- The Washington Times - Monday, August 11, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Thanks to Paris Hilton for showing us just how silly and ridiculous this election was becoming and trying to get it back on track. Unfortunately, all the attention she brought with her response to John McCain’s “celebrity” ads criticizing Barack Obama has convinced the McCain campaign that this election will be won by the candidate who gets the most YouTube hits. McCain strategists were giddy that they beat Mr. Obama on Internet page views of his YouTube channel the past few weeks, as, Stephen Dinan reported in our Thursday editions: “I think we knew it would draw some attention. I don’t think we knew it would be as big a hit on YouTube,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.

In the now-infamous McCain ad, Mr. Obama, an Illinois senator, was compared to “pop-princess” Britney Spears (enough said) and Paris Hilton, who is famous for being promiscuous, taking baths on tape, having a foul mouth, being a spoiled rich brat and serving 23 days of a 45-day sentence for violating probation on an “alcohol-related, reckless driving” conviction.

Mr. McCain thought that ads paid for by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - essentially saying that John Kerry was less of a war hero than he claimed to be - were “dishonest and dishonorable” and “very, very wrong.” There is a debate about whether his ads are worse, better or just fine, but stupid seems to work best. The ad brought criticism from Paris Hilton’s mother, Kathy, who also let slip that the Hiltons are (or perhaps were) McCain supporters.

Paris, not one to take this lying down, then came up with her own ad. She called Mr. McCain the “wrinkly, old-white guy” and mockingly suggested that since Mr. McCain dragged her into the campaign, she might as well run for president. She then presented an eloquent alternative to both Mr. McCain’s and Mr. Obama’s energy plans.

Now the campaign is running an ad in which Democrats Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Mr. Obama dub Mr. McCain a Democrat-lite politician. Americans across this great land may not be used to such events making news. But for Washingtonians, who are all too familiar with politicians and lobbyists alike deserting us in August, campaign ads like Paris Hilton’s are bound to be noteworthy.

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