Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sarah Palin IS a Pig

I will say it even though Obama didn't mean it that way.

From the Washington Post:

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, but it's still going to stink after eight years."

As a person who works in newspapers, I am deeply offended by Barack Obama’s suggestion that the product I help put out is fit only for wrapping fish. I hope he will apologize for this unfortunate print-ist statement.

Come on. I’ve covered a lot of incredibly trivial and ridiculously hyped campaign controversies, but the McCain campaign’s feigned outrage over Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comments has to take the cake. I mean, no offense to bakers.

“Offensive and disgraceful,” pronounced Maria Comella, Sarah Palin’s spokesperson. “He owes Governor Palin an apology."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, on a conference call with reporters, upped the rhetorical ante to “disgusting” and said Obama was “comparing our vice presidential nominee, Governor Palin, to a pig.”

Never mind that Obama was not talking about Palin at all. He was dismissing John McCain’s claim that he would bring change to Washington.

“It seemed to me a gendered comment. There's only one woman in the race,” Swift insisted. “As far as I know, she's the only one of the four - the presidential and vice presidential candidates - who wears lipstick.”

You have to give the McCain campaign credit for pulling this one off with a straight face, lipsticked or not. Of course, Obama blundered by venturing into the dangerous territory of cosmetics in the aftermath of Palin’s famed pit bull remark. (Hey, was that a gendered comment?)

But if any of the delicate flowers in McCain-land were actually offended by what Obama had to say, well -- pass the smelling salts.

In fact, if you want to get all huffy about “gendered comments,” I’d suggest keeping an eye on the McCain campaign. It has taken to calling Obama “fussy” and describing the campaign as “hysterical.” As in, “I saw Obama’s rather fussy and petulant response today to the tire gauge” (Nicolle Wallace) or, “Senator Obama appears to get fussy when asked tough questions” (Brian Rogers). Or, "the Obama campaign’s hysterical statement questioning John McCain’s honor (Rogers) or “The only explanation for their hysterical attacks...” (Rogers).

Are they trying to suggest that Obama is a girly-man? These are not random, off-the-cuff word choices, but part of a deliberate effort to evoke an image of Obama as effeminate and weak. Or maybe that’s just me, being fussy and hysterical.

By Ruth Marcus | September 10, 2008; 1:14 PM ET

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