Paparazzi, Celeb Mags Power Obama

Tabloids can do wonder for celebrity in chief
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2009 9:50 AM CST

(Newser) – He’s a fixture in People and Us magazine. Paparazzi snap photos of him shirtless on the beach, titillating the masses. And oh, right, Barack Obama is about to be leader of the free world. But being Celebrity in Chief has its perks, Politico reports. “The number of eyeballs that read People magazine are enormous,” says one strategist. The supermarket-checkout press could help Obama communicate without mainstream media filtering.

“Does this trivialize the presidency? At times yes,” another Democratic strategist said. “On the other hand does this often humanize a leader? Sure it does.” Just weeks ago, John McCain tried to liken Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, but the man who crafted that ad says things have changed. “He IS the new president of the United States,” he said. “Guess I think he’s earned some degree of celebrity.”