Oddly Enough

Obama, McCain reveal pop culture favorites

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Holy politicking, Batman.

The individual covers of presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama's biographies, which have been turned into a comic book, are displayed at the 39th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego, California July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake

U.S. presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have unmasked their favorite pop culture icons, including superheroes, with McCain favoring Batman and Obama choosing Spider-Man and Batman.

In interviews with Entertainment Weekly magazine posted on its Web site on Thursday, McCain, 71, and Obama, 47, also gave their picks for best on-screen president, top singers and most-liked television shows.

Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, said he chose Spider-Man and Batman because “they have some inner turmoil.” McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, said Batman is a quiet hero who pursues justice “against insurmountable odds.”

Both chose a winner. The new Batman movie “The Dark Knight” is burning up box offices with earnings of more than $400 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.

In the world of music, McCain revealed a weakness for the Swedish disco-era band ABBA, late singer Roy Orbison and 1970s star Linda Ronstadt.

“But I like Usher too,” McCain said, explaining he appeