Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is McCain dumping on his "allies?"

When I first heard that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain was using campaign ads on television to try to make his Democratic opponent seem like a lightweight by comparing him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, my first reaction was to wonder why he was picking on potential allies.

That’s right, allies.

WHILE I WILL be the first to admit that Hilton and Spears appeal to people who probably think it is disgusting that anybody is supposed to care about something so deadly dull as electoral politics, what little bit I know of their few political statements or actions has always led me to believe the two celebrity fluffs lean toward the GOP.

Now I have never heard Paris Hilton make political statements. But she comes from a family that definitely leans toward the Republican Party and its candidates (primarily because its stances on economic issues would be more likely to protect the family fortune).

Hilton Hotels Chairman William B. Hilton made contributions earlier this year of $2,300 each during the primary and general election cycles – all to John McCain 2008 Inc.

Several other Hiltons who are among the descendants of Conrad Hilton of hotel fame also made donations of various sizes to the McCain campaign. In fact, I can find only one Hilton who didn’t give money to McCain – and he’s not part of the family.

I’M TALKING ABOUT Perez Hilton, the West Hollywood, Calif., geek who publishes his own entertainment-related website. He gave $500 back in March to Hillary R. Clinton’s now-shuttered presidential campaign.

Insofar as Britney is concerned, the only political comment I have ever heard her make was one in support of George W. Bush and his administration’s handling of the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Back in 2003, she gave an interview to CNN where she was asked if she was among the many entertainers who opposed the war. Her response?

“Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens,” she said.

WHEN ASKED BY CNN newsman Tucker Carlson if she supported Bush, Britney said, “Yes, I do.”

For all I know, Britney is like many people in this country in that she has changed her mind about Bush and the war in Iraq.

But this was definitely someone who was once inclined to give the Iraq War (which is a key issue in this campaign season) a chance to succeed, and if she were to vote (I have no clue if she’s even registered), she could very well be a McCain backer.

Aside from all this, there’s one other reason I’m surprised McCain would try to bring up those celebrity names. The fact is that some people will not see it as an automatic negative for Barack Obama.

IN FACT, A story with the names “Obama,” “Spears” and “Hilton” is sure to grab attention from people who otherwise would not want to care about Campaign ’08, particularly if they are the kind of people who get all their news from whatever stories their Internet search engines happen to stumble across. McCain may have inadvertently emphasized his age, which will be seen by some as a negative.

In short, McCain may have just made himself look out of touch with the youth of today. To use a term of the past (so as to ensure that McCain will comprehend), he may have made himself look like an old fuddy duddy.


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