The Corner

A Thumb Down(ish)

Count me as not-nuts about this exploitation of Obama’s “lipstick” remarks — and I’m not necessarily anti-exploitation, as readers know. The Democrats, including their ticket, say a thousand wrong, mean, or slanderous things a day. This is not a major offense.

I don’t believe Obama meant to insult Palin — not so much because I think he’s tender, I just think he was unaware. I’m reminded of the John Kerry episode a couple of years ago. Remember? Speaking to college students in California, he said, “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

(“Make an effort to be smart”? What a bizarre thing to say.)

Now, I don’t think Kerry was meaning to insult our soldiers. I think he was just saying, “Bush dumb, Bush bad, Bush criminal,” etc. You know how they talk and think.

Of course, the response of some of our soldiers was priceless. Do you remember? They held up a banner saying, “Halp Us, Jon Carry – We R Stuck Hear N Irak” (and the “k” in “Stuck” was backward). Real good, real zingy.

By the way, I think my favorite “lipstick” comment came from John Bolton, when he was our ambassador to the U.N. (What a glorious period. For once, we had an ambassador from the United States to the United Nations, not from the United Nations to the United States.) Insisting on a better human-rights council, not a sham one, he said, “We want a butterfly. We’re not going to put lipstick on a caterpillar and declare it a success.”

I asked him, “Is that an expression from where you grew up?” And he said no: He had just made it up.

My idea on Palin is: Keep her light; let her be light. Let her laugh things off. Let her skewer with poise and pleasure, as she did in Minnesota. It would be so great if she cut an ad mocking the upcoming Streisand fundraiser for Obama — maybe have her sit in an Anchorage tavern, pointing out the difference between the local entertainment and Barbra in L.A.

And to use Katie Couric to make a feminist point? Blech.

Anyway — those are two cents from that great political strategist Jay Mark Hanna Rove Deaver Nordlinger.

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