John McCain has his undies all in a twist over this expression, which he used himself to describe the Clinton health proposal. Why all the fuss? I can only guess. Putting Lipstick on a Pig is the title of a book written by McCain's former press secretary Torie Clarke. It should be required reading for all PR students. In the book's introduction, Clarke reveals how she helped clean up McCain's own mess in the Keating 5 savings & loan scandal.
Here’s another great example of PLOAP
The other day I ran a post about then-Mayor Palin’s attempt to ban books in Wasilla, Alaska’s library. I pointed out that after librarian Mary Ellen (Baker) Emmons responded negatively to Palin’s book-banning efforts, Palin pushed to fire her. I can’t take credit for the stories about Palin’s fascist tendencies. They’ve been all over the local papers in Alaska, the Daily Kos and Time Magazine.
Well, here’s where the lipstick comes in. Wing-nuts at National Review have been scrambling since the story broke, trying to give Palin a political makeover. Ben Boychuk who writes the RedBlue America column for NR Online launches a counter-attack against those of us “far-left bloggers and interest groups, abetted by Palin’s political rivals in Alaska and the press” (wow, this sounds like a potentially great coalition) who, he claims, have conspired to manufacture the book-banning story.
“What could possibly inspire such vitriol?” asks Boychuk, feigning naivete. He claims that librarian Emmons made the whole story up.
But then, the wing-nut shoots holes in his own cover-up. He writes:
A twelve-year-old controversy, in which Palin, the newly elected mayor of Wasilla, asked city librarian Mary Ellen Emmons at least three times how she would feel if asked to remove objectionable books from library shelves. Naturally, Emmons said she would refuse. A few months later, Palin asked for Emmons’ resignation. The new mayor said she felt Emmons, who had been appointed by Palin’s predecessor and political rival, didn’t fully support her agenda and should step aside.
So Palin only wants librarians who “support her agenda.” Is that right, Boychuk? Hmmm, what agenda might that be, over there in the library, I wonder?
“But Palin made no mention of book banning in her demand for the librarian’s resignation,” he says. Well duh! Did she really have to?
“The worst one could infer is that Palin raised the censorship issue in an ill-advised effort to appease some constituents, met resistance and let the matter drop to pursue more mundane city business.”
Aha! The wing-nut confesses. He admits Palin “raised the censorship issue” on behalf of her “constituents” (who could they be?) and then “let the matter drop.”
But that doesn’t sound like the Sarah Palin we’ve all come to know and love. She’s a pit bull. Remember, Ben? She doesn’t just let matters drop.
"THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOCKEY MOM
AND A PIT BULL IS LIPSTICK.”
So, Boychuck must admit, he was only trying to put lipstick on a pig. And hell, if you can gloss up a vicious, child-biting pit bull, why not a pig?