complaints of sexism.

But the most tragic thing is that attention is being diverted from serious issues that demand thoughtful dialogue and solutions. The whole thing has been cooked up by the McCain-Palin team to foment the kind of divisive cultural wars that have hurt this country for the last 8 years.

The so-called Palin effect is starting to be stale. Here's a VP candidate who describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick--whose very first national speech at the GOP convention ridicules Obama and lies about his policies as well as his time as acommunity organizer.

Yet when any criticism is directed at her--no matter how justifiable--the person criticizing her is somehow "sexist."
For someone who seems to relish spewing insults, she seems to have a problem taking them. How does she expect to last out there in the national arena?

The fanfare about the "pig in a blanket" remark is overblown to the point of absurdity. Obama's words HAVE been taken out of context. The danger of using the "sexism" charge too often is that the word becomes trivialized and may very well cause people to be dismissive of legitimate complaints of sexism.

But the most tragic thing is that attention is being diverted from serious issues that demand thoughtful dialogue and solutions. The whole thing has been cooked up by the McCain-Palin team to foment the kind of divisive cultural wars that have hurt this country for the last 8 years.

The so-called Palin effect is starting to be stale. Here's a VP candidate who describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick--whose very first national speech at the GOP convention ridicules Obama and lies about his policies as well as his time as acommunity organizer.

Yet when any criticism is directed at her--no matter how justifiable--the person criticizing her is somehow "sexist."
For someone who seems to relish spewing insults, she seems to have a problem taking them. How does she expect to last out there in the national arena?

The fanfare about the "pig in a blanket" remark is overblown to the point of absurdity. Obama's words HAVE been taken out of context. The danger of using the "sexism" charge too often is that the word becomes trivialized and may very well cause people to be dismissive of legitimate complaints of sexism.

But the most tragic thing is that attention is being diverted from serious issues that demand thoughtful dialogue and solutions. The whole thing has been cooked up by the McCain-Palin team to foment the kind of divisive cultural wars that have hurt this country for the last 8 years.

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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