Saturday, August 16, 2008

Obama Started It

Senator McCain's presidential campaign released a new television ad comparing the Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad suggests the Democrats' presumptuous nominee is little more than a widely recognized media concoction:

Obama's campaign responded with a commercial dismissing McCain's complaints as "baloney" and "baseless."

Despite those assertions, Obama started this meme himself. CNN's Dana Bash reports Obama compared himself to Paris Hilton 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."

[. . .]

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.”

In the Washington Post, Richard Cohen writes about the fact the Obama is all talk, while McCain has actual done things:
"Just tell me one thing Barack Obama has done that you admire," I asked a prominent Democrat. He paused and then said that he admired Obama's speech to the Democratic convention in 2004. I agreed. It was a hell of a speech, but it was just a speech.

On the other hand, I continued, I could cite four or five actions -- not speeches -- that John McCain has taken that elicit my admiration, even my awe. First, of course, is his decision as a Vietnam prisoner of war to refuse freedom out of concern that he would be exploited for propaganda purposes. To paraphrase what Kipling said about Gunga Din, John McCain is a better man than most.

But I would not stop there. I would include campaign finance reform, which infuriated so many in his own party; opposition to earmarks, which won him no friends; his politically imprudent opposition to the Medicare prescription drug bill (Medicare has about $35 trillion in unfunded obligations); and, last but not least, his very early call for additional troops in Iraq. His was a lonely position -- virtually suicidal for an all-but-certain presidential candidate and no help when his campaign nearly expired last summer. In all these cases, McCain stuck to his guns.
So, what has Obama accomplished, other than becoming the world's most popular and presumptuous celebrity?

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