CAPITOL HILL (CNN) - The lines between celebrity and politician blurred into a haze Thursday at a Republican news conference, as one congressman began pushing Paris Hilton's “plan” on energy.
"Let's bring up the Paris Hilton plan," goaded Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas.
Burgess and his fellow Republicans are in day five energy speeches on the House floor, despite the fact that the chamber is closed for August recess. They're trying to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into holding a vote on offshore oil drilling.
As they plan for another week of House protest, those Republicans have found an unlikely ally and publicity magnet in Hilton. The model and actress launched a parody campaign commercial earlier this week, suggesting a hybrid of energy plans from presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain
"We can do limited offshore drilling, with strict environmental oversight," the heiress suggested in an animal print bathing suit, "while creating tax incentives to get Detroit making hybrid and electric cars."
"Even Paris Hilton had an energy plan that she's talking about," said Burgess, seizing a chance to make Democrats look lackluster on the issue.
The Texas congressman tried to put Hilton in the Republican camp, claiming her words mirrored current GOP legislation known as the "No More Excuses Energy Act". But, while that proposal does allow offshore drilling, a congressional summary shows it does not contain tax credits to encourage new automobile technology.
And that keeps Hilton, strangely, in the centrist chair on energy. A centrist, poolside lounge chair