I've wondered about the connection between celebrity and leadership for some time. People increasingly 'follow' the lives of celebrities - 'follow' as in read about them, watch news items about them, live their own life vicariously through the life of the celebrity. There is something of the 'uber-you' about celebrity culture (projecting your own life onto the more glamorous life of someone else) which mirrors some less desirable elements of 'followership' in leadership theory - the tendency to give up on 'self' and instead follow the will of the leader.
So, when John McCain's people created an attack ad last week claiming Barrack Obama's whole persona was more celebrity than leader - likening him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears - they opened a whole can of worms. Here's Paris Hilton taking up the challenge by saying to "that white haired dude" that she is, like, totally ready to lead, and that she is busy looking for a vice-presidential running mate. Worryingly, her energy policy (towards the end of the clip) sounds like it's worth a second listen.
by Jim Taggart
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