July 30th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
15 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. Clinton/McCain

    McCain's aid was perfect. All three celebrities are dumb.

    July 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Barbara Campbell

    It's a common neocon strategy – take your opponent's strengths (Obama's popularity and eloquence) and drag them through the mud.

    As usual, Obama prefers the high road, with 9 out of 10 positive ads.

    July 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Darius

    To quote Kent Brockman, "I guess you could say this barely qualifies as news".

    July 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. scarey

    This is an idiot non story! Dana Bash - give me a break - slow news day, babe!? Get with the program!

    July 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Vig

    Obama maneuvers himself around criticism a couple of ways – he either turns the tables or he innoculates himself by being the first to criticize anticipated criticism. Before he even stepped back on American soil from his grandoise hip-hopping foreign folly, he verbalized that this trip may not have helped him in the polls. He's got an answer to everything, he deflects criticism by criticizing the critic and can't own up when he's wrong – like the surge working. This is like George Bush redux.

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Bill

    Paris is probably as qualified to be president as Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Rick

    Hey the latest commercial shows Paris and Brittany.

    But it ALSO shows a popular Barack Obama in front of 200,000 people and many of them are waving American flags!

    I can live with this image.

    Thanks, McCain!

    Obama/Richardson 08

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

    Oops; make that 11 out of the first 18 pictures have Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Canadian black man for Obama.

    Once a man twice a child>This is Senator McCain second childish behavour. McCain is now behaving like a child with his ad attacks.

    To compare a fello senator popularity as a celeb without real contrast with the celebrities in question, is very childish.

    When will McCainflip flop goind to learn?

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4Mc

    Obama record and accomplishments are about as in depth and substantive as Paris Hiltons personality.

    Mc 08
    Hillary 2012.

    Obama wants to be president then let him take some heat. Dont let the liberal media do to Mc Cain what they did to Hillary.

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Frank, MO

    Sad. McCain is less of an opponent than he is a grumpy old man who contradicts himself on an almost daily basis. The media has a kind of 'seniority shield' over him, but I think it's time that the true journalist call McCain on his gaffes, lies and contradictions. This is serious business not a retirement party.

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Hans-Erik Iken

    Well at least Obama has a good sense of humor. And the ad stating Obama is a celebrity known all over the world is accurate. And still the lady at the gym asked him for his membershipcard some weeks ago, remember?

    Off course Obama and McCain are celebrities, presidential campaigns have that effect. More important is if either has a vision for the nation. Obama has one, how about you McCain?

    If you do, don't you think it is about time you shared it with the voters?

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. Linda31

    Is CNN trying to make this acceptable? It is not!

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Yay for Socialism!

    Confiscate at threat of gunpoint, any and all personal wealth and private property, and redistribute among the people.

    This was socialism 150 years ago. It was socialism 70 years ago. It was socialism 40 years ago. It is socialism today.

    Putting Obama's pretty face and pretty words on it does not lessen the danger it poses to a free and prosperous nation.

    "...history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening."
    - Ronald Reagan, 1964

    July 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Kyle

    Yep ! John McCain is right. Obama knew himself more than anyone of us. That why Obama once compared himself to Paris Hilton.

    July 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. California Voter

    And I might add that his campaign is beginning take on more and more the look of movie star hype rather than a serious presidential campaign. OK, he says I've got the judgment to be President because I did not support the war in Iraq. Is that all there is to Obama? Looks like it to me.

    July 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Jim Nammack; Kentucky

    Paris Hilton is not exactly what I would call an intellectual heavyweight. What on earth difference does it make what she thinks about anything? Is that the best the McCain camp can do? Well, I guess it is. Like attracts like, right? Just one more reason to vote for Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. Mike in MN

    Paris Hilton has more depth and shows better judgment.

    McCain 08!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Mary

    Please remove your blinkers and you will realize what the GOP party has done to America in the last 8 years

    WATCH OUT!!! FEAR & SMEAR 2004 GOP campaign playbook is being used AGAIN!!!

    If you believed McCain was going to run a respectful campaign, think again!!!

    July 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. seah5 Ohio

    Obama wants to be a Rock Star, or Just a super star. Mr Hollywood. If you have not notice Obama is a showman, It is all about him, all about image. He wants everyone to like him and agree with him.

    He is not interested in working for America, for the people. He is for everyone working for him, and him giving orders of what he wants.

    He does not have the best interest of America or the American people at heart. He has his image to worry about. Winning the Popularity contest, and being liked and loved by all.

    Nothing Presidential about him. Nothing about running a country is he interested in. He thinks he is all that and wants to be all that.

    So The Ad fits Obama to a tee............. It is Obama through and through.

    He has done nothing for America or the people of this Great Country.
    He is only interested in doing for himself and what he wants to do and gain. Even Pelosi says he has no experience and he is just ideas. We need more for a President and we the American People deserve more.

    He might have some of the people snowed and mind conditioned, he can't do it to all. Those with common sense and those who can see through his game, do not want him.

    July 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Democrats, the do as I say, not as I do Party.

    July 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Tejano

    Thanks Sam i had forgotten about the drug use.

    July 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Adele

    McCain can't stand the fact that Obama is ahead in the polls and is more likeable around the world. Aferall that shouldn't be, he is a black man.

    July 30, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. al




    July 30, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. Jean

    It must be a slow news day or reporters are hard-up for something to write about. TRY A LITTLE HARDER.

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