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The Gaffe Machine Continues To Churn

Will this be the the gaffe of the campaign?

Given the gaffe potential for both sides of the Donkey ticket, it seem unlikely, but maybe...


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jrman wrote:

Yeah, I wouldn't misunderestimate the potential. This is only going to get better.

Mike Puckett wrote:

Some people are comparing this to Macaca.

And was the 'stinky fish' reference really in regard to McCain? Hmmmm.......

bbbeard wrote:

Don't get your hopes up. All MSM outlets have a written style guide and written content guidelines. Somewhere on page 17, "journalists" are instructed that Democrats, by definition, cannot be racist, corrupt, liars, or stupider than their Republican opponents. Also by definition, Democrats cannot commit "gaffes". Mysterious comments ("57 states") and apparently insulting verbiage ("lipstick on a hockey mom") are to be construed as innocent misstatements, the result of overwork, or, optimally, Attempts at Humor. Want to bet that BO's campaign is forced to address the "pig" reference and will apologize for their "attempt at humor"?

Brock wrote:

Considering that both "lipstick" and "stinks like fish" made it into such close proximity, I don't think it's unfair to say we know what he was thinking. Sure, it's plausibly deniable, but the Freudian subconscious works in mysterious ways.

As for Rand's question, this will be difficult to top I think. But not impossible I suppose. I give it 60% odds of being the Gaffe o' '08.

Jonathan Goff wrote:

zOMG! A politician used an old phrase! It wasn't complimentary! To the fainting couches!

I though it was those defeatocrats who were supposed to be the effeminate wusses. Geez.


Rand Simberg wrote:

So, Jon, it's OK to call a woman a pig as long as you do it old school? If he'd come up with some novel locution, that would have been a problem?

I'm not quite sure what your point is.

Leland wrote:

I consider this minor. It works only because Palin herself "hockey moms" to "pit bulls with lipstick".

Still, it is a gaffe in the sense that it is Obama's words that work like red meat for Palin supporters. I expect worse, and more likely from Biden.

Jonathan Goff wrote:

He didn't call her a pig. It's obvious to anyone with basic reading comprehension skills. Your ability to misinterpret plainly obvious statements by people on the other side of the political divide does not a gaffe make.

It was pretty clear that in this statement Palin was the lipstick to the Republican Establishment pig.

Rand Simberg wrote:

He didn't call her a pig. It's obvious to anyone with basic reading comprehension skills.

Did you see the video?

He made a statement from which it can be readily inferred that she is a pig. Whether he meant it or not, it is a huge gaffe. And if the McCain/Palin campaign is smart, they'll laugh it off.

Ilya wrote:

Jon --

It was pretty clear that in this statement Palin was the lipstick to the Republican Establishment pig.

That MAY have been Obama's intention, and ordinarily that's how the remark would be perceived. In the current context, however (i.e. after Palin described herself as "pit bull with lipstick"), obvious interpretation is that Obama called Palin a pig. If you do not see it that way, you are in a minority.

bbbeard wrote:

FWIW I don't think the comment was sexist. Consider if John McCain had called Obama "a pig" (which would be tempting, in light of Obama's hunger for pork-barrel spending). That wouldn't make McCain a racist.

But it is insulting. In fact, it's a very stupid and juveline kind of insulting, on the level of "I know you are, but what am I?" Which is why you will probably never hear McCain stoop so low.

Bottom line: it doesn't buy you votes, it costs you votes, so why say it? Because BO is not as bright and cool as the MSM wants you to believe.

Also, to Jonathan Goff ("He didn't call her a pig. It's obvious to anyone with basic reading comprehension skills."): It's obvious to me that you have _only_ basic reading comprehension skills. Orators love to slam their opponents using allusive locutions, because it makes some supporters feel clever for "getting" the joke, while others less bright rush to defend the noxious speaker by being literal. I'm glad you're not old enough to vote. (See how this works? I implied you were ignorant without actually saying so!)

Carl Pham wrote:

He didn't call her a pig. It's obvious...

No, Jon, it's not obvious. It's one of the reasonable assumptions about what he meant by an ambiguous, cryptic, folksy saying meant to be taken figuratively (because if you take it literally then, yeah, the only reasonable conclusion is that he was being nasty to Palin).

But why was he even slightly ambiguous, huh? He's a Harvard Law graduate. They certainly train their students to be extremely precise and clear about what they mean, when they want to be. He could have said purely cosmetic change is not real change, and then indeed it would be "obvious" what he meant, because there would have been no sly double-entendre other possible meaning.

The possibility is that he was deliberately sly, like a teenage boy telling his friends loudly, where the girls can overhear, that, speaking of animals, he really likes pussy. When they react, he says oh! but of course I meant cats, ha ha. We've all seen that sort of sophomorism, huh? You make sure that technically your words mean something innocent, but you let the meaning float free enough, you're ambiguous enough, using jargon and slang, so that your intended audience can laugh wink wink nudge nudge at the secondary joke.

That said, I certainly agree that the correct and best response of the McCain campaign is humor. I'm sure Governor Palin has been called far worse by her teenager daughters and by opponents on the basketball court. She should find some way to laugh at it.

Because even if Barry is indeed guilty of making a sly little high-school double-entendre joke at her expense, that doesn't mean he's a sexist pig et cetera, it just means he's a little immature and not in complete control of his emotions. That in itself is not ideal in a President, of course, and, I would argue, just possibly more important than whether he is man enough to let fly -- in private of course -- with the occasional mean-spirited joke about women, which, you know, I think you have to be some kind of deballed humorless cave fish not to ever ever do.

That is, in short, even if he made the crack, it doesn't mean a thing that he did but it's kind of relevant that he couldn't control himself enough to not do it in public and on videotape.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

No purely cosmetic would also be a bad choice of words. And just like the example of adolescent boys all the girls (or in this case women) will immediately identify the person as a hopelessly immature goof that isn't worth their time.

Obama and the Democrats are walking right into their own traps, they can't help it as up was down all along.

roystgnr wrote:

In his misogynistic crusade, Obama's gone to greater lengths than you realize. He used his time machine to put the "lipstick on a pig" figure of speech into a speech *before* Palin was picked, hitting her before she'd even stepped into the limelight. He even used his mind control ray to force McCain to use "lipstick on a pig" in an earlier press conference, torturing that poor woman with insults from her own running mate.

Is someone who's willing to use time travel and brainwashing to insult women really ready to lead America?

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 9, 2008 8:33 PM.

The New Season was the previous entry in this blog.

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