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. we ARE bitter!!!!!

    That is hilarious. I was telling my husband the other day, that his suits are hideous...LOL.

    April 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Dennis

    It is amazing what some people will make an issue out of. Senator Obama had to defend the clothes in his closet? Seriously?

    First, it is an issue that he doesn't wear a flag pin (neither do Senators Clinton and McCain–but neither get asked about it). Now, it is an issue that he dresses in a respectable manner. Senator McCain wears suits. Senator Clinton wears pant suits. Why is it an issue when Senator Obama wears the same? Talk about a double standard.

    April 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. David

    All three of the guys left in the race are not regular!!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Kim Kelly

    I guess he should be busting a sag with his white t. This story is stupid. Can we discuss something importatant???

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. May

    Obama is a regular guy. He is in this election because he strongly feels an urgency to fix the broken government that has been hijacked by lobbysts. The Clintons are in this because they want to use the presidency to make millions of dollars.
    One wonders why Bill did not get involved in some human rights cause like Carter and Gore. Instead he chose to make millions of dollar as a lobbyst for China, Canada, Qatar, Colombia to promote trade deals that ship american jobs abroad. I doubt he will stop if Hillary is elected.

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. susan

    MY GOODN ESS YOU PEOPLE – Have you not had enough of Clinton/Bush??? You can't expect to get change with ones who have not proven themselves. Peope who are voting for Hillary are not voting for her but for her husband. It will just be the SAME OLD TUNE in Washington. GO OBAMA 08

    April 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Tom , Flagstaff, AZ

    Obama has more street cred than anyone who's ever been a serious candidate. I mean, good God, the man was a community organizer on the Southside.

    April 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. we ARE bitter!!!!!

    Hey "HELLO"

    Wow, you are an idiot. So now blacks are racist if they vote for Obama? So does that make women voting for Clinton, sexist????

    April 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. mike,Iowa

    Is there anything we wont accuse Obama of doing? Every candidate dresses nice. What is he supposed to do show up wearing tore up jeans a flannel shirt and a budweiser hat? I think this "elitist" crap is getting old. Soon the media and everyone against Obama will have to start coming up with new labels to slap on him when they run out of the ones they are using now.

    April 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Dave

    Elitist, not elitist... as if ANYBODY who's running for president isn't elitist! Anyone who compares themselves to everyone else in the country and decides, "I need to be in charge of all these other people" is the very definition of an elitist.

    So people need to get off this silly "elitist" meme. If you don't want to vote for an elitist, then you better pack it in, 'cuz you'll never get to vote for ANYbody.

    April 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Sharon

    I am so sick of BO......so really sick.....he talks of bringing unity, yet calls the Clintons racists....says Hillary is the only one being negative, yet has bashed her over and over and over again in mean, personal ways (you're likable enough, Hillary...snubs her at the state of the union, calls her secretive, untrustworthy, divisive, status-quo, claims SHE'S unable to make changes in washington, ..etc...)....claims to be ready to be POTUS, yet two years ago said he couldn't run because.."I think you need to know what you're doing", and has done VERY little for Illinois.....can say things like "typical white person" and no one says a word.....says every voice should be heard, yet has his lawyers and lobbyist stop revotes in MI and FL (someone PLEASE tell me where in our Constitution does it say that any entity has the right to tell 2.5 million Americans that their votes don't count!)....can't debate well, so blames everyone else for his short-comings....constantly insults the ONLY SUCCESSFUL democratic president we've had in DECADES....gets 90% of the black vote, nothing is said, yet Hillary's white voters must be racist.....can say whatever he wants, the media will back him up with excuses.....media has week-long coverage of "black in America" and "Race and Politics" YET NOT ONE STORY ABOUT WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH IN MARCH and NEVER COVERAGE CALLED "GENDER AND POLITICS" or "WOMEN AND POLITICS"........

    CAN JUST ONE OF YOU GUYS PLEASE EXPLAIN ANY OF THIS?????

    April 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Bayou Joe

    The only way this guy will ever change Washington is to move the capital to Chicago. Then he and his preacher can change America to their liking.

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. race card

    regular guy that regularly plays the race card to win.

    But since all Afro-Americans are already voting for Obama and are already fired up with racial tensions, what does Obama gain, re-playing the race card?

    There are no more Black votes out there to get.

    And we all know The Clintons aren't racist.

    If African Americans continue to try to label the Clintons racist, it will backfire. White America will not vote for Obama if he continues these lies and attacks on the Clintons. We do not need a race war. Some uniter Obama is.

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Lets Get Ready for Change!

