Inside Politics

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Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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Buyer’s remorse?

Yes, many chortled over the appearance of blond starlets Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in a campaign spot for Sen. John McCain, who claimed the ad was intended to deflate the distracting celebrity of Sen. Barack Obama. You know. Just for laughs. No racial stuff. Really.

Miss Hilton’s mother is not amused. Kathy Hilton penned a terse reaction at the Huffington Post on Sunday.

“I’ve been asked again and again for my response to the now infamous McCain celebrity ad. I actually have three responses. It is a complete waste of the money John McCain’s contributors have donated to his campaign. It is a complete waste of the country’s time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next President of the United States,” Mrs. Hilton wrote.

She is — or was — presumably a Republican, and with her husband, donated $4,600 to Mr. McCain’s campaign this year.

The Arizona Republican has earned some new critics in the aftermath.

“Way to go, Johnny. You just [angered] a heavy-duty donor to your party. And by the way, the Hiltons are VERY influential in your party,” noted one annoyed observer at the Huffington Post.

No word from any of Miss Spears’ relatives. Yet.

By the numbers

The “celebrity ad” itself is now a celebrity.

Sixty-nine percent of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen press coverage of the campaign spot. Of those, just 22 percent say the ad was “racist,” while 63 percent say it was not.

Most black voters — 58 percent — saw the McCain ad as racist, however. Just 18 percent of white voters and 14 percent of all other voters shared that view, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 voters conducted Aug. 1, with a margin of error of three percentage points.

Fat chance

“He has been called too arrogant, too remote and too clever, but last week Sen. Barack Obama was hit below the belt with a cruel new allegation: He may be too skinny to win the White House. Suggestions that Obama’s slim physique is a liability in a nation of mostly overweight voters marked a dangerous new turn for the Democratic contender’s suddenly vulnerable presidential campaign,” said Tony Allen-Mills of the Sunday Times of London.

Recent news reports have explored the notion that Mr. Obama would lose votes from chubby voters because he was too svelte. Well, there’s something to that — 66 percent of us are now overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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