Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Gaffe-ology

So what are we to make of "lipstick-pig-gate"?

Some "gaffes" tell us something important about a candidate’s character or views. When Jesse Jackson called New York "Hymietown" in 1984 it aroused suspicion of anti-Semitic attitudes, which were confirmed when at the convention Jackson and his forces opposed a proposed plank in the Democratic platform that criticized anti-Semitism. Jackson said such a plank was "unnecessary." Strange, coming from the "Rainbow" coalition guy normally so "inclusive" of any perceived grievance. (Mondale caved on the plank, by the way.)

In 1980, Carter’s increasingly desperate personal attacks on Reagan backfired badly, leading to the media meme that he was "mean." It revealed a self-righteous, nasty streak to Carter’s character that was evident to people who followed him in Georgia. It finally caught up to him in 1980.

Obama’s lipstick-streak yesterday doesn’t really rise to this level. It was clumsy in the extreme, and it suggests he is rattled. But if so I suspect he’ll make more such mistakes, and the cumulative effect will then become more significant. But maybe he will settle down and get his groove back. This one seems pretty small potatoes to me. Michael Kinsley famously remarked that a "gaffe" is when someone unaccountably tells the truth. Not in this case; classify this a "flub" rather than a "gaffe." A "gaffe" in Obama’s case was his statement more than a year ago that he’d meet Admadinewhackjob without preconditions (since modified, of course).

Yesterday Richard Cohen had a good column about how weakly Obama responded on the ABC This Week show on Sunday; he is starting to remind me at time of Dukakis in 1988.

Discussions - 9 Comments

I do not think this was an innocent gaffe, Steve. I believe BO is desperately trying to collapse Palin. His (indirect) nastiness was a signal to his media and other allies to go ahead. The reason I believe it was intentional is that the Obama campaign instantly pointed out that months ago McCain said something similar about HRC's health care plan. Of all the things Mc has said since the campaigns began last year, how did they IMMEDIATELY come up with this one? The answer is that it was a set up for BO.

It does suggest for sure that he has become desperate and thrown off stride. Some are saying his campaign is melting down, and I also think more misfires like this can be expected. If he isn't turning off most American women with this unpleasantness, I'd be quite surprised.

I think you are correct Steven. This is rather small comparatively. What is odd to me is that Obama is acting so unpresidential by constantly worrying about the VP candidate of the opposing campaign. Have we ever seen something like this in a campaign? Isn't it Biden's job to worry about Palin?


Palin is clearly in the head of the campaign.

On the other hand, by responding to the McCain's complaints, Obama has a chance to return to his virtues--campaigning against trivial, "gotcha" politics. It also gives him a chance to use the McCain camp's rapid response team against McCain.

Wrong STEVE, this wasn't clumsy, it was calculated. And the Democrats had a game plan in place to bounce off of Obama's initial attack, repeat it everywhere, and use it as THE theme for their counter-attack on McCain/Palin. This was thought out, it was deliberated. And it's not the first time that campaign has resorted to such means.

Way back when Bammy was off on his big adventure in Europe, PETER LAWLER said Obama wouldn't "blow it." I said in reply "what do you think he's doing right now?" When he picked Biden, many jumped in and said Biden was a gaffe machine, who would cause Obama no end of problems. I said the guy who was going to commit the blunders to blow it for Obama wasn't going to be Biden, but would be Obama himself. Now Biden has been skating close to the edge, making me wonder if that comment would prove to be accurate, but Biden has been the soul of circumspection when compared to Obama's bizarre utterances.

Yesterday's bizarre and intentional statement was Q. E. D. {if I recall that goes Quod Erat Demonstrandum}.

And let's not indulge the temptation to think that the Ivy Leaguer couldn't possibly be so crude, so clumsy. Let's imitate Obama on this one, let's be blunt, let's "keep it real" and let's not indulge the temptation to think that Obama couldn't possibly be so sh** stupid as to go out and call an attractive and popular woman "a pig."

Let's drop the pretense about Obama. Who here recalls how he won his U.S. Senate seat? What did he do when he was losing, and losing BADLY. Did he give two damns about the Ryan family children, or about the wife, who wanted the divorce documents kept under seal?

His whole campaign IS Chicago politics writ large. If you need chapter and verse on that one, Bill Clinton will fill in the details for you, and he ought to know.

When Governor Palin was announced, Bammy had no problem unleashing his creepy minions with one smear and scandalous accusation after another, all the while affecting an Olympian detachment from what his minions were doing, all at his beckoning and on his behalf. He didn't bat an eyelash at that.

And if you check out his body language building up to his remark yesterday, HE KNEW that he was about to go through a threshold, but "the one" is absolutely furious about being eclipsed by a declasse hunter.

Bammy and his creepy wife are LIVID with Goveror Palin!

Everyone in that audience knew what was coming, and were cheering him on to come right out and call her, point-blank, "a pig." He let the moment build, let what was coming seep into their consciousness, then he obliged them and they were overjoyed. AP, which has been in the tank for the fraudulent one, reported it accurately. Likewise ABC.

It's all coming apart.

