The McCain-Palin publicity machine has launched an all-out media blitz against Obama and his use of the colloquial aphorism “you can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig.” I am huge fan of colloquialisms as a way to make an abstract point visual and immediate, so I consider this a war on some of my favorite words. If John McCain takes away my “lipstick on a pig” then who’s to say he won’t take away “you can’t polish a turd” or one of my personal favorites, “you can call a piece of shit a birthday cake, but you can’t make me eat it.”
This debate is stupid and intended to keep voters from focusing on the issues. That McCain’s anger is totally insincere goes without saying. He and probably just about every other politician has used that exact phrase to make him or herself seem like a “real person,” and of course there are numerous recorded examples now circulating of McCain using the phrase even to describe Hillary Clinton and her health care policy. What’s hilarious is that Barack Obama used the phrase in reference to John McCain and his supposed “change” from Bush administration policy, not at all in reference to the much-maligned Sarah Palin and her well-documented lipsticks.
This war on words is done for me. For future reference McCain camp – don’t even think about touching “the cat’s pajamas” or “that’ll go over like a fart in church.” Please feel free to comment below if you have colloquialisms you’d like to declare as off-limits to the McCain campaign’s war on words.
I think it’s pretty cool that a woman is on a major campaign ticket this year. I’m happy when I get to see the world and society evolve in my lifetime. I watched some of Palin’s RNC speech last night – only the highlight reel, I can’t tolerate the endless applause breaks of those big venue speeches. She’s a funny lady for sure. She’s got a good sense of sarcastic timing that a speechwriter simply can’t create for you. But for all the effectiveness of her attacks on Obama and the Democratic party, I can tell you one thing that she isn’t is inspiring. Somehow I figured that the woman who would break through this barrier in the Republican party would have to be larger than life, someone who even the most sexist and repellent of old, white, republican men could appreciate. To me she just seems like another lady in power – smart, slick and totally self-aware.
I watched a lot of the Hillary Clinton speeches during the primary season and I’ll tell you I had a totally different response. Hillary wasn’t quite as effortlessly beautiful or sassy, but I really felt inspired by what she had to say. I believe that she had substance over style. A lifetime of work, her heart and mind devoted to changing the world. She had power and authority in her words – she did seem larger than life to me, and obviously to so many others who either endlessly adored her or vilified her. Ultimately the Hillary phenomenon wasn’t undone through any fault of her own, she just got steamrolled by a much larger phenomenon that appealed to many more people in a slightly different way. Hillary Clinton appealed to me as an intellectual. Barack Obama kind of appeals to me in an intellectual way, but much more as a leader of a national spirit – something that is much easier for anyone in this country to tap into.
Leaving all personal politics aside, I don’t feel even a fraction of that excitement about the possibilities of Sarah Palin being the number 2 governmental official in this country. She just doesn’t seem as deeply motivated, not as willing to throw herself down on the tracks for the United States. Maybe I feel this way because I didn’t know she existed a week ago and maybe my feelings will change over the next couple months. In the meantime, I would suspect that if you asked anyone on the street whether they would like to see Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin in the white house, everyone’s most passionate feelings, positive or negative, would be about Hillary. You either love her or you hate her. As far as Sarah Palin goes – meh, she’s alright I guess.