Why McCain’s ‘Lipstick on a Pig’ Sexism Claims Hold No Water

The McCain campaign is lashing out at Barack Obama’s use of the common phrase “You can’t put lipstick on a pig” at a campaign top yesterday, saying he was alluding to VP hopeful Sarah Palin.

Here’s the clip:

Said Obama: “Let’s just list this for a second. John McCain says he’s about change, too. Except — 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 gonna shake things up in Washington.’ That’s not change. That’s just calling some — the same thing, something different. But you know, you can — you know, you can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig.”

The crowd immediately cheered, and if some were referencing Palin, they did so because of the “lipstick pitbull” line in her RNC speech.

The McCain camp is now charging sexism and has released another despicable ad:

UPDATE: CBS had the above video taken off of YouTube, and told MediaBistro: “CBS News does not endorse any candidate in the presidential race. Any use of CBS personnel in political advertising that suggests the contrary is misleading.”

However, McCain has used the phrase before as well, in reference to Hillary Clinton and her health plan:

“McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s health-care plan, he said it was ‘eerily reminiscent’ of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the early 1990s. ‘I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,’ he said of her proposal.”

The Obama camp has responded: “Enough is enough. The McCain campaign’s attack tonight is a pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy – the same analogy that Senator McCain himself used about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care plan just last year. This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.”