You can't put a genie back in a bottle, but can you take the lipstick off a pig?
Barack Obama taped an interview for The Late Show with David Letterman and addressed the brouhaha over his "lipstick on a pig" comment last night in Virginia.
ABC News' Jake Tapper, Sunlen Miller and Andy Fies report that Letterman asked Obama if he still thinks the Republicans are overreacting to his comments last night.
"Look this is ...sort of silly season in politics – not that there's a non-silly season in politics," Obama says. "But it gets sillier and it's a common expression at least in Illinois, I don't know about New York City, I don't know where you guys put lipstick on here."
To audience laughter, Obama says, "in Illinois the expression connotes the idea that if you have a bad idea -- in this case I was talking about John McCain's economic plans -- that just calling them change, calling it something different doesn't make it better. Hence, lipstick on a pig is still a pig."
The end? Probably not. The McCain campaign and RNC show no signs of backing down from crying foul over this and the statement today of South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler only fuels that fury. Fowler told Politico that McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion." Fowler apologized in a paper statement to anyone offended by the comment and said she was "clumsily was making a point about people in South Carolina who may vote based on a single issue."
But perhaps there is a break in the action on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11. Campaigning and partisanship will be put on hold tomorrow as the presidential candidates attend 9/11 ceremonies and even make a rare joint appearance. Maybe the calendar can do what the Obama campaign seems unable to do and get the campaign narrative off of the lipstick/pig comment.
ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports that Obama and McCain will make a stop together to Ground Zero in New York City to commemorate the anniversary.
From a joint statement from the Obama and McCain campaigns: "All of us came together on 9/11 - not as Democrats or Republicans - but as Americans. In smoke-filled corridors and on the steps of the Capitol; at blood banks and at vigils - we were united as one American family. On Thursday, we will put aside politics and come together to renew that unity, to honor the memory of each and every American who died, and to grieve with the families and friends who lost loved ones. We will also give thanks for the firefighters, police, and emergency responders who set a heroic example of selfless service, and for the men and women who serve today in defense of the freedom and security that came under attack in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania."
ABC News' Jennifer Parker reported that both campaigns have already said that they will pull negative ads off the air-waves for the day. This joint appearance marks only the second time during the general election that the candidates have appeared together, Miller reports.
In the morning, McCain will attend a ceremony at the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville PA. Both Obama and McCain will attend a forum, "ServiceNation" at Columbia University in New York on Thursday evening. The two candidates will each sit down with moderators Richard Stengel, Managing Editor of TIME Magazine, and Judy Woodruff of PBS. Obama and McCain will not appear on stage together, except for a brief handshake.
Tivo Alert! ABC News' Charles Gibson sits down with Gov. Sarah Palin on Thursday and Friday in Alaska for the first interview Palin has done since being tapped as McCain's running mate.
Gibson's exclusive interviews with the Republican Vice Presidential candidate will take place in Fairbanks and Wasilla, Alaska. The first excerpts will air on Thursday's "World News with Charles Gibson" and "Nightline," followed by "Good Morning America" and "World News" on Friday.
Stay tuned for a special "20/20" – "The Interview: Sarah Palin with Charles Gibson" -- will air on Friday, September 12 at 10 p.m., ET. The hour will feature more of Gibson's interviews with the Vice Presidential candidate from Fairbanks and Wasilla. Kate Snow will report on the personal and professional background of Governor Palin leading up to her nomination, and George Stephanopoulos will moderate a live roundtable discussion on the state of the presidential race.
Palin also attends her son Track's deployment ceremony for the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. She will deliver remarks at the ceremony and was scheduled to do so before she was named McCain's running mate.
ABC News' Luis Martinez reports that the Army will soon announce that it will allow media coverage of the deployment ceremony, but the Pentagon wants to avoid politics at all costs. Palin will be allowed to bring only gubernatorial staff and her protective detail – no campaign staffers will be permitted – and she cannot engage in any political activity while on the post. Martinez reports that this decision went high up the ladder and a memo authorizing coverage was signed by David Chu, the Undersecretary of Defense for personnel issues.
