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Memo to McCain: Downticket 'Celebrity' Meddling Backfires

If John McCain is wondering whether attacking the celebrity is a good tactic, he might want to take note of what happened to the GOP candidate in New Mexico's 1st district open-seat House race.

The Republican candidate there, county sheriff Darren White, is being sued by Formula One racing legend Al Unser Sr. The four-time Indianapolis 500 winner claims White's deputies unduly roughed him up during an arrest two years ago after he was pulled over on -- of all streets -- Unser Blvd.

Unser's new civil lawsuit alleges White and three of his deputies used excessive force, arrested him without probable cause and violated his civil rights. The bad luck doesn't stop there for Sheriff White, who faces Democrat Martin Heinrich in November in the open race to succeed Rep. Heather Wilson (R), who's running for the Senate seat being vacated by Respublican Sen. Pete V. Domenici.

And if a lawsuit from a sports celebrity wasn't enough, White was hospitalized last week after he injured his back while working out -- the same part of his back that he hurt in a 1998 bike crash.

White campaign spokesman Stephen Schatz says he hopes the bad luck is a thing of the past. "Every day it's a new day, and with every new day there's a new opportunity."

To add to White's bad luck, last month, the sheriff ticked off another local celebrity: University of New Mexico basketball coach Steve Alford. White's campaign sent out invitations offering donors a chance to have their photos taken with the beloved Lobo coach for $1,000.

Problem is, Alford was unaware of the event. "I wouldn't know Darren White if he walked in front of me," Alford told the Albuquerque Journal. "It got falsely advertised. I was just stopping by."

Well, at least he was nicer about it than Paris Hilton was. She called McCain "that wrinkly, white-haired guy" (before accepting his "endorsement" and announcing her own candidacy for president).

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 6, 2008; 5:14 PM ET
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Next: It's Raining Cats and Dogs in Hotly Contested Ohio Race


Mary Ann, you ought to check your republican primary results for New Mexico. Heather Wilson lost to Steve Pearce in the primaries this June. It is Pearce (R, Cong District 2) who is running against Tom Udall (D, Cong District 3) for the Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici. Not Heather Wilson.

Posted by: dabeckster | August 7, 2008 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Mary Ann, you ought to check your republican primary results for New Mexico. Heather Wilson lost to Steve Pearce in the primaries this June. It is Pearce (R, Cong District 2) who is running against Tom Udall (D, Cong District 3) for the Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici. Not Heather Wilson.

Posted by: dabeckster | August 7, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

I thought Mc Cain's use of Paris in his ad was funny and I think her response was great. They both had a positive result for McCain. Contrary to what the pundits would like to see, I doubt if any law suites are going to come out of this. Just light hearted banter.


Posted by: Bill | August 7, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Bill, the ad was done with humor and certainly was not harmful to the ditz Paris Hilton. She can't get her face in front of the camera often enough, as is true with Mr. Obama.
A little levity is better than those outrageously stupid "spots" that the Obama campaign is inflate your tires to take care of the energy crisis. Actually, some of his ads are funnier than than the cartoons.

Posted by: texasmama | August 7, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Mary Ann, I could be wrong but I do not think Al Sr. ran in the F-1 series. He has always been in the Indy Car series. Then again, who cares.

Posted by: Joe Roth | August 7, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

One person who did not approve of Senator
McCain's "levity" in comparing Senator
Obama to Paris Hilton was Paris's mother.
She had contributed $4,600 to McCain for
President and will now no longer be a

Posted by: Andy Leheny | August 7, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Nobody cares what Mary Ann Akers thinks and nobody cares what paris Hilton thinks.

Posted by: robtay | August 7, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For those morons who bite on the "inflate the tires" theme as the whole Obama energy solution, go read the rest of the plan. The Limbaugh and Hannitys of the world are again undermining reality. They are masters at that and the sad part is people are listening. Read both their plans to the end, compare, evaluate and then make comments. Obama's "plan" has much more substance than McCain's. It is far reaching and shows imagination that the McCain can only envy. McCain is pandering to the immediate. Drilling more will show results for our children, not now. But he won’t tell you that. The true solution will take another generation to solve. Gas prices won’t change with the myopic McCain ideas.
You want to change? Check your driving habits. Every Tundra and Hummer type vehicle is burning future oil. Every gallon makes a dollar disappear into foreign pockets.

