I have heard the excuse before, but I've always doubted it, whether it was being offered on behalf of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, or Jayne Mansfield. People would say, “Oh, she's really not that dumb. It's just a part she's playing. I hear she's actually really smart.” Perhaps it's just barely conceivable that a woman with a sharp intellect would make a pragmatic decision to present herself as an empty-headed bimbo for commercial purposes, but isn't it simpler to assume that she really is an exploited idiot?
I confess that I had made this simpler assumption about Paris Hilton, whom I considered famous mainly for being famous. The gold-plated last name and above-average looks didn't hurt, but please, don't try to tell me what a savvy businesswoman she is. Except—
Now she's unleashed her wit against John McCain (with a quick but gentle sideswipe at Obama). I would have expected a battle of wits between Hilton and McCain to be a fairly even contest, the wind whistling through her head while the rusty gears lock up in his. But she mops the floor with him. (Poor choice of metaphor: I'm quite certain Paris has no personal knowledge of floor mopping.)
Is it a trick? A gimmick ginned up by a battery of gag writers? We don't know if there is a Svengali behind the scenes or not. Nevertheless, Paris Hilton has outed herself as a smart woman. If she's only playing a part, then she's a better actress than people had given her credit for in the past. Was this wise? She may have destroyed her career as a piece of vapid eye candy. It's a high-risk game she's playing, and she may not be able to put the genie back in the bottle.
And poor John McCain. With the keen judgment and political dexterity we have come to expect from him, he has alienated Paris Hilton's family (maxed-out contributors to the McCain campaign who are now pissed off) and unleashed the powers of her long-idling brain. You dumb bastard, J. Sidney III.
We tremble in fear and anticipation.
See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die