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Barracuda or Pig? The Marketing Battle Over Sarah Palin

Lipstick on a pig?

It’s easy enough to dismiss Obama’s statement “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” as just an old saying. But politicians cover every angle. It’s their job to be politically correct and think of anything that could possibly offend anyone. It must have crossed Barack Obama’s mind when he first read it. I find it almost inconceivable that he didn’t realize some people would sense an offensive jab at the new female VP of his opponent, Sarah Palin. A woman who is plastered all over the news these days, much of it about her looks.

That’s why I’m convinced the quip was intentional. Politics is marketing. How they dress, how they look, what they say, every little nuance of meaning that comes from their lips is carefully managed for the best possible effect. It’s obvious to me that Obama and his team crafted that line as a subtle way to connect “pig” with “Palin”.

And when the McCain people objected, the Obama response was equally crafted: “They’re trying to play the gender card”. What a genius turn-around. What an amazing advertising move. When his opponent voices an objection to a very obvious insult, Obama doubly insults him while at the same time pre-emptively saying they’re playing the “minority card”.

The Obama team is god-like in their marketing savvy. If only both sides cared about issues as much.