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. David

    This isn't news. Copy this comment if you agree.

    July 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. chris in va.

    I guess now comparisons are fair game. To me McShame is the spitting image of the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt. Am I right or wrong?

    July 30, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    DANA: I am so sad that you have been used by McCain, and are no longer unbiased.



    I am waiting for Paris & Brittney to denounce the ad and ask the GOP to take their images off!


    July 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    Dana Bash has been following the McSenile campagn to long. Somebody ought to remind her that she works for CNN as a journalist and is not part of the Republican slime machine.

    Maybe she should go to the National Enquirer, I'm sure she would fit right in.

    July 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Tjaye in LA

    Is McCain running on the Hater ticket? OMG! I would NEVER let anyone know I was that jealous of them.

    July 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Jon

    Let put McCain and Bush side by side ...oh don't forget the burning cross in the background. Is this what McCain has turned into. If the news media would setup and call this for what it is maybe just maybe McShame would start taking about the issues and not whinning about Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. SANTE


    1. Everybody who is NOT a snob senses that something is not exactly O.K. with that so called "New Politician".
    I see him like my doughier: tells me exactly what I would like to hear.

    I think that Guy and his gang had studied the social behaviour in USA long before had started the elections and they simply manipulate us very effectively!
    Simply: DO NOT TRUST HIM!!!!

    2. No offence, but am I correct that OBAMA is very much supported and loved by HOMOSEXUALS?

    / Not because I do not respect them as human beings/

    3. His color is NOT my concern but his attitude : HE IS ARROGANT!
    e.g. Is it appropriate a future President to chew a gum walking as a peacock at front of the cameras?

    4. If he is "sooo gifted" and almost genius, what he had done for 45 years before the beginning of that election?

    July 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |

    MCCAIN IS THE SAME AS BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -B.

    July 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Independents for Obama

    Google "Mr. Magoo" and you will see John McSeniles picture.

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Sick of Republican Tactics!

    Why isn't the media allowing jokes made towards McSenile! Just think of all the legitimate jokes that seem to fit that poor, old, forgetful senior citizen! He has no choice but to attack because he doesn't offer anything new, other than the same failed policies of that oil man of a "president"....Good Oil Bush!

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Denise Groves

    How desperate is McGrumpy? There is no comparison. Obama should be insulted.

    July 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Bob

    Obama you are all talk. You spin a good tale. I suspect your love for this country is more about what it can do for you. John Kennedy and Henry "scoop" Jackson must be turning over in their graves. Slick Willy has nothing over on you.

    July 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Nowhere Man

    Gosh, I don't see any comparison between Barack and Paris. They don't look at all alike to me. One difference I do see though is that Barack looks like he's staring at yet another teleprompter before he opens his mouth. God forbid, he has an original thought.

    July 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Eileen from Maine

    Former McCain strategist John Weaver has called the spot "childish."


    He added: "There is legitimate mockery of a political campaign now, and it isn"t at Obama"s. For McCain"s sake, this tomfoolery needs to stop."

    Johnny has had to go without his celebrity status for a month now and his oversized ego can't handle somebody else getting attention that should be going to HIM.

    Look out Obama, the other Republican Senators have got some scary stories about what happens when THE ANGRY ONE doesn't get his way.

    July 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. Paul

    But he had to stage 2 popular rock concerts in Germany and give out free beer to attract the 200,000...then he walked out at the end like they were really there to see him???
    And remember "Unity Day" in NH? Why doesn't the press investigate how he gets the crowds!!!!

    There are 1,500 residents in Unity NH, and the crownd was calculated to be 2,500.....how could that be???? ....when most of the Unity residents didn't even get into their own park?????

    Well here is how they do it: in order to get into the park, you had to have a ticket...OK. How does one get a ticket? YOU HAD TO ARRIVE ON A BUS!!!....folks in Unity can walk from their homes...but NO, tickets were given out on the buses that came in from Boston, Worcester, Manchester, etc. HOW CLEVER?????

    The politics of imagery and deception!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. eye's of the wise

    So what, Obama is popular and loved around the world, I guess you can't have that in a U.S President, no wonder there is a anti-American sentiment through out the world, I guess that's what the GOP want's. to hate and be hated, so sad

    July 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. Faith

    I love Paris but Obama is no Paris. He came from poor folks!

    July 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Powers

    This is a write up of a poor mind. Dana Bash is closet republican one day a main stream reporter want be the next. Why is CNN printing such garbage?

    July 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Mark

    Sen Obama made, accepted and recognized the comparison to Ms. Hilton, so how's that saying go... You make your bed you gotta sleep in it.

    His inexperience is showing. When he gets tagged on his snaffu's, he cries like a baby. And the media plays it both ways. They push the original story, then they attack his opponent for reminding everybody what Sen Obama said himself.

    Shameless media, shameless Democrats who have destroyed our once great party. Remember 4 years ago when the democrats demonstrated just how lost they are when they lost to GW Bush. With his low rating, only someone more inept could loose. And that's the best the Dems could come up with. Now they have no one, so they have to settle for someone who has 0 experience, wild eyed, extremely costly ambitions of grandier (health care, etc). He's a good talker, but no reality. There are so many leaders in history that were great orators, but HORRIBLE and dangerous leaders. We have not matured to the point where we can get past the hypnotic powers of the candidate. Superstar syndrome. Fools tread lightly and be careful where you step.

    Then there's McCain...

    Bottom line; we're screwed either way we turn.

    July 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Ralph

    McCain is even more of a grump than Nixon was.

    July 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. rachae

    I am still amazed at how the media hasn't taken on McCain. Maybe it just isn't fun if it is this easy?

    July 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. Kansas Republican

    No question that Obama is real pretty . . . but looks don't mean anything. He brings nothing to the table but wind. He's an abortionist and a gay agenda man. McCain is neither of those. People are going to have to decide which morality they want.

    July 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Bo, Dc

    Cindy McCain is the only Paris Hilton type figure who has a chance of occupying the white house next year. She didn't earn anything on her own ether, and the only reason people like her is because she is rich, blond, and attractive in that plastic sort of way.

    Obama has worked hard, and has connected and inspired people, and he has accomplished things no other person has before. That is why people are interested in him, and that is why the media covers him more.

    July 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. wiser

    Senator Obama has only celebrity to offer America. What has he done? What are his accomplishments?

    Americans will not be fooled by an adoring press. We will not support someone with so little experience. The press can keep pushing
    Senator Obama on us but the voters will not elect him. We are not electing an American Idol. We are electing a president, which is more than a popularity contest.

    We will choose experience, judgment, and a genuine war hero over a zero every time!

    Democrats for McCain!

    July 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. zackly

    Barack Obama and Paris Hilton....
    They both have about the same governing experience....Right?

    July 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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