It's glorious. Absolutely glorious. It's Agincourt! We'll need to sing a TE DEUM if this keeps up.

Actually, this is a gaffe. Kinsley was making an ironic comment: "a gaffe in politics is when a politician accidentially says what he thinks." Kinsley was playing off the conventional use of the term. It does not make sense to replace the original with the ironic meaning.

One may call Obama's remark a gaffe, and try to remake it into a mere innocent mistake. However, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.


I always heard this old saw as one of putting perfume on a pig--I prefer the alliteration of perfume to the cosmetic imagery of lipstick, but it should be mentioned that both McCain and Obama prefer lipstick. Perhaps they are more imagistic, while I am more aural with alliteration--or even worse--olfactorial with odor.


Governor Palin's remark regarding hockey moms, pit bulls, and lipstick otherwise--we are surely entering the silly season as it is called.

I saw the talking heads on the TV saying that McCain is a racist for his ad about Obama's advocacy of sex ed for kindergarten. This is surely a good issue (even if misleading), but I never knew it was about race. I still don't get it, and I prefer not to speculate how it could be--it would only tell me about the racist dirty mind that thought such an ad was racist in the first place. I'd rather read William Faulkner or Toni Morrison to reflect on such depravity.


Who knows? Next we will hear about how "Country First" fits into Charles Limbergh's "America First" and that McCain wanted to side with the Nazis prior to WW II. Maybe "Yes We Can" is a subtle refernce to Bill Clinton's rationale for having sex with Monica Lewinsky--because he could.

Everything is about race for some.

If these wild and reckless accusations continue, McCain's campaign is going to be able to run an ad featuring all of the nonsenical accusations of racism against him, {and by proxy, against all of those who think Obama's views aren't off limits just because he's black}.

Such an ad would blunt Obama's MAIN weapon system, for as you all know, he uses race as shield and sword, mace and flail.

Obama's campaign has finally understood that McCain's campaign is audaciously stealing the whole mantle of change from Obama. At first they couldn't think it possible, and laughed at his attempts. But now, thunderstruck by the progress McCain has made, they're thrashing all about, and reaching of course for their only real weapon, accusing opponents of racism.

It's just so damn squalid. So damn disgraceful. So dishonourable. But what would Obama know of honour.

The Democrats will never seriously consider him for the Presidency again, after he blows this one, which he is WELL on the way to doing.

Dan, I don't think McCain has done anything racist. Nor do I think Obama has been pushing this issue either.

I was simply watching both CNN and MSNBC and they spoke of how McCain's ad about Obama's proposed legislation regarding sex education was racist. This was the topic as the text on the bottom of the screen defined it. Something like "McCain's Racist Ad?" And yes there was a question mark--or at least it was not presented as a journalistic fact.

But then when it came to discussion of the ad, all these white talking heads could neither make heads nor tails of it regarding race. They ended up speaking about how Obama's plan didn't teach kids about sex. Apparently this education was "age appropriate." What does that mean? The stork?

In the discussion there was one black guy in support of McCain whose name I forget--but even he couldn't figure out how the ad was racist.

I think the press has been pretty responsible this election--in spite of Olberman's madness and O'Reilly's bully tactics.

The one place it has been unfair is with regard to Sarah Palin, and I tend to think this is only to the advantage to the Republicans--whom I support. But the treatment of Gover

This is the one instance of being out to get her. They defend themselves in terms of the fact that they did not know of her until McCain picked her. From what I hear there are multitudinous press drones in Alaska looking for "dirt." They will find it, to be sure. That's the nature of politics. But most dirt will be typical inanacy and and petty office politics.

In terms of the Willie Stark in RPW's All the King's Men, "there's always something." There is always dirt--to paraphrase "man was born in the mess of the diddy and dies in the stench of the shroud."

The question is will they find something that requires the suicide of "Gov. Stanton."e no heads or tails of it.

It is probably true that the Obama campaign tried to put this issue in the media's heads, but these guys on TV couldn't figure it out--just like me. The headline was that McCain was racist, but they ended up talking about something else.

It is probably true that the Obama campaign told the racist story to the networks, and the media dutifully covered it--just like they covered the lipstick pig.

what responsible--except for its coverage of Gov. Palin.


pport of McCain whose name I forget--but even he could not figure out how it was racist.

Granted I saw this on MSNBC which is as virulently pro-Obama as much as FOX is virulently anti-Obama. So I guess the racism of McCain's ad should be taken with a grain of salt.

In spite of Hannity (bad) and Olberman (even worse), I think generally the campaign in its press coverage has been somewhat reponsible--except in its coverage of Palin.

nor Palin is rotten. Unfortunately, it will only get worse.


Somehow this post became a cut and paste monstrosity to make William S Burroughs green with envy. Nonetheless, I send it as it is--even though I couldn't return the cut and paste to its proper place.

Desperate dems are becoming more and more unpolite and self centered,as Obamamania is breaking down.
The raising McCain-Palin's political advantage needs to sell Our good product at a correct price,preventing the dems get a campaign course FAST changing thru false excitement and hysteria

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