April 25th, 2008
12:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: I'm a regular guy—I only have four pairs of shoes

CNN

Watch Obama's comments at a press conference Friday.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) – Democrat Barack Obama responded to the suggestion that some view him as an elitist by pointing to his closet.

At a press conference Friday, the Illinois senator was asked about the perception some voters may have that he comes across as an elitist who "looks too much like a GQ cover" to be able to relate to working class voters.

He first gestured to his clothing choice. "I think this is a fairly standard suit here, you know?" he said. "I haven't changed my approach to dressing too much.

"I basically buy five of the same suit, and then I patch them up and wear them repeatedly. I have four pairs of shoes. Recently I've taken to getting a haircut more frequently than I used to because my mother in law makes fun of me. So I don't think people are too worried about what I'm wearing."

He added he didn't feel the need to go out of his way to prove his "street cred as a down-to-earth guy" because, according to him, people who've known him long enough know that to be the case.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Eddie G

    He is a regular guy with character. Just because Hillary looks awful in her pant suits, don't trash Obama for looking good in a suit. What's next, are people going to go through his trash and moan that he uses real butter or olive oil?

    April 25, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Alberta

    Not only are you a regular guy, but you are presidential material. I want a president that can be respect by the citzens of this country.
    OBAMA08

    April 25, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. jj

    that's the problem. Most of the country DOESN'T know him. He's a good speaker so the young are easily led with phrases like, "It's your turn to run the country" etc. It looks like the majority of blacks hear the nice speeches and see only the color of his skin, he's one of us, so he understands us. What about the rest of the country. You don't have to be black to understand all races, young, old, blue collar, well educated, high school drop outs.

    April 25, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Tom Baker

    Jesus wept. What next? Do they want him to wear a Buffalo plaid shirt or, maybe, a dashiki? Wouldn't that go over swell? Bet there is a lot of voters out there that think he should be wearing a pair of bib overalls. Did anyone ever see HRC wear the same outfit. And those suits of hers aren't cheap folks.

    April 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. joe

    This guy just paid his student loan few years back. He is the american dream. single mother didn't have anything and He worked hard and get to where he is. This is 99% of poor and middle income American dream. That is the reason I love this guy. He is very good example of everyday american life. I will work hard for Obama If he wanted me to work, if I have to go door to door i will do it.
    Obama 08/12

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Sandi

    Since folks have felt free to comment on Hillary's pant suits no reason they shouldn't take on Obama's closet...this is so frustrating to be the level of banality this race has come to....focus on the issues, focus on the leadership, we have a race to win in November!

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    OBAMA BE WHO YOU ARE WIN OR LOSE,GOD KNOWS WHO YOU ARE. FROM ALL THE COMMENTS I"VE READ, MICHELLE WAS RIGHT AMERICAN IS A VERY MEAN COUNTRY.

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. gary

    OBAMA YOUR SUCH A SMOOTH CON MAN. FOUR PAIR OF SHOES AND A MANSION FROM YOUR CON MAN FROM ILL. YOU SHOULD OF NOT EVEN THAUGHT ABOUT RUNNING IN THIS RACE. YOUR NOT WHAT REAL ENOUGH TO BE OUR LEADER. HRC IS RED,WHITE AND BLUE ALL THE WAY.

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. For Hillary in Denver

    Obama, Obama, Obama. CNN's bias is very clear.

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. BAKERSFIELD

    SOME PEOPLE BEG FOR MONEY ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD BUT HAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. ITS CALLED PLAYING THE PART

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. de 4 Obama

    After the repeated viewings of the banana pantsuit, the turquoise pantsuit and the the adobe rust pantsuit, we are questioning Obama's wardrobe????

    You must be kidding!

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Bubba

    When he shows up wearing an alarm clock around his neck on a gold chain and his pants down so far you can see his underwear, THEN I'll take a crack at the way he dresses. After all, I go around wearing lederhosen and a Van Halen concert shirt all week and nobody says I'm ineligible to run for president.

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Ratgurl

    Real newsworthy CNN. If it gets people to drop the "elitist" stance, though, I'm all for it.

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. jerral

    president obama
    i am a 65 year old white lady in arkansas and i just love you and your family. i feel as if i know you personally and would be greatly honored to meet you. my idol was elvis and sir you are right up beside him. i knowq you will bring change just as elvis did. at first no one wanted to accept him now he went down in hist9ory as the best of the best of intertainers and as a person for his generocity and care for other people. and you sir fit his shoes wll and you wear them well. arkansas looks forward to calling you our greast president in history. i reaad the story on you and your mother on new yorks times net and i feel you come from a mother like mine was. so wonderful
    go obama all way to pennsyvania ave. along with socha, makia and micheall,god bless yousir

    April 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Illinois

    What an idiot!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama is a man a very strong man and should be respected. But no, there are those who won't be satisfied until he's nailed to the cross. Is this how black our hearts have become? We need to stick to the issues.

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Marshall in Nebraska

    I think he is a normal guy. That is what scares the other politicians.

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Nanc, MN

    Eeeewwwwww....Jeez CNN, I hate when you print this type of story, I always start gagging a little bit. Next thing we know he'll be claiming he's got a pair of Red Wing boots, like lots of farmers, tucked away somewhere. Maybe there's some hiking boots, and not one pair of athletic shoes? How about a manly toolbelt?

    CNN: Please stop trying to make my head explode. Because I know there's some crazy out there that will have counted (or made up) the number of pantsuits Hillary has and it's going to be Hillary's fault somehow, someway.

    Try as hard as he might, he's not just a regular guy, and more importantly he's never wanted to be just a regular guy.

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Jay

    does four pairs of shes include one pair of sandals? Cause if thats the case I got 3 pairs.

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. Momma for Obama MN

    yeahhh that is how we know him,Go Obama,

    the elitists are clinton and her entourage........ask her how many homes she has
    ask her how often she hangs in Martha's vineyard, or Nantucket,
    ask her how many outfits she has and how many sets of jewely
    ask her where does chelsea go to school?
    or even to be a bit more personal and direct, to the point,
    ask her where does she gets her wine, beer, and cheese...
    (all made in foreign countries) so much for supporting things being made in this country and supporting the blue collar workers..

    what a joke they are, to use people like that, and say they want to help us..
    she might have with teh help of CNN and Fox wrapped the senior citizens of PA and the few workers, but that wont last much..
    most people know who the elitists are, who feels entitled to the presidency while the people say NO the show she is way behind could not catch up

    but hey an elitist and money hungry person like her .............would say and do whatever it takes, they the clintons remind me so much of the Latin american dictators...............

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. joyce, NC

    Barack, it's not about your closet, your choice of clothes, shoes, etc...you of all people should know the meaning of elitist and arrogance.

    Choose your words my dear. It gets you into trouble. Perhaps simply because you mean them and can't hide that elitism within.

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. jerral

    joyce in arkansas
    i posted a comment and sent it with my hubsands name on it (jerral) sorry

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Grif

    Octopus?????

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Rob Winnipeg Canada

    what Senator Obama says may be true, but unfortunately the only spin in the media you hear about him are the characterizations by his opponents. If he were to explain his history a little more often then the elite tag would be seen for what it is more political trash talk by the Clintons and repugs.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Tamara

    People just hating because the brother is fine...

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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