July 30th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
14 years ago

The Paris Hilton comparisons

[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.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Butch Dillon

    And self-destruct McCain could be compared to Amy Winehouse. Of course, even at her physical worst, she's still more appealing than old jowled out crooked arms.

    July 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Sherry, Atlanta

    REPUBLICIAN GUTTER...And that's not the short of it. If you plan to go and support the the Athletes in China, ALL ARE BEING WARNED... THAT YOU WILL BE SPYED ON, IF YOU LOG ONTO THE INTERNET.

    Why are we subjecting our Athletes, and our Citizens to this NON-SENSE...

    Answer-George W. Bush

    July 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. ROB

    Go down the ticker and see how many pictures you see of Obama and then how many you see of McCain. Now put the big number over the little number and calculate a media lovefest or bias... I am not sure which.

    July 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. P, CA

    Look, CNN, I understand that you want to show all sides of an issue, and I find the above blog post humorous, but why can't you be this detailed about McCain???

    Obama hasn't said anything about the Paris Hilton comparison being false, he's just said this is an example of McCain's attempts to hit him from all sides, and frankly, he's right. The sad thing is that McCain is getting a lot of help from you and the other MSM. You all seem to be intent on vetting Obama into the ground and checking every last nook and cranny.

    Meanwhile, McCain is making mistake after mistake, his background has PLENTY of negative spots to cover (and you haven't covered them yet in this election cycle). What gives? Why this one-sided media attention?

    CNN: I've gotten so many posts "awaiting" verification. How come other people get through with the hate-mongering, and I can't even get through to make a point (which the haters will probably call whining)? All this "whining" talk is just an insecure attempt to make other people look bad, when they don't have a point to make anyway...

    July 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Olivia

    My pick is Paris Hilton for president of the good old USA.
    GO Paris........Go Paris.......Go Paris.

    July 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. Robert

    If Paris was a candidate against Obama I would vote for her...at least I know what she stands for, and she doesnt change her mind much. Party time!

    July 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. Dave C - NJ

    What is wrong with having a president that is popular and that everyone likes?

    Answer: nothing. The people that are whining about Obama would not vote for him anyway, so let them mouth off on the blogs.

    Obama does seem smug though...I would too if I had such an easy win.

    July 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. Donna from Colorado Springs

    John McBush is such a pathetic has-been.All he knows how to do is attack Obama at every turn. He is negative and even people in his own party are worried about the constant whining and complaining. The better for the dems, I say. He covers up his attack ploys by pretending to praise Nancy Pelosi. Everyone can see through that. Go ahead John. Spend your remaining days raging against Obamas supposed mistakes and how he is wrong about everything he believes, and how you are the only one who is right about everything. You sound more like Bush everyday!

    July 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Cindy Hussein McCain

    Politics is one thing, but it is really unfair of everyone to make these jokes at the expense of Brittany Spears or even Paris Hilton – they did not volunteer to be in this race and no matter what people may think of them its not right to use them politically in this way. Everyone deserves some repect.

    July 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. California Gold

    Obama's kidding and self-depricating humor is not the same. Obama made a joke. McCain's ad is not meant to be funny or witty. McCain's ad is one more installment in a series of highly negative attack ads.

    This speaks more to the lack of character of McCain. No wonder he is gaining a solid reputation as a candidate to avoid. Tells dirty jokes about women and rape, makes up little diddies about bomb-bomb-bomb Iran, insults Chelsea Clinton in another McCain joke about why Chelsea Clinton is "ugly". He will sink to any level necessary. Lame.

    July 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Cindy Hussein McCain


    July 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Kob


    I was a McCain supporter until the recent rash of ads on O'Bama that are not only incorrect, but down right nasty. He appears to be a very vindictive man whose temper could lead him to make the wrong judgements or actions. He does not look Presidential whereas O'
    bama does. And what is wrong with looking Presidentia? Nothing. Thank you.

    July 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. Tori, Ashland OR

    WHO CARES!!!! I just want to focus on the issues. This is an important election. Get off this and instead compare the candidates policies

    July 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Obama 08'

    For a man with so much maturity and experience McCain is acting like a ugly high school girl who cant get a date to the prom... All i have to say to the elder Senator is Grow up

    July 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. DJ, LA, CA

    John McCain compares more with Charles Keating and the S & L scandal.

    July 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. JC

    Barack has a sense of humor. McCain is acting like a teenage girl crying because someone else is more popular. Get a life McCain.

    July 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Vanessa

    So? Your point? Okay, he's popular. People everywhere like him. That's not a bad thing. The guy ran a good campaign and did good things for people in his state and during his senate career. He's raised our way of thinking and took on the big guys. He's young and has brought together millions of people from all kinds of American life. He's no Paris Hilton. He's one of the good guys and "hating" on him is just so weak.

    July 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. PUMA

    It's so sad and pathetic to see John Mcsame stoop so low to use this comparative words. It shows Mcsame,Mcbush lacks the judgements to really lead this country. He has totally lost his bearings.........i'm not rude but been real. shame on McCain.

    July 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. eam

    A crack head at that, why don't you ask obama about that one

    July 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Isaac

    McCain made a comment about his own age & that was okay, when Obama said that he was losing his bearing that because a media circus issue.

    McCain has been throwing his weight around & is getting a bit out of order with his comments, he should stop it & the media should start taking him to task on these issues not keep tip toeing around him to get a free ride on his bus.

    July 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. tony

    This is sad. First McCain called Obama's health care plan "Hillarycare." Then he compared Obama to Britney Spear and Paris Hilton. I thought this is going to be a "respectful campaign focused on issues," as McCain once said. What has happened to the straight-talking McCain?

    July 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. pam Eugene OR

    Obama is a "natural" and he is what is best for America. Just more whining from McCain. Move along folks there is nothing new here to see.

    July 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. eam

    thats the only rumor that he hasn't been able to say is not true.

    July 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. New Voter for McCain

    GAG me with a spoon. Obama will end up the biggest joke of this century. He will lose in a landslide. Each time he opens his mouth he loses more of those "Hope Heads".
    Keep talking Nobama, you are toast.

    July 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Kevin Evans

    Just noticing you have to scroll down 17 articles before you find one exclusively devoted to McCain (health update). Yet, Obama's picture is found in approximately 7 articles before that. Even your menu listing of categories has 2,102 articles on Obama; 1,203 for McCain. It would seem that CNN significantly prefers to cover Obama over McCain.

    July 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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