The Washington Times - July 31, 2008, 10:58AM




The RNC this morning sends around Dana Bash’s CNN blog about Paris Hilton and Barack Obama, where she notes that it’s not the first time the superstar has been used in a political way.


She writes:


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.”


Of course, poor Paris has come up a bunch of times on the campaign trail, I realized as I went digging through my notes.


Perhaps the most famed reference was when Obama campaigned in Iowa and brought up the blond diva when railing against President Bush’s pardon of Scooter Libby.


He’d say:


“Even Paris Hilton got some jail time!”


John Edwards sometimes made fun of her back in Iowa, and I blogged about Tim Robbins complaining that “pop tarts” like Paris and Britney Spears get more attention than important issues like the war.


I even found Claire McCaskill, then campaigning for the Senate seat she later won, bringing up the heiress while stumping at the Missouri State Fair in 2006.


Mrs. McCaskill said yesterday she would support a permanent exemption for the estate tax on a family farm worth up to $7 million.

“Let’s not kid ourselves here,” she said. “The reason they keep throwing around the family farmer is because they don’t want to really get down to it. What they are really interested in is protecting people like Paris Hilton.”


Stephen Dinan has a clever piece up about the celebrity ad (which I blogged about yesterday) in today’s paper. Read his story here.


Nicole Wallace of Team McCain this morning kept pushing the theme that Obama is arrogant on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” sparring with Robert Gibbs from the Obama camp.


Gibbs hit back with a reminder that McCain and Britney once shared a stage, saying: “The last time I saw Britney Spears on stage with a politician, the guy looked a lot like John McCain, because that’s who it was. It was John McCain.”


I asked Gibbs what he was referring to, but got no response. Some readers tipped me off that it was a reference to McCain attending the 1999 MTV Music Awards, where Britney was up for four awards and mingled with pop stars.


So far no photos of the two together, so we’re not sure if they actually were ever on the same stage. But blogger Mark Nickolas tracked down some McCain quotes from his 2000 presidential run bragging that he likes Nine Inch Nails.


Via HuffPo, here’s what Britney thinks of the ordeal:


A representative from the 42West public relations firm declined to make a substantive comment to the Huffington Post, saying only, “why would we want to get Britney Spears involved in presidential politics?”


Of course, it’s not her debut on the trail either.


I blogged last year about Obama aides covering up an artist’s version of Britney getting out of her car without underwear when the candidate attended a fund-raiser at a Richmond art museum.


And in one more example for the mountain of evidence as to why I love YouTube, I’ll leave you with this classic Britney interview with Tucker Carlson, then working for CNN.


Michael Moore ended up using the portion of the piece where she talks about trusting Bush on the Iraq war in “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and some liberal bloggers have pulled together that quote with McCain saying Bush should be trusted.


Watch the full interview below when you have some time to laugh out loud.






Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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