[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.paris.gi.jpg caption="Obama once compared himself to Paris Hilton."](CNN) - John McCain is facing criticism from many Democrats for likening Barack Obama to Paris Hilton, but the Illinois senator made the same comparison himself at a dinner in 2004.
"Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame," then Senator-elect Obama said at a Gridiron dinner in December, 2004. "I've already had an hour and a half. I mean, I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."
That attempt at self deprecating humor was delivered little more than a month after he was elected to the US senate, and just weeks before he was sworn in.
The same comparison was also made in September 2006, when speculation swirled about whether the still-very coy Obama would mount a presidential bid.
Upon speaking at Tom Harkin’s annual Iowa steak fry - a must-attend event for any presidential hopeful - CNN asked Obama about the Paris Hilton comparisons.
“Yeah, exactly,” Obama started to reply before Harkin jumped in and said, “Remember that movie with Robert Redford that was called 'The Natural, about a baseball player? This is the natural of politics.”