Is John McCain obsessed with Paris Hilton? McCain has once again dragged Paris into politics. First Read reports, “In its latest TV ad hitting Obama, the McCain campaign calls Obama the “biggest celebrity in the world” — and in the process shows clips of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.” Josh Marshall comments on McCain’s strategy:
I note with interest today, John McCain’s new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women. (See today’s new ad and this from yesterday.) Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter of deep dispute during the campaign and later treated as transparent and obvious once the campaign is concluded…
As I alluded to at the top of this post, it is the norm that obvious campaign tactics that are treated as obvious after a campaign is over are nonetheless treated by most reporters as ambiguous or unclear during a campaign. But in this case it would be nice if that were not the case. Because here we have a candidate, John McCain, who is running on a record of straight talk and honorable campaigning running a campaign made up mainly of charges reporters are now more or less acknowledging are lies. But there’s precious little drawing together of the contradiction. What’s more, as everyone will acknowledge after the campaign, the McCain campaign is now pushing the caricature of Obama as a uppity young black man whose presumptuousness is displayed not only in taking on airs above his station but also in a taste for young white women.
So please keep an eye out for references to Obama’s presumptuousness, arrogance, etc., from John King and other reporters. Let us know when you see them and send us in examples — in text or video. McCain gets to run the campaign he wants. Remember, he hired the operative who put together the Ford/Bimbo ad. But I want to keep tabs on which reporters are helping him retail the message.
Alex Koppelman comments further on the ad, which also includes some factual errors in other attacks on Obama–such factually incorrect attack ads being part of yet another trend from the McCain campaign.
McCain’s obsession with Paris Hilton began well before this latest campaign tactic. Back in 2007, when visiting Iraq while wearing a bullet proof vest and surrounded by troops, McCain claimed that conditions were so safe that “even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.” If it was safe enough for Paris to be dressed as above, how come McCain dressed like this:
While McCain keeps bringing up Paris Hilton, Obama has actually avoided connection to celebrities. Back in December, 2006 Lindsay Lohan appealed to Obama, along with Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, for help in cleaning up her image.
All three declined to help Lohan, leading TMZ to accuse Obama of wimping out for taking a pass on that one.
Obama expressed discomfort with the videos in an interview with AP:
Obama says his 6-year-old daughter Sasha has noticed news coverage of the video.
“Sasha asked Mommy about it,” Obama said Monday. “She said, ‘Daddy already has a wife’ or something like that.”
Sen. Obama, D-Ill., said he knows the video was meant to be lighthearted, but he wasn’t smiling when asked about it in an interview with The Associated Press.
“I guess it’s too much to ask, but you do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families,” Obama said.
“This is part of the process of politics that can be difficult, (that) is making sure that your kids and your wife and your family are insulated from both things like this and what I suspect will be at some point some negative campaigning,” Obama said.
Despite McCain’s claims, it appears that he, and not Obama, is the one who likes to bring up celebrities. (Personally I don’t mind an occasional reference to celebrities in politics, as a post such as this should be good for several hundred extra hits.)