10 Sep 2008

Obama’s Bad Serve in the Battle of Wit

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Any man who’d stoop to insult a lady is a male chauvinist you know what

Sarah Palin’s pit bull-hockey mom quip was one of the memorable moments at the GOP convention. And, sure enough, the artful wordsmiths at the Obama campaign primed their candidate to respond with a folksy down home put-down, the old “You can put put lipstick on a pig, but…” line.

0:47 video

Well, he made the news, alright.

Predictably enough, I’d say, a tsunami of analysis, feminism, PC indignation, navel-gazing, and commentary broke out all over both sides of the commentariat.

It’s silly, but one is more or less obliged to register an opinion about these kinds of stories, so here’s mine. I think the reference is too artful, too contrived, too long a reach to succeed in effectively scoring a hit. If he’d been taking a poke at Hillary, well…. Hillary is d’une certain âge and not so well-favored, so it would be an unchivalrous and an unkind thing to say, but it would have scored a hit on an opponent’s vulnerable point.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, face it, Barack, old boy, is a babe.

Alluding to a pig in a context in which an uncharitable listener might just happen to interpret the reference as applicable to Mrs. Palin, as in the Hillary case, is unchivalrous, but it isn’t really unkind, because it doesn’t work. The allusion fails, being merely inappropos, so Obama must be considered to lose points for trying.

His quip seems to have already done him some harm with people who take this kind of thing too seriously, and I think Obama was quite unwise to be so provocative and to initiate a battle of wit. Sarah Palin is a girl. She has a sharp tongue (and her own room full of clever guys), and she can get away with a lot more. I would expect that Obama’s little jibe will result in a much more memorable response, and that, before too very long, there will be democrat pork chops in the tree tops, as another folksy old saying goes, with a much bigger laugh at Obama’s expense.


Why, we don’t have to wait for Sarah Palin’s response. Jennifer Rubin, at Commentary, has already responded with a little comment, titled Lipstick on A Trainwreck:

Obama appears to be crumbling under pressure, reduced to swinging away at the person who has supplanted him as the political star of the Election.



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