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. Scott L

    This is your brain. This is your brain on Obama. Any questions?

    July 30, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. aware

    Go Senator McCain! Obama is running scared! 🙂

    July 30, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. TheTruthHurts

    So? Obama saying it about himself in a humble fashion is a galaxy away from McCain paying to put in a TV ad. I've already lost respect for McCain. The only question now is if I lose respect for voters.

    July 30, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. norom

    July 30th, 2008 6:21 pm ET

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

    -bet you voted for the crack head, dry drunk, DUI felon that is the
    white house now didn't you?

    July 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Slow day for Dana Bash

    July 30, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Caycee

    By promoting such a silly ad campaign, McCain invites similar comparisons such as being likened to a "Joker" or a "Desperado".

    July 30, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Chris in Va.

    Hey CNN, are you idiots going to post these comments people are making or are you just wasting out time?

    July 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. wct

    Obama is acting like a celebrity so what is wrong with the ad anyway??? Well, Obama features himself in entertainment shows and People magazine and that is what is wants.... Have a little fun, Barry!

    July 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. Willow, from Iowa

    There is a line between competitive politics and negative campaigning. McCain has crossed that line. It is no longer just a good competitive discussion. McCain keeps on going and going on what Obama does wrong, instead of what McCain does right. I have, to be fair, listened to both nominees speeches, hoping to clarify the big differences, and how they want to do things. And I am getting really tired of McCain and his negativity. I believe he has crossed the line. And its going to hurt him in the end.

    July 30, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. Goldstein

    out of touch, out of mind.

    the McCain Machine .

    July 30, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. Foreign Observer

    Feminizing your male opponent is an ancient tactic; it works for the same reason all misogynist tactics work. When it comes to Obama, the charge - "he's a girl" - is further buttressed by hundreds of years comparing blacks and women to children. Same old, same old.

    Shame on CNN for airing attack ads, btw, giving freebies to hatred.

    July 30, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  12. McCain is 71

    To those voters that are undecided: Just think about what it says about a candidate's position on certain issues when his campaign has to propagandize the campaign and try to fool voters.

    Gas tax holiday? Ridiculous idea that benefits oil companies.

    Offshore drilling? Ridiculous idea that benfits oil companies.

    Iraq war? Ridiculous idea that benefits oil companies.

    How many of these do I have to list before people understand what is going on here?

    July 30, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. arlene, CA

    This is just so dumb. McShame has nothing to say about the issues, so he resorts to negative ads against Obama. He claimed he would not go negative, they have gone super negative. McShame you don't have the leadership America Needs. We need Obama, a Change We Can Believe In.

    July 30, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Marina

    Right, like Barack Obama ever looked like Paris and Britney. First of all he's not all white, and he's not blonde people! Just because McCain wears $500 shoes and has a life of luxury doesn't mean Barack has. Get a clue McCain, your the ridiculous millionaire, forever. Like I said before, when is this campaign goint to get fair?

    Go Barack.

    July 30, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. The Lady

    John McCain is starting to act like a big cry baby, please stop whinning about dumb stuff.

    July 30, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  16. Alice in Florida

    Oh, I think Paris is WAY smarter than Bam Bam – she also has a WAY smaller ego – and how SCARY is THAT?????????????????????

    July 30, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  17. trina yan


    July 30, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. Nancy

    McCain is LOSING IT. He is FAR TOO OLD to be president. The people who are voting for him are the same idiots who re-elected Bush and now complain about him. You would think they would have learned, if McCain wins they will be whining about him too in six months because nothing will be any different. Anyone who votes for McCain because is "safer" is voting out of fear and ignorance and they will regret it.....

    July 30, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. chas alabama

    McCain forgot what he just said already, go change your depends.

    July 30, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. judyc


    I LOVE the Real McCoy comparison!!!

    I just realized while watching McCain on TV tonite that he just grosses me out. I really don't want to look at that any length of time!

    July 30, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. sarah

    im almost as sick of hearing about one as i am hearing about the other. hilton and obama are just alike really. both pointless, nobodies that the media made into somebodies, both drug users, both completely self-centered and arrogant. wow why didn't the dems just appoint hilton to be the candidate.

    July 30, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Matt, Canoga Park

    Sounds like a fair comparison. Both are vapid and egotistical and think that they are better and more special than you or I. And both are full of fluff and no substance to back up all the media attention they get.

    July 30, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. Thebat

    Dana Bash, yet another in the long line of "journalists" who is either unable or unwilling to report all of the facts, as opposed to rumor, lies, or inuendo, and to then take an objective look at both positions.

    What is wrong with "you people", Dana? Do you not understand what your role is or, has "the boss" laid out an agenda for you?

    July 30, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Phil, FL

    Maybe Botox Barbie McCain would have made a bigger splash. Maybe doing some of her druga?

    Maybe McWarmonger doesn't care about his lack of popularity with the world. He should. They are watching him closely, and they don't approve either. He was ignored when he went to Europe.

    WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH – someone loook at little Johnnie – I'm gonna start wars so you know I can win them WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

    July 30, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. Mike in PA

    McCain is reaching. He can't get anything to stick. Get ready for the McCain "kitchen sink strategy."

    July 30, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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