Yesterday, Barack Obama deployed a couple of well-used colloquialisms to hit the McCain campaign on its attempt to co-opt the “change” theme.
“That’s not change. That’s just calling something that’s the same thing something different. You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig,” Obama went on, and the crowd erupted in cheers. “You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It’s still going to stink, after eight years. We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”
And Palin supporters are going totally ballistic.
So — was Obama really suggesting that Sarah Palin is a pig? Not exactly.
Actually, I think this was an elegantly turned smack. He made his references specific — I have no doubt he was deliberately talking about Palin and McCain — but they were designed as political insults rather than personal.
Given the “old fish” reference, though, I can see how the right is interpreting things this way… but their sensitivity meter has gone over the top. I can’t help wondering whether their heads will explode before this is all over.
Not only that, but the degree of hypocricy here is really off the charts. Not only did John McCain apparently use this exact phrase in reference to a Hillary Clinton proposal (and I’m pretty sure she wears lipstick), much of this faux outrage is coming from people who have been attacking Barack Obama non-stop for the better part of two years.
All in all, a tempest in a teapot — but an amusing one nonetheless.
(And an aside: Sorry about the single photo subject. I have no old fish lying around, and precious few pigs.)