Yesterday, I went to great lengths to point out six major unforced errors that Barack Obama has made since June that could possibly cost him the election in November. Yesterday's "lipstick on a pig" comment probably won't turn out to be a major error but it is at least a gaffe worth further analysis. His response from this morning is here.
After watching the clip a few times, I have come to the conclusion that Senator Obama probably didn't intend for his comment to be an insult towards Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. However, it's clear that the crowd certainly took it that way. He would have been wise right then and there stop and say that he didn't intend to make the remark towards Mrs. Palin. That was his first missed opportunity.
The second missed opportunity was this morning after the story had been dominating the morning news shows to come out and apologize and clarify his remarks. Instead, he decided to turn around and attack Senator McCain. I still think he would have been better off to issue the apology then. By attacking McCain he ensured that the story would last for at least another day and keep himself off message.
By the way, Senator McCain would have been better off not playing the victim here. The statement was such an obvious gaffe that the blogs and talk shows would have given it such attention that the media couldn't help but cover it.
In the end, this gaffe will reinforce the opinion among Senator Obama's opponents who already think he's sexist. More women will continue to shift their support to Senator McCain.
At the end of the day the challenge for Senator Obama is still the same: get back on message and fast. The election is slipping away day by day.