Posted by: sd-mouth | August 7, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Does it mean that the so called “celebrities” are untouchables?
And who is a celebrity? What are the personal conditions to qualify for "celebrity"?
If it i so Are the rich and famous untouchables?

Posted by: Frenchman | August 7, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly glad Paris' mother objects to something. I was beginning to wonder....

Posted by: Bob | August 7, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Is it not true that one recognized a tree by it's fruits "yes it's true " so now the Americans peoples can and infact's will better make up theys mind on why theys must and should votes for Barak Obama because from the very begining He is been consistant and sound with His Ideas.He reflect the American way throughout the world I believe He represent the kind of leader I want to represent me so that's why Obama got my vote in november.God bless Him and God Bless America and alls it's peoples.

Posted by: Ronald Roy | August 7, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think the people who don't see the "Paris Hilton Vs. John McCain" debate as a looser for San McCain have their cool-aide goggles on way too tight.
When you get smoked by Americas number #1 ditsy blond in dueling ads, it's a pretty fair indicator you need to change your senior staff. When they were sitting around, trying to come up with ways to smear Sen Obama, 'cause lord knows they aren't going to win on the Republican record, didn't it occur to them that when you suggest a candidate is as dumb as "insert name", that doesn't leave you open to "insert name" coming back and humiliating you?
Here's a hint, republican brain trust, it does exactly that.

Posted by: Dijetlo | August 7, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

It appears that McCain political campaign is running short of topics and are throwing what ever they can to compensate. But, the thing is that the republican voter are so blind themself that what ever this great war hero (McCain) or any other Republican Candidate tell them they'll believe.So,just let them .............etc.

By the way, I am also a Viatnam Veteran and I don't go around telling people invented stories. You could bet your life he was no hero.

Posted by: Alfonso Cotto | August 7, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks the Hilton ad is a positive thing for McCain needs to review her irony in the ad. She totally makes fun of McCain like a doddering old fool but in much nicer language. It shows the McCain camp lack of judgment when they purposely put two white women celebrities on that ad along with Senator Obama - another sleaze attempt of McCain to duplicate the Ford racist ad in Tennessee. McCain's ad was hateful and showed his really mean racist side and Ms. Hilton's ad was biting but funny. Her ad made the McCain ad look stupider and stupider,

Posted by: Mari | August 7, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant"
Words from the wise

Posted by: dijetlo | August 7, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

....How humiliating it must be for McCaint...he complians that Obama has not gone to Europe and the Middle East , and comes back with thousands cheering....

McCaint goes to a really which has been held for years and years a "captive" audience....makes a complete fool of himself and offers his own WIFE to be a contesteant for the Ms Buffalo Chip...??

How utterly sad and oblivious McCaint must be....

...McCaint another terrible choice for POTUS.....Alas, maybe if we cryogenically freeze him and thaw him out for the 2016 Election maybe he'll make sense....

For that embarassing moment for Ms Cindy Mcaint...go to this link and see for yourself...My wife and I think this man was "drunk" during is diatribe.....

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 7, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a total loss.
We can now add Paris HIlton to people who are smarter than McCain.
Oc it would be easier to do dumber.

Posted by: Miriam | August 7, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

McCaint rewarding bloggers....The "point" system......

500 Points...a shirt
2000 Points a coffee cup
10000 Points a signed book
100000 points a signed picture
1000000 points a ride on his "Straight Talk" Bus
10000000 points a ride on his "Straight Talk" Airplane
100000000 points a front row seat at the RNC/GOP convention
1000000000 points Vice President of the United States....

Pathetic, Sad, & Laughable.....

These RNC/GOP card holders must take hot showers to remove the elephant crap from their sickly bodies.....

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 8, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Poor libs, a little touchy now that their whole dream candidate is proven to be tool, there pet environment project has been rejected by the masses, and all they can come up with in response is McCaint. Typically lame. You will get crushed. John Edwards for VP!!!!!! cover that one Mary. Oh I forgot, no balls.

