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

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


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. Derek

    Save money on suits, More money for the Campaign.

    Maybe Sen. Clinton should have used that tactic. By the way, Ma'am...My family would like their campaign contributions back, we'd like to redirect those to the nominee.

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. lol

    to late to be a "regular guy", after you berated all the people in PA by calling them all a bunch of bitter, gun toting, bible thumping bigots.

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

    he doesnt have a 100 million in the bank like Clinton or MCSAME
    you tell me who the elitists are!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Obama all the way...

    I love this about Barack. He is a genuinely nice man, with a good sense of humor. Another reason I support him!!!


    April 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Frustrated voter!

    Oh so now their attacking his clothes??? What does the man have to do – switch clothes with a homeless guy to be elected? Make about $10k a year to be even lower that Hillary's $109 mil? Is this the only way he can "relate" to blue collar voters – forget the issues that's really concerning you voters, Obama LOOKS too much like a president don't vote for him!!! Give me a break!!! This is by far the ooooddest campaign ever.

    OBAMA 08

    April 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Alex

    Obama is an ordinary guy who made himself who he is. He made himself the person he is through hard work. I do not know how Hillary calls him elitist. What is she gone be if he takes that title away from her like the nomination for the presidency. Now she is the real bitter. Ha-ha. Leave the guy alone and discuss issues. If you do not have any point to make get out of the way than damaging the party.

    April 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Debbie, NJ

    Cnn I'm sure he said something a little more worthwhile about being called an elitist. Like his wife said, they may have degrees from I.V. league schools but the lens in which they see the world is from the ones they grew up with.

    April 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Typical White Person

    The definition of elitist is:a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence....it has nothing to do with your clothing or how many pairs of shoes you have...

    April 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Carol McFarlane

    Of course he's a regular guy, that's the beauty of it – he can relate because he's always related! FOLKS! READ HIS BOOKS, TWICE IF YOU HAVE TO, and you will find out this is the same person, so much so it's uncanny.

    What's the matter with us – are we going to count the hairs on his head – there is only one person who can do that, and that is God – he actually KNOWS the number of the hairs on our heads!

    This hounding of Obama is ridiculous and very wrong. I hope it won't take an act of God to show us how wrong we've been in this campaign.

    April 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Typical White Person

    The fact that Obama beilevs that we are so uneducated that we thing that there is a correlation between the numer of pairs of shoes one has and their power PROVES he is an elitist talking down to us!!!!! HAHAHAHA !!! LEMMINGS!!!! Don't evn see that you're being dissed by Obama!!!!! HAHAHAHHAHA!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Joint Ticket

    Mr. Obama I thank God for you daily. Keep trying your best to pull us above the small things that separate us. I want you to know that you have inspired me to be a better person. I look differently at race and even the world. I know it gets hard sometimes but keep up the good work.

    April 25, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. trudyharteg

    As far as the Clinton s i have no respecht for them , an as far as Mc Cain , he is just another selfish Busch . you cant teach an old Dog new Tricks , America Wake up , you saw what happen 8 years ago . you see the Result . now . Obama is the one who can bring People Together

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. farley

    Obama needs to focus on his message of change and not get deterred no matter what they throw at him

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Robin Wagner from ct

    To whom this may concern,
    Barack Obama is a reg GUY . Conceding what Bill and Hill has for income . 109.million and she never released her 2007 tax return .
    But she said it was 20million dollars.
    And lets not forget the rich rich rich McCain and his wife with her beer cop.
    To Barack and his wife combined income salary . Of 260.00 and gave 0.5% to Charity . 246.000 . They are living off his book money .
    Of 3 million .
    So yes they are reg peoples.
    Also . He was still paying for his and his wife's . Collage loan ., OK yes they are reg people .

    April 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. obama lover

    get a life

    April 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. b-liberal

    What a scam! It is not about the suit. And shame on the media for calling this news. Forget about the serious questions about me – look at my suit!

    "didn't feel the need to go out of his way to prove ...." I guess he likes bowling and drinking beer and eating waffles in public with a camera crew. Do you really think we are that gullible? He is doing nothing BUT going out of his way to pretend he is anyhting but what he is.

    Obama is an elitist in attitude toward Americans, and a slick, rich, connected, ivy-league lawyer, who tells his followers what they want to hear in vague terms, that can never be pinned down. And he engineered blocking FL and MI and is backed by big oil and other not-so-cute lobbies. And lies about it. And smiles all the while.

    That is called politics as usual.

    April 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Is this news? When will be get back to the ISSUES? We are In a CRISIS, we are in DEBT, we are losing JOBS! We are in a mess...... please CNN get back to what you do best. Shoes? Who cares?

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Sue, Preston MD

    You know what I found really telling? I saw a picture of him a few weeks ago in which he had one leg resting across the other. You could see the bottom of his shoe. It had a hole in it. A pretty big one at that.

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. DF

    Great the Obama, you should have enough shoes so you can walk the beat so to speak and check out the job market. You will need the 4 pair after these elections are over.

    April 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Tootie 05

    Some of the most arragant and wealthy people dress like bums,
    so why does he think he is just a regular guy because he has 4 pair
    of shoes?

    WHO CARES................

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    As an Indepentant Obama'a ability to relate to working people is the very reason I voted for him in the first place another is his ablity as an unifier is very appealing to me. the fact that he is a young man determined to bring truth to the white house and that he is intelligent and the most sincere of all the candidates.

    I thought only ADULTS were able to vote in a president, all of this rev. wright and other nonsense are thoughts for teenagers to stay focused on what about the issues at hand? This country as it is, is the pits we need a new way of approaching things the old is not working and the other old people can only give us old solutions, that's all they know! They have ran their course it's time for someone FRESH, UNCORRUPTED to lead us in the directions we need to go in. The world is changing we need to be able to keep up with changes.

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Denise in CA

    Geez people! Lighten up! It was a joke.

    BTW, Hillary is in serious need of a stylist.

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Michelle, Florida

    McCain or Hillary, not this clown.

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Is this guy from outer space or what?

    A tour of your closet Mr. Obama doesn't really Americans concerns regarding your ethical and moral credo–but nice try.

    Is that 4 dress shoes...or 4 total...dress, casual, tennis, golf,....etc?

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. lynn

    CNN is becoming pathetic!! You should be ashamed of yourself for reducing your election coverage to even below Fox standards.

    April 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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