This signed photo has nothing to do with the current circus clown pie-fight over lipstick, pigs, mavericks, and pit bulls. I just wanted to show you how nice Connie Francis is. When I was a little kid, I got hold on one of my big sister's "Teen" Magazines, and found some publicists' addresses for the current stars and I chose to write my beloved Connie. Weeks later, when I had forgotten about it, I received this picture in the mail proving that Connie had not forgotten me. Since she sang "Lipstick on Your Collar," I figure she knows more about it than most and, in any case, I believe she is far more qualified to be Vice President than Sarah Palin. Concetta Franconero rose from her small town roots in Newark to make albums in over 13 languages, including Yiddish and Russian, and has travelled all over the world. She once appeared in Romania and did a concert in the native tongue. She's dealt with some of the toughest men of her generation; Dick Clark, Ed Sullivan, Don Kirschner, and Bobby Darin, who learned about her family's position on gun control the hard way when Connie's father brandished a shotgun and threatened Darin's life. That's more hard core than shooting wolves from a bi-plane with an AK-47.
The collar that bears the lipstick in this current nastiness sounds like it belongs to Karl Rove, who has admitted "assisting" the McCain team and would prefer the media indulge in another tabloid campaign than one of substance. So, first the Murdock machine jumps on the false outrage concerning Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark about McCain's economic policies and then the rest of the media, being in the entertainment and ratings business, follows suit. It's too juicy a story not to say that Sen. Obama referred to Governor Palin as a "pig," and then let him deny it, without reporting the full context and the asininity of the assumption. They're fortunate the language of the Nashville songwriter was avoided. When we found ourselves trying to dress-up something that was fundamentally flawed, we called it "polishing a turd." This campaign trick equivalent of throwing sand in the referee's eyes only deprives people of a serious debate on the real issues.
The GOP seems so giddy over their V.P. nominee, they don't quite know how to behave. The last time I witnessed public hysteria like this build over a public figure in a period of ten days, it was called Beatlemania. Only it's the adults doing the screaming this time over their working class hero. But when they throw big Fred "Hoss" Thompson in front of the cameras to rage about "vicious" attacks on the Governor, and McCain insists she is owed an apology, it merely illustrates how they know nothing of feminism, and are even oblivious that their frantic leaps to "defend the little lady" are nothing but chauvinistic insults to women who actually think for themselves. Still, Obama was forced, first thing, to address the "Old White Men Gone Wild" videos, which the cable networks, in turn, spent the rest of the day gnawing on and the politics of Rove lived to fight another day.
This is why Obama made a mistake in waiting a month to reach out to the Clintons. Only today, will he be having lunch with the former president, while Hillary begins to campaign on his behalf. A valid point that Hillary made during her primary run was her experience in dealing with the Republican attack machine. During Bill's two Presidential campaigns, the "Rapid Response Team" was a hallmark of his organization, and an unsubstantiated claim rarely lasted a news cycle before being firmly addressed. Maybe Obama did not feel the urgency to mend fences, but on a day like yesterday, he badly needed Hillary Clinton on the stump to explain how the other party was exploiting their own nominee. Forcefully saying "Enough!" is not sufficient. It's time to release the hounds.
The saddest part of this is that it seems to work. These irrational GOP attacks become water cooler fodder and blend into the general hum of election discussion. The party apparatchiks, like Marsha Blackburn (a genuine Republican woman), go on talk shows with talking points, screaming "sexism" every time Governor Palin's qualifications are questioned, just like John McCain deflects criticism with his POW credentials. McCain promised a dignified campaign, but I suppose it's clear how this is going to go. The baffling giddiness over Sarah Palin will even out after she answers some tough questions about her vision for the country's direction and some explanations regarding her personal beliefs, but the sneering, self-righteous attacks from the GOP will not stop. Meanwhile, both Palin and McCain have repeated their St. Paul speeches for a week now. It's time to get some new shtick.
I have no doubt that the Governor will do well with reporters, having once been one of them, but I hope no one falls for this Sir Walter Raleigh defense that is now filling the airwaves. I'm sure Sarah is entirely capable of leaping over her own mud puddles, and it will be interesting to watch. Then, women offended by "lipstick" references will see that Palin stands pretty much in opposite of the causes for which others struggled so mightily for so long. At present, her party is trying to portray her as the heroine of another song about lipstick, Benny Spellman's New Orleans classic, "Lipstick Traces," where he says:
"Lipstick traces on a cigarette/every memory lingers with me yet/I've got it bad like I told you before/I'm so in love with you, don't leave me no more."
Sort of like Governor Palin, I disagree with most of what she says, I abhor everything she stands for, yet somehow, I can't quite seem to get her off my mind.
If the McCain/Palin campaign really believes that stunts like this are not going to backfire on them in this important election, I've got another Connie Francis hit for them to listen to. It's called, "Who's Sorry Now?"