    People, people, people.... Just stop!
    Who has the most money... Who has the most clothes... Who has the most shoes....
    Is this helping us at all??? If we focus on things that benefit us, we may be able to better ourselves.
    All three candidates have money but Obama has the least and is drawing more people to the democratic party. Regardless if you like him or not, just make sure your disagreement have legs and is not simply just spreading hate like it appears some of you are!
    Peace!

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Wayne

    The posts are moderated so we dont really know what people think by reading this board. It's likely this post wont make it. I do think it's rediculous to watch 3 millionares argue over who is elitists as the rest of us regular folks watch in horror as the American ship SINKS.

    Clintons: 109M
    McCain wife: 100M
    Obama: 4M.

    Hmm..who is elitist?

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Smart

    It is really funny when John MacCain and Hillary Clinton try to convince us that Obama is an elitist. How can someone from the Southside of Chicago be an elitist? This guy toiled and toiled owing shool fees arears for such a long time.

    And look who is feeding us the crap! John MacCain and his wife, with 100s of $Million Dollars. They even find it difficult to report their income/tax returns.

    Then take a look at Hillary Clinton! 8years in Arkansas Govt House, then 8years in the White House, then 8years in the Senate; now she wants another 8years in the White House!!

    Who is fooling who???

    April 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. CB in Florida

    Senator Obama is the only person in the contest that knows something about growing up in main stream America. McCain and Hillary have lived a majority of their privileged lives away from the hustle and bustle common folk deal with and neither can understand nor identify with the lifestyle of those earning less than 50K a year.

    April 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. You've got to be kidding

    Now Obama tries to divert attention from the "elitist" issue by talking about his shoes. Geeze! What about his own statement as to why he's running for president now as opposed to later - "In eight years from now, 10 years from now, we may still be nice people, but we may be in this orbit where we just don’t remember, we don’t hear people’s voices anymore." That quote from Shoeless Barrack speaks more to his elitist character than does his wardrobe.

    April 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Sharon

    Can someone inform the people who constantly post that the Clintons have 100 million "in the bank".....34 million went to the government, 10 million went to charities.....they did live and support homes for those eight years! Can you please stop the silliness?????
    I am so sick of BO......so really sick.....he talks of bringing unity, yet calls the Clintons racists....says Hillary is the only one being negative, yet has bashed her over and over and over again in mean, personal ways (you're likable enough, Hillary...snubs her at the state of the union, calls her secretive, untrustworthy, divisive, status-quo, claims SHE'S unable to make changes in washington, ..etc...)....claims to be ready to be POTUS, yet two years ago said he couldn't run because.."I think you need to know what you're doing", and has done VERY little for Illinois.....can say things like "typical white person" and no one says a word.....says every voice should be heard, yet has his lawyers and lobbyist stop revotes in MI and FL (someone PLEASE tell me where in our Constitution does it say that any entity has the right to tell 2.5 million Americans that their votes don't count!)....can't debate well, so blames everyone else for his short-comings....constantly insults the ONLY SUCCESSFUL democratic president we've had in DECADES....gets 90% of the black vote, nothing is said, yet Hillary's white voters must be racist.....can say whatever he wants, the media will back him up with excuses.....media has week-long coverage of "black in America" and "Race and Politics" YET NOT ONE STORY ABOUT WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH IN MARCH and NEVER COVERAGE CALLED "GENDER AND POLITICS" or "WOMEN AND POLITICS"........

    CAN JUST ONE OF YOU GUYS PLEASE EXPLAIN ANY OF THIS?????

    April 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Ana in L.A.

    Oh my god... and this is the guy he preaches he wants to stay on topic??!! I DO NOT CARE how many pairs of shoes you have Obama!! And I'm pretty sure each of these "4 pairs" cost a pretty penny!!

    -Ana. 2 pairs of shoes. Sandals and sneakers. 'Nuff said.

    p.s. If I were Obama... I'd be spending my spit putting out the Rev. fire ONCE AGAIN instead of for shining his shoes.

    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Racist or not. If Obama don't win, we are screwed.

    April 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Erik

    As a guy, I must agree. I have 4 pairs of shoes too!

    Obama's a good guy.

    April 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Grant

    Bush 1988
    Clinton 1992
    Clinton 1996
    Bush 2000
    Bush 2004

    Does this country really want another Bush or Clinton in the White House? That would make a Bush or Clinton as President for 20+year. I don't want a 2-family dynasty in the White House. Enough said.

    April 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. stacy

    all nonsense.

    April 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Kh

    People who criticize this guy need to reflect on their own choice for president. Elitist? HA!! look at Hillary or John McCain and compare their upbringing. It's funny, a lot of the commercials I see the Clintons running are basically saying – hey look he is just as bad as I am – pathetic.

    April 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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