Oh to be a fly on the wall…Obama is scheduled to have lunch Thursday with former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Foundation headquarters in Harlem, NY.
Does this exchange in New Hampshire come up before the salad course? Or does the former president wait until the main course?
ABC News' Matt Jaffe reports: At a town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, one gentleman told Joe Biden how glad he was that Obama picked him over Hillary "not because she's a woman but because look at the things she did in the past."
"Make no mistake about this," Biden responded. "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let's get that straight. She's a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me. But she's first rate, I mean that sincerely, she's first rate, so let's get that straight."
On the campaign front. . .
JOHN MCCAIN -- Attends 9/11 service at Flight 93 crash site, Shanksville, PA -- Visits Ground Zero with Barack Obama, New York, NY -- 8:00 pm ET: Attends Service Nation forum, New York, NY.
SARAH PALIN -- Delivers remarks at a deployment ceremony for 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska
BARACK OBAMA -- Lunch with former President Bill Clinton -- Visits Ground Zero with John McCain, New York, NY -- 8:00 pm ET: Attends Service Nation forum, New York, NY.
JOE BIDEN -- Holds a discussion with first responders in Parma, OH
At the White House. . .
PRESIDENT BUSH -- 8:46 a.m. ET: Participates, with Mrs. Bush, in a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. White House, South Lawn. -- 9:30 a.m. ET: Delivers remarks at the dedication of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Pentagon.
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Kate Snow and Jake Tapper: Obama Says 'Enough' About 'Lipstick' Smear LINK
ABC News' Luis Martinez: Military Brass: U.S. Running Out of Time in Afghanistan LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: A Piggish Debate LINK
ABC News' Emma Schwartz: Palin's Record on Pork: Less Sizzle than Reported LINK
ABC News' Matthew Jaffe: Biden: Hillary a Better Pick Than Me LINK
ABC News' Andy Fies: Lessons Learned LINK
ABC News' Hope Ditto and Teddy Davis: Paul Rejects Gramm's Pro-McCain Pitch LINK
ABC News' Luis Martinez: Pentagon Punts Air Force Decision to Next Administration LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: SC Dem Chair: Palin's Chief Rec for Job is She Hasn't Had an Abortion LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama-Backing Congressman: 'Jesus Was a Community Organizer, Pontius Pilate a Governor' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Lipstick Smear: Obama Assails 'Latest Made-Up Controversy by the John McCain Campaign' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Pig in a Poke LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
Does the "lipstick" expression cross the line into offensive territory? LINK
Matt Damon: Palin a 'Disaster'
The actor calls John McCain's running mate choice "absurd" and "terrifying." LINK
Hasselbeck Defends Obama on 'Pig' Remark
"View" co-host says Barack Obama's comments have been blown out of proportion. LINK
Obama's 'Pig' Comment ... You Decide
Listen to the "lipstick on a pig" remark that is drawing controversy. LINK
Al Franken Fights for Senate Seat
The comedian wins the Democratic nomination in the Minnesota primaries. LINK
Obama on 'Lipstick' Remark: 'Enough is Enough'
Obama: McCain would rather have the story about "phony and foolish diversions." LINK
Kimmel: O'Reilly vs. Obama
Little gets said when the Fox News host interviews Barack Obama. LINK
Kimmel: Girl Wants McCain to Apologize
Middle school kids are upset with the senator over a slip-up at the RNC. LINK
Dowd: Palin Poll Boost Won't Stick
Matthew Dowd analyzes recent polls in the upcoming presidential election. LINK
Did Sarah Palin Try to Ban Books?
The VP candidate butted heads with a librarian while mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. LINK
Kim Jong Il May Be Seriously Ill
Speculation has intensified after the ruler missed a national parade. LINK
Decoding the 'Lipstick on a Pig' Comment
The McCain camp demands an apology for "pig in lipstick" comment. LINK
Fervent Election Enthusiasm
In Ohio Obama addresses education, while McCain and Palin tackle earmarks. LINK
What Appeals to Swing Voters
George Stephanopoulos on how Obama and McCain rank among undecided voters. LINK
Palin Wins Over White Women
Many women were impressed with Palin at the RNC, but can she keep their vote? LINK