Even giving Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt and assume he had not meant to compare Sarah Palin to a pig when he made his lipstick comment yesterday, given the current media environment, it was a pretty bone-headed thing to say.
He should have known, particularly following former Senator George Allen’s (R-VA) use of the word “macaca” to refer to a left-wing activist covering his campaign, that a media firestorm would ensue should he make such a gaffe. Or for that matter, if he had said anything which could be construed as insulting his opponents — or critics. Not just that, he had to be aware of the numerous stories suggesting that sexism helped him defeat Hillary Clinton in the contest for the Democratic nomination.
Yes, we’re aware that “putting lipstick on a pig” is a common expression. But, we also know Sarah Palin used the word, “lipstick,” as the punch line in the most memorable joke of the Republican National Convention. Democrats should thus tread carefully when using that expression. They should have anticipated the firestorm which has followed. The story currently leads as the “Most Viewed” on the CBSNews web-page.
During a week in which Barack Obama unveils his education policy and with reports of continued success of the Administration policy in Iraq, there are other stories more newsworthy. Far more newsworthy. And Barack Obama’s verbal gaffes are considerably less important than his misrepresentations of his relationships to an unapologetic terrorist.
But, is the man once deemed as the voice of a new generation, promoted as being well-keyed into all the new communication technologies, so clueless about the way the media works today that he couldn’t foresee people would assume he was calling the Alaska Governor a pig when he used that common metaphor?
Such absence of foresight is disturbing in a presidential candidate. And a potential leader of the free world.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Do you think the Washington Post will run 100 stories on Obama’s latest gaffe?
POST-AFTERTHOUGHT: Nah, they’ll try to bury this story, heck they try to bury the story of a huge McCain rally in Northern Virginia by devoting more paragraphs to the pro-Obama protesters than to the rally itself.