Letterman started his interview with Obama tonight asking about the statement. I gotta tell ya, I think Barack has a chance to turn this thing on its head and hit McCain with the very "lipstick" madness he started. Obama made the point that, had he meant it this way, Palin would be the "lipstick" and McCain's failed policies would be the "pig." The fact that the McCain campaign is now pretending to be the movement for "change" is, of course, ludicrous. Obama is right: by dressing McCain up with Palin, and the two of them posing as maverick reformers, the campaign has indeed become "lipstick on a pig." Why not run with this meme, now that it's entered the lexicon?
Talking Points Memo has already started to do this. They've superimposed the "McCain/Palin" logo - same font and all - on a picture of an adorable pig wearing lipstick. It's a PERFECT analogy for the campaign. The Obama campaign should start running ads and printing literature with the very same McCain/Palin/Lipsticked Pig logo used by TPM. It's brilliant. It's simple, eye-catching and it turns their campaign into what the Obama campaign wants to turn it into: a joke.
Obama can't get overly angry because he won't look good doing it, plus it clearly makes him uncomfortable. Obama can't simply do nothing because that would be political suicide. But turning McCain/Palin into a joke would be the gift that keeps on giving. And the "lipstick on a pig" analogy is so ridiculous and funny that, in my mind, it just might work.
UPDATE: Okay, so I just read the whole post over at TPM (instead of just looking at the image in passing), and it turns out Josh Marshall had basically this same idea a few hours ago. They're even selling t-shirts! In all honesty, though, I hadn't read that post until after I saw the Letterman interview, which is where I thought up of the - very similar - concept on my own. But those guys rock, and deserve the credit! I hope it takes off.