Posted by: Jeff | August 8, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Can we add a content-neutral restriction on postings here? How about anything with more than 10 spelling, grammar, or usage errors gets rejected?

Posted by: Sigh | August 8, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the sleuth for getting the comment section working. The Fix and The Trail seem to be having problems. ZERO comments on numerous posts that would normally incite invective and scorn from every direction??? Something's not right down the hall.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 8, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

....New RNC/GOP Theme Song

I don't know what they have to say,
It makes no difference anyway --
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I'm against it.

Your proposition may be good
But let's have one thing understood --
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
I'm against it.

I'm opposed to it --
On general principles I'm opposed to it!

Chorus: He's opposed to it!
In fact, in word, in deed,
He's opposed to it!

For months before my son was born,
I used to yell from night till morn,
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
And I've kept yelling since I commenced it,
I'm against it!
Movie: Horse Feathers
Stars: Marx Brothers
Released: 1932

During the musical number....If you look close....during the song you'll see McCaint holding a yardstick....

Proof that McCaint is not really 70 but 107 years old.....

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 8, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I used to think that John McCain was an honorable man and I went around saying so. Then I heard about how he divorced his first wife Carolyn who stood by him during the years that he was in viet nam (but was unfortunate to have an accident which impacted her looks) and married a much younger and richer wife.

Then he began these silly ads and wasting his contributors money on stupid tire gauges. People says this is funny I would not find it funny if it was my hard earned money he was wasting when he lives so well.

I heard that he owns 6 homes, if this is true then he is the one that is not one of us. Many Americans have lost their one home or are struggling to keep the one home they have.

Posted by: Buckman | August 8, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

McCain is the perfect presidential puppet.
He cannot be held accountable for anything he does as president or senator. He will be dead in just a few years off old age.

He may act like he's ready to fight the lion. But his death will be sudden, and no one will question it because of his age.

If I had the choice, I would pick BUSH over McCain. Because Bush still wants to live awhile and enjoy the money he ripped off. But McCain knows he doesn't have much time. And he knows he will never be around to held accountable.

Even Bush will spend the rest off his life worrying about who will uncover the lies of his administration. Bush is worried about who will bring him to justice.

Bush is worried about what president will do as he did and force investigation ordered by the executive branch going around all justice authorities.

They allready have McCains grave picked!

Posted by: VB | August 9, 2008 4:42 AM | Report abuse

It's sad that presidential campaign has deteriorated further into scoring political points rather than concentrating on discussing/debating the issues with facts. Rather than being enlightened, we are being treated like an audience at a comedy show.

Both candidates have interesting qualities and specific deficiencies. It's a tough decision for any voter to make. This past week was a clear gain for Barack Obama, primarily due to John McCain stooping to mocking and distorting Obama's statements. The American people deserve better.

Posted by: spindr | August 9, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

McCain's unimaginative use of Paris Hilton only demonstrates how thin the "campaign". How do these people overlook maximum donors like the Hiltons by hip-shooting at Obama with their daughter? Just makes me shake my head...

Posted by: Ed Zellers | August 9, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Sigh says: "Can we add a content-neutral restriction on postings here? How about anything with more than 10 spelling, grammar, or usage errors gets rejected?"

You only had one grammatical error, so not too bad of a show. Don't put a comma in front of the conjunction "or".

Otherwise, the Paris Hilton video made McCain look like the boob he is.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

TexasMama, just curious: how many McCain points did you get for your post?

Posted by: Profco | August 10, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, it's sunday August 10th and the error noted by the first commenter (Heather Wilson isn't running for anything anymore, having lost the Rep. Senate primary) is still uncorrected in the story.

Shouldn't that, at least, be fixed?

Posted by: Jade7243 Hussein | August 10, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It is sad and unfortunate, but it is esteemd voters like TexasMama who reward us all with the incompetent fools now in power.

Now seriously, the amount of oil estimated to be potentially extracted from off shore drilling in about 15 years or so, is just about equal to the amount saved by keeping your tires at recommended inflation. Does TexasMama know how to handle an air pump?

