Paris Hilton, that is. Reportedly, Mrs. Hilton was not too pleased that John McCain used pictures of herself and Britney Spears in a political advertisement to bash Barack Obama. The campaign commercial attempted to compare Obama’s popularity to that of perceived dim-wits such as the two, with a voiceover weighing in that “he’s the biggest celebrity of the world – but is he ready to lead?”.
McCain’s use of Paris Hilton as an example of someone famous for, well, being famous, is especially slippy as her parents, Kathy and Rick Hilton, have donated $ 4,600 to McCain’s campaign. Talk about a bad choice of image.
Now, Paris Hilton herself has responded to the events, in a rather surprising way.
Before Barack Obama’s hugely successful tour through Europe and the Middle East, his critics assumed this was all about photo-ops, that Obama wasn’t coming for a dialogue, but for the pictures of him talking to important foreign leaders and delivering speeches in front of aroused masses of Europeans. That’s why Merkel and others denied his campaign to set up stage in front of Brandenburger Tor – it’s not a place for election talks.
And guess what, the critics were right about abusing European crowds for campaign purposes. However, it’s not Obama who is using the pictures of 200,000 Berliners on Straße des 17. Juni. Here’s the Republican National Committee’s attempt at trying to frame Obama as the King of the Eurotrash Dance Nation which apparently has its headquarters in Berlin.
Bring together 200,000 people and you will surely find a pill popping anarchist, a Paris Hilton clone, and some death metal goth heads who will gratefully deliver all the cliché-laden sound bites to use in an attack ad. Why bother and interview the 199,983 normal people from the audience?
The other way is to simply imply that giving a speech to a huge audience overseas is related to force Americans to buy foreign oil. What, you didn’t know that Germany is new on the board of OPEC? Didn’t you see the big oil pump Obama was standing in front of, that thing was huge!
To be fair, I have no idea how Americans are perceiving these ads. It’s just hard to believe that you can slap a negative message on such positive pictures. Then again, an American politician in front of clapping and cheering Europeans might still be an alienating sight to many American voters. All in all, McCain would probably be best of by finding a way to create these pictures himself.