Great minds think alike. And, curiously, so do our cover subjects, Paris Hilton and George Bush. Here’s the proof.
At first blush, the similarities appear coincidental. Eldest siblings, families with money and famous names, the middle initial ‘W’. But the list keeps going. Both were indifferent students and childhood hellions, closest to their mothers, for whom an early predilection towards carousing set the bar of public expectation quite low. And while one found God and the other a camcorder, their resultant public demeanor is astonishingly alike: they’re shallow, petulant and not all that bright, and seem pretty damn proud of it.
For further consideration, here’s what this Teflon twosome has had to say about the following subjects:
Bush: In Iraq, no doubt about it, it’s tough. It’s hard work. It’s incredibly hard…. It’s hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it’s necessary work.
—Presidential debate, 9/30/04.
Hilton: Believe me, it’s not easy to arrange a girls’ night out for a whole bunch of girly girls. Oh, the burdens of being an heiress! Just making sure they’re all dressed and ready at the same time is a nightmare.
—Confessions of an Heiress, 9/04
Bush: This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.
—Campaign dinner in New York, 9/00
Hilton: I cannot stress enough the importance of billionaire friends. Even for someone like me, they can be real assets. They raise your social net worth.
Bush: There’s Adam Clymer — major league asshole from the New York Times.
—Campaign stop, 9/4/00
Hilton: You’re the fucking ugliest bitch ever!
—To a rival patron at Marquee, NYC, 11/04
Bush: He’s a good man.
—To Barbara Walters on 20/20, 12/5/01
Hilton: Tink thinks a lot like me.
Bush: Probably [that] I’m running on my daddy’s name; that, you know, if my name were George Jones, I’d be a country and western singer.
—On Oprah, 9/19/00
Hilton: That I’m this spoiled brat. But I’m not. I’m, like, the total opposite.
Bush: I want to be known as the peace president.
—Campaign stop, 7/20/04
Hilton: What I’d really like people to know is that I’m working on fundraising for breast cancer.
—Vanity Fair, 9/00
Bush: I think anybody who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.
—Cox News Service, 3/18/00
Hilton: I’m so smart now. Everyone is always like, “Take your top off.” Sorry, no! They always want to get that money shot. I’m not stupid.
—USA Today, 12/1/03
Bush: I was very conscious of my dad’s reputation, and obviously when he was vice president…I didn’t go out marketing his name.
—Los Angeles Times, 3/2/00
Hilton: I make my own money. Since I’ve been 18 I haven’t taken any money from my parents. And I made it all on my own. So I feel really good about that.
—To Barbara Walters on Ten Most Fascinating People of 2004, 12/8/04
Bush: As you know, we don’t have relationships with Iran. I mean, that’s — ever since the late ’70s we have no contacts with them, and we’ve totally sanctioned them.
—Campaign stop, 8/9/04
Hilton: I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to hook up with anyone…. I’m not going to date anyone. I’m not going to kiss anyone. Nothing.
Bush: I’ve told the people of this country that, over two decades ago, I made some mistakes when I was younger. I’ve learned from those mistakes.
—Campaign stop, 8/19/99
Hilton: Everyone does crazy stuff when they’re young, but if you’re an heiress you have even more opportunities to mess up. And everything tends to get written about, so people don’t forget as easily.
Bush: As I understand it, the current [FBI] form asks the question, “Did somebody use drugs within the last seven years?” and I will be glad to answer that question, and the answer is “No.”
—Dallas Morning News, 8/19/99
Hilton: I don’t do drugs…. I see young girls out now who have been doing it for so long they look haggard and old. I like my young face. I don’t want to look old.
—British Glamour, 2/05
Bush: There’s a sense that people in America aren’t getting the truth. I’m mindful of the filter through which some news travels, and sometimes you just have to go over the heads of the filter and speak directly to the people.
—TV interview, 10/13/03
Hilton: No one writes about my charity work. They’d rather write about me dancing on a table, which I’ve never done in my life. I don’t know how you could dance on tables. The table would, like, fall.
Bush: Listen, I’m just as shocked as you are that I’m sitting here talking about the presidency. It’s never been a part of my… My life’s ambition hasn’t always been to be the president.
—On the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, 4/27/00
Hilton: It’s not about fame, really. Years from now I would just want people to say, “She was young. She was a crazy girl for a while or whatever, but then she married and had a great big family. She was good to people and did a lot for the world.”
—Movieline’s Hollywood Life, 6/04