McCain's energy plan is perfectly fine if your audience is a knowledgeable group of Harley-Davidson riders.

Posted by: als47 | August 11, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Proving one again that the democrats (both politicians and Post writers) have no sense of humor. Heaven protect us from those perople. Especially keep them out of the White House where they can do serious damage. Serious paranoids do serious damage.

Posted by: Jake | August 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

No jake..Dems have a great sense of else do you think we could have survived with our sanity intact, after eight years of AmBush? The difference is that Dems have an adult sense of humor, while RepubliCons' emotional development, having ceased somewhere around fourth grade, results in a "sense of humor" akin to that of a bunch of little boys out on the playground at recess! Nah..sorry. We see a lot of jealousy and envy (of all sorts), a pathetic lack of anything valid to say FOR yourselves, an dark void where there should be ethics and honor, a tanker ship full of pettiness and a complete lack of imagination..but nothing particularly funny! You know..when you belittle the individual long-term savings something like tuneups and tire pressure can have for a family, you ridicule the American worker, who is having a rough time strtching a dollar and making ends meet..but then, what would Little Lord McRich know about such things! Never in his life has he had to worry about living on a budget! These ads..Johnnie's whole ignorant and childish..which goes back to that stunted Repug "sense of humor"..and the playground politics of McFake and company!

Posted by: janbana | August 12, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The question of whether Obama is ready to lead was answered when 200,000 Germans followed him to the speech location. McCain's attack ad is a tactic for elementary school politics. Not President of the U.S.A. McCain is immature and shallow. Obama is smart, inquisitive and nuanced. There is a quantum difference. Obama is a visionary, McCain a reactionary.

Posted by: MarkC | August 12, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey you bunch of celebrity worshipers; I am Spartacus. I may not be a celebrity, but I know what I am talking about. I am supporting Mr. Barrack Obama for President of the United States of America. Why you ask? He is honest and is offering the best hope for the future of this nation and the world. Johnny Boy McSane reminds me of the Roman generals and emperor of long ago. Murdering, lying thieves who only interest was to increase their personal wealth and power. Do not let the Roman Empire reign again. Vote for Mr. Barrack Obama and let the change to a safer world begin. I am Spartacus!

Posted by: Sparticus | August 12, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sparatacus, you are a fool if you think osama is honest and is going to save the world. Wait until he raises your taxes so much you will be hollering at the top of your lungs. A socialistic country will not survive, so be preppared to find a place to immigrate to.

Posted by: elmerck | August 13, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The celebrity comparison is one of the most unforfunate statements made by Sen.McCain its regrettable but the Pressure was too much for him thats why he missfired. May the Almighty see you through Sen.Obama and save the world from war veterans and the fighting junters who doesnt believe in dialogue save for military strikes and Bombs! Sen.Obama you have demostrated the gentility, sense of humuor and intellect between the Candidates!

Posted by: L.Zam | August 14, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The last celebrity to become President was Ronald Reagan. Remember him? Did John McCain adore and serve him? Yes, he did. That makes him a celebrity worshipper. I fear a celebrity worshipper as President much more than I fear a celebrity as President.

McCain's argument is that Obama is nothing more than a celebrity. As a Vietnam veteran, my fear is that McCain is nothing more than a prisoner of war. He has not escaped yet. It was his duty to escape, but he has failed. His every word and thought is war. Like Hotspur, he will go furious and redfaced to his grave.

We do not need a prisoner of war as a President in these difficult times, and we do not need a celebrity worshipper in the Oval office.

Posted by: Charles Bowman | August 16, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

The New McCain
He stood 5’9" with the lift in his shoes
Everyone knew which side he’d choose
Exxon John
Now John couldn’t stand being Left in the lurch
Especially at the interview in the Saddleback Church.
Once John was a man who honored ethical compliance,
But he just couldn’t take staying put in that "cone of Silence"
Exxon John
John used to be a Maverick who was shrewd and keen
But now John McCain has gotten just plain mean
The truth has fallen victim with his new-found persona
But nothing he can do will damage Barack Obama
Exxon John


Posted by: patrik | August 19, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

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