The crude remark circling the country today is that spoken by Senator Obama on the campaign trail. During a stump speech, the candidate said that the policies of Senator McCain were not the reform McCain claims, but just putting lipstick on a pig. A more tactful analogy could have been used, of course, but Obama used this one to hone in on the remarks of Gov. Palin during her VP acceptance speech. She ad libbed the joke with the punch line that the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom is lipstick. The Palin joke was a hit. The Obama remark? Not so much.
This again goes to the inexperience and bumbling way in which Senator Obama speaks when he is on the stump, not on teleprompter.
Senator Obama is sometimes compared to former President Kennedy, both young, attractive, articulate as they deliver speeches. Both Harvard-educated. Both with young children, attractive wives. The celebrity-like appeal is played up and with JFK, the aura of Camelot was brought in by the American press. With the Obama campaign, the aura that he is the Chosen One to save America - from what we are never really told - by the media. Most of that is the mindset of elitists believing that a bi-racial politician will heal the race issues in this country.
Senator Obama had to reach back and choose a VP running mate with years of foreign policy knowledge and experience. Obama has none and that is a prime concern to many voters, as we are a nation at war in more than one country. Rather than look to the future, as he claims he is the candidate of hope and change, Obama went to the past by picking Senator Biden - a Senator who has more years in the Senate than Senator McCain. Biden has been an elected official on Capitol Hill since the age of 29. Not many would look to Biden as an agent of change. He is firmly entrenched in the culture of D.C., his son a wealthy lobbyist thanks to his dad. That's not the change of which America is looking.
JFK had military experience, leading his crew to safety as a Navy lieutenant junior grade tasked with the responsibility of a PT boat. The boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer int he Pacific during a nighttime mission. While recovering from back surgery, JFK and Ted Sorensen - Kennedy's speechwriter - wrote "Profiles in Courage".
At the time of JFK's Presidential run, he had served 6 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 8 years in the U.S. Senate. Senator Obama had 143 days in session in the U.S. Senate before he formed an exploratory committee preceding his run for the candidacy for the office. Before arriving in the Senate, Obama was in the Illinois state legislature where his reputation was for voting 'present' on difficult votes.
JFK's first act as President was to create the Peace Corps, giving volunteers the opportunity to serve in developing nations. Three months after taking office, Kennedy ordered an invasion of Cuba using 1,400 exiles trained by the CIA. The President who provided an alternative to military service to American citizens wanting to serve their country, didn't provide air cover or Navy support to the exiles. As they landed on Cuba's beach, the exiles were unprotected. The Cuban Air Force killed, wounded or captured all 1,400 of the exiles and sank the supply ship. The invasion of the Bay of Pigs was a major failure.
JFK met with Khrushchev in Vienna only 6 weeks after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. This emboldened Khrushchev and the Berlin Wall was put up, separating Germany. Kennedy represented youth and inexperience to the Soviet Premier. He knew Kennedy could be intimidated. JFK stopped Soviet installment of nuclear missiles in Cuba by using a naval blockade of Cuba. Not known at the time,though is that JFK had to agree to remove our missiles from Turkey.
By contrast, President "Reagan didn't meet with a Soviet leader until his fifth year in office; Churchill, unlike his predecessor, never met with Hitler."
In 1962 the stock market made the sharpest corrections since the Depression. Yet, Kennedy had the common sense to lower taxes. Obama is only now, and very quietly, saying he realizes he will not be able to raise taxes in the beginning of his administration if the economy remains slow. And, no one in reality believes his claim that he will only raise taxes on the 'rich' and give tax breaks to 90% of Americans. This is especially true if you understand that the tax increases Obama plans to implement on businesses will move right on down to the consumer.
JFK brought the U.S. into the Vietnam war. He was anti-Communist, to his credit, not one raised in Marxist thought like Obama. JFK sent military advisers to implement programs such as the Hamlet Program, "which moved peasants into areas better controlled by the South Vietnamese government. The plan failed, however, when the peasants, angry at being transplanted farther from their farms, joined the enemy's growing ranks. Kennedy countered by sending 12,00 more advisers and 300 helicopters with U.S. pilots to Vietnam. When South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, proved ineffective, Kennedy finally agreed to withdraw support of him, and Diem was overthrown and assassinated by his generals." Three weeks later, Kennedy was assassinated.
"Kennedy's relative youth and inexperience led to a number of failures, particularly in foreign policy. Kennedy himself seemed to acknowledge this. When asked how he viewed his job as president, he replied that it was harder than he thought it would be."
The Bay of Pigs, meeting with Khrushchev, giving up missile installations in Turkey, the Vietnam Hamlet program were all mistakes due to lack of experience. For the first time in recent history, anyway, the foreign policy credentials are being questioned about the VP nominee on the McCain ticket. It is the President who as commander in chief makes policy decisions. Governor Palin is in charge of the Alaska National Guard. Those not supporting the McCain ticket pooh-pooh any experience in Alaska that Governor Palin brings to the ticket. It is still considerably more than Senator Obama, the top of his ticket, brings to the conversation.
Lipstick on a pig, indeed.