In one of his trademark convolutions, Obama dissected the lipstick-on-a-pig line to say that Sarah Palin was the lipstick, and John McCain's economic program was the pig. Ouch. Letterman did a double take, then tried to verbally skate around Obama's tortured comment and rescue him. But Obama wanted to keep digging his hopeless semantic hole.
All Obama had to do from his seat on the enviable Letterman couch -- which has to be worth a couple of hundred thousands of dollars in campaign media buys -- was show a little humor, which is in very short supply in his campaign. He could have, for example, said something like:
"David, I would never compare Sarah Palin, a very attractive woman and very strong candidate, to a pig with lipstick. After all, she's already compared herself to a pit bull with lipstick. Besides, I don't have any lipstick, and I'm pretty sure Michelle wouldn't give me any."
Let's hope that Bill Clinton has given his new pal a few campaigning tips.