Lipstick on a Pig: What‘s Got McCain and Palin Sow Riled Up?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Lipstick on a pig

Whether Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama was referring to Republican candidate John McCain's running mate when he referred to "lipstick on a pig" Tuesday remains questionable as Obama has used the phrase prior to Palin joining the ticket. Even John McCain himself has used the phrase in the past (some say referring to Hillary Clinton).  Current US Vice President, Dick Cheney, has used the comment as well.

The hoopla centers around this quote from Obama during a speech in Virginia on Tuesday.

"John McCain says he's about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, 'Watch out George Bush -- except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics -- we're really going to shake things up in Washington,'" he said.

"That's not change. That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing."

Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focused on the remark, which they said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

Palin used the line in the opening remarks of her convention speech, and she frequently uses it on the campaign trail. Palin made no mention of a pig, however. Had Palin been a bit "overweight", which she is not, the complaint may have been slightly more valid. A female pig is typically referred to as a "sow".

The comment has the McCain camp so riled up they've even decided to release a new ad centered around the controversy (see ad here)

The ad could do one of three things: Enforce that Obama is a "sexist", enforce that McCain is trying to exploit the hot button issue, or simply cause the American public to shake their heads in disbelief as they worry more about putting food on their dinner tables each night than some pig with lipstick comment that has absolutely nothing to do with how either candidate plans to fix the troubled economy.

"Lipstick on a Pig" is a common phrase meaning that, if people put lipstick on a pig, they make superficial or cosmetic changes, hoping that it will make the product more attractive.

If the comment was supposed to imply that Palin needs lipstick and cosmetic altercations to make herself more appealing, that argument pretty much goes out the window. After all, this is a woman who has chosen big ‘ol librarian glasses in a world wear contact lenses are the norm. And something tells us Palin would still look stunning without an ounce of makeup.

The full extent of this latest feud centering around sexism was not immediately known Wednesday morning in the online prediction markets where Bookmaker.com maintained Obama's odds at -145 compared to McCain at +115. Obama's odds had gone up only slightly in the last 18 hours following a massive surge by McCain over the last several days.


Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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