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. B. Brown

    CNN, the point of this article is what? Surely you have some more out of date polls about the race being close to report.

    July 30, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Mark

    Obama makes me sick... he's is so full of himself it's disgusting.

    July 30, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Shonne

    How dare McCain use negative ad to describe Paris Hilton and Britney Spears who are just kids struggling with identity problems. By the way, these kids have made their life career and are also famous. These could be McCain's kids, is this the right way to educate and encourage kids/young adults? McCain should be ashemed of himself for degrading children instead of giving them hope. Senator Obama is a celebrity here and abroad whether McCain likes it or not. History has already been made!

    July 30, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Fox news wants you

    Dana; What is the journalistic value here?

    I watch CNN over MSNBC & FOX.
    Don't make me tune off CNN as well.

    July 30, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Ernie in LA

    They are all famous losers.

    July 30, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. River70

    Hope ya'll remember that Brittney came to NY to endorse Bush in 2004 and then that was cool. MCNOBrain is so desperate and this kind of stuff he is doing now is with his Rove advisors. Of course if MC NO Brain were to attract a huge crowd then this would be so cool.

    July 30, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Joan, Ontario

    This is not meaningful to the political coverage in any way at all. He was making fun at a dinner back in 2004 for heaven sake. The McCain campaign is trying to make it somehow important in a national ad. What on earth does this have to do with running for President of the United States?

    July 30, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Ari

    Dana; When you post such articles please state the journalistic value behind it. I am still trying to understand.

    July 30, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. DEM 08

    I see they are soft on McCain, when he makes gaph after gaph!

    Now these silly ads he need s to be called out own them wheres the straight talk of 2000.

    July 30, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. Anna Colburn

    The elected candidate will have something to worry about besides his IMAGE soon enough.

    this is small potatoes.

    July 30, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. Chris from NY

    The celebrity part of Obama is a plus in this presidential election bid but that's not all he stands for. Why don't McCain go out there and make his own news instead of attacking someone else that's the news. I hope the media will pick this up. It's high time the media held McCain accountable for his racist undertone. Because Obama is black he's not patriotic, he's not one of them. If he doesn't belong in the white race he belongs to the human race and tha's much more vast majority than McCain's race.

    July 30, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. mmd

    He should thank god that he does not look like her. Paris is the twin to sweet pea, popeye's son. Look at her.

    July 30, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. ndildcnc

    I love that Harkin stepped in to save Obama from comparing himself from Hilton again. THAT is man who knows what he's doing. Its a shame that Obama doesn't.

    July 30, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. randy

    obama will make a good president .the republicans wants to create fear around obama and i belive american people will not buy it and the will vote barack obama come november 4.

    July 30, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. Kim

    Paris is an exact younger portrait of Cindy McBush. A pretty, shallow, drug abusing, spoiled , rich , heiress. And she is like Barrack...how?

    July 30, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Debby, NJ

    What ever McShame is a TROLL !!!

    July 30, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Joker

    McStain.......Peel some of that skin off and put it in a Treasure Chest as a keepsake. We'll need a DNA sample when you're gone from the public eye.

    July 30, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. JoeReed

    This is going to backfire big time against McCain.

    July 30, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. Lance

    I know who I am voting for:


    July 30, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Debby

    So Obama compared himself with a bimbo in 2004 priceless. hahahaha

    July 30, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. erica

    Why waste time and space on reporting on these petty events.
    It's a waste of time for readers; maybe news reporters should focus on the real issues and not the fluff of the campaign.
    just a comment from a concerned citizen.

    July 30, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. Don't go there!

    EAM: No, you don't want to ask Senator Obama about drugs, seeing as how Cindy McSurge was hooked on perscription drugs and even stole from her charity! Not to mention all of the drugs they loaded up John McSurge with when he returned from being a POW, he was practically a drug addict too. So, don't go there!

    July 30, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    That this is even an item people are discussing is just wasted time...no comparison...A Barack Obama/Paris Hilton comparison is BEYOND an apples and oranges comparison...the only comparison American voters need be concerned with is the Obama/McCain matchup...which is apples vs. OLD SOUR apples...
    OBAMA '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  24. Tim

    Saying, "I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse" is not a comparison. It's a joke. McCain's ad is totally different. Quite a stretch, CNN.

    July 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Mary

    Obama should quit playing the whining victim role. It's very unbecoming of a presidential hopeful. But what do you expect from a cocaine crack-head.

    July 30, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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