Here are a few thoughts of my own on the lipstick on a pig moment (see this earlier post for the views of others).
First, demonstrating that McCain had used the same phrase before doesn't cut it.
The reason the pig idea popped into Barack Obama's mouth is that Palin had used the pitbull and lipstick joke in her speech. Can anyone doubt that?
So Obama was using it as a jibe against her. This was monumentally foolish. And this raises questions about Obama's character.
Second, the character question it raises is not that he is a sexist or that he lacks courtesy. It is that he folds under pressure.
Obama has looked amazingly uncomfortable under the pressure that Palin has put him under. He relies on his cool - it is a core part of his appeal. So he looks bad when he loses it. During the Hillary contest he rarely came under any pressure from the media. When he did he reacted badly.
So the problem caused by Palin isn't really about Palin - it's about Obama.
Which brings me to the third point. Obama cannot change how Palin is seen anywhere near as much as he thinks he can. He needs to work on how he is seen.
But, as Jay Cost argues, he hasn't been disciplined enough to do this.
POSTED BY DANIEL FINKELSTEIN ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2008 IN 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION