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. mjaber

    Look at Clinton and McCain. They have over 100,000,000$. Don't you think that is elitest.

    April 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. A.A.B.

    How cynical and smug this forum! I don't think any of us should feel proud behind our computer screens throwing smoldering feces at each other and the candidates. It's time to grow up and stop this bickering. We have managed to make all three candidates look like nut jobs.

    April 25, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Brian (in PA)

    What you didn't ask him if he wears boxers or briefs? Wow, CNN always goes to the heart of the issues and asks the hard questions! He's not my first pick, but talk about focusing on the ridiculous!

    April 25, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Montana is Obama Country

    I think you looked just "fine" when you came to Montana..

    I love your kindness, your genuine sense of humor and the FACT you are right about perserving the constitutional rights for my family and others like us.. AND.. Washingont needs to change.

    Yes... We.. Can... and I will vote for you June 3rd and contiue to donate to your campaign.

    April 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. James Nelson

    For those who style themselves "Democrats for McCain" why don't you just call yourselves "Too Childish to Be Allowed a Vote" and have done with it? At least then your tantrum would get you points for honesty, if not intelligence.

    April 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    CNN you seem to be running out of ideas...seriously! Let the guy talk about issues....don't become a tabloid newspaper...Pleeeeease!

    April 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Elisabeth

    Men in power are troublemakers on the global arena. It´s a matter of mentallity. That´s one of the most important reasons to vote for Hillary.

    April 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Just Words

    GQ?? LOL!!!!! Hardly.....

    Denzel Washington OR Terrence Howard now THAT IS GQ!!!

    - 4 pairs of VERY Expensive shoes purchased by contributions of the "Insane for Change" cult followers! Wonder who got the "Tiffany" purchase of $500...????

    April 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Dr. M.Behrooz

    you are in the heart of many believeres regardless of faith,race, and color.
    Allah says in Holly books"We have created you witt he differences such as colors in order you human to undrestand better".and "who is the most piest of all is the most loved to the creator."
    Good bless you ,
    waiting for final result,
    Best to Mitchel and Obama,
    Mohammad Behrooz(PhD)

    April 25, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. EXCUSE ME!!!

    They were talking about him being a regular guy!! What does that have to do about the way Hillary dresses. Get a gtip, you hateful people. Stick with what's being said. Do you have to constantly pick on Hillary? Why is ok for all of you but when the shoe is on the wrong foot, you whine, whine whine!!! Grow up!!

    April 25, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Rena

    Some of your comments prove why this country is in the shape were are in right now and why we have problems in the Democratic party. We need to ask God to give us the president we need, not the one we think we want. If we continue to think we are smarter than He is, He will let us have the one we choose.

    April 25, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "What you didn't ask him if he wears boxers or briefs?"

    Didn't they ask Bill Clinton that back in '92? He's a little older now, so I guess if you ask Bill that question now, he'd answer "Depends!"

    April 25, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Cindy,CA

    Who cares? Some of these comments are getting more silly by the day. It did give me a good laugh!! Thanks

    April 25, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Zagazaw

    How can you call a Black, raise by a single mom, lived on welfare, could only afford to go to school on scholarship, how can you call that person elitists?
    Please don't this as the race cord but most people included black people are not use to a Powerful black man who is not a artist, an athlete or a minister. so most people don't know how to view Obama, at lease every President is always married so see a Woman in the spotlight very comon. the Bible so when a person get married the two gecome one, so technically many Women as been there before. and many woman have control the oval office.
    This is the first time a man like Obama have such chance, and this is the first time many American see a powerful black man.... it seems weird and ackorwd to lots of people, some react out of fear and rejection, some respond with excitment and embrace.

    April 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Michigan

    I think all of this stuff is manufactured by Obama opponents - it's ridiculous, meaningless... If anyone should have to defend their wardrobe it's scary Hillary!! She wants to wear the pants of this country... I would be ashamed to call her my President - she is shrill, she LIES, she MANIPULATES the truth and her political pawns for profit (personal or professional).
    This country is a bunch of FRIGHTENED complainers - always wanting change but wussing out when presented with the opportunity.

    April 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. jl

    Well, most people I know have more than 4 pairs of shoes.


    I wonder how many shoes are in Hillary's closet?

    April 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Matt

    Good lord, you people who keep calling him elitist. Saying he believes in all that Rev. Wright says. Do you have any idea how rediculous you sound? It is like saying you agree with everything your father has said, or a teacher. Come on don't be that dense.

    April 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Alan Boyer

    Now we're talking about his clothes. I'm sure the Fox imperial dragons will have a problem with how he dresses, connect it somehow to Wright and manage to suggest that he's unpatriotic for only have four pairs of shoes.

    April 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. jl





    April 25, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. happy camper

    Obama should punish Hillary for doing John McCain's dirty work for him by offering her the VP slot - publicly and often. She and Bill clearly feel entitled to the White House, and refuse to gracefully concede and make peace within the party - long after it became painfully obvious that she cannot possibly catch Senator Obama in the contest for delegates. So she should be forced to spend the next 8 years attending ribbon cutting ceremonies and foreign funerals.

    Most of Hillary's supporters will vote for such a ticket, and if they win, all is forgiven. If not, she can run again in 4 years. And if she refuses the nod, she becomes even more of a pariah in the party than she already is. A win-win all around.

    April 25, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. James Mitchell

    ya and a prayer rug and korhan and a vision dangerous for us as a nation.so dont say we have not been warned he is the anti christ

    April 25, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. portland

    how did his mother qualify for food stamps at the same time he attended a very expensive prep school. drug dealer/car thief/welfare cheat. just your regular guy

    April 25, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Say Hey


    April 25, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Chas

    The REAL question we need to ask Obama is not "How many pairs of shoes do you own?" but "How much did your shoes cost?"

    I've got no money and tons of shoes. Cheep, crappy shoes. But I bet I could pay rent for a few months with the money Obama spent on his few kicks.

    April 25, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Sharon

    Please tell me what difference does it make?????? There are more important matters to discuss instead all this foolishness. Come people WAKE UP. Stop the hate. Let's all get togeher and clean the up the mess the Republicans made. Slander & mudsling is not going to solve our problems they only delayed them. We are in a crisis. My vote is for Obama he can get the job done. I do not listen to all this negativity only the issues.

    April 25, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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