Jane Swift’s Guide to Swine

1221056781Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your new distraction.

Forget about quibbling over how many homes the candidates own. This week, we’re going to discuss whether the phrase “lipstick on a pig” is sexist. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama used the phrase yesterday to deride John McCain’s talk of change. McCain surrogate and former acting governor Jane Swift quickly denounced Obama’s remarks, calling them “disgraceful.”

Which is funny on several levels.

First of all, who knew Jane Swift was still around? Second, her tenure in the corner office runs counter to the reformer image Palin is trying to project. Palin famously sold the private plane used by her predecessor; Swift used a State Police helicopter to commute to her home in North Adams. Palin loves to talk about firing the governor’s chef; Swift used State House aides as babysitters (and in doing so, set all the gains made by women in politics back to somewhere in 1953). Perhaps Palin should consider recycling a line from her famous RNC speech: Thanks, but no thanks for the support, Jane.

Then there’s the Republican candidate himself. McCain and his friends have been talking about pigs with or without lipstick since the primaries. The candidate referred to Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan as putting “some lipstick on a pig.” McCain’s former adviser, Torie Clarke, wrote a book titled Lipstick on a Pig: Winning in the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game. And then there’s the Maverick’s famous description of Mitt Romney.

“Never get into a wrestling match with a pig[.] You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

So. . . we can refer to candidates and their policies as pigs, as long as they’re not wearing lipstick? We just want to make sure we’re clear on the rules.

Speaking of our favorite dirty pig, it seems he’s been messing with us. Newsweek [via PolitickerMA] reports that Romney knew he was no longer a contestant in the veepstakes back in early August.

[Romney] suggested the blue-collar workers in the economically depressed Great Lakes State wouldn’t vote for a pair of pols with more than a dozen homes between them, confessing that “I have one too many houses at least.”

Way to put some lipstick on that pig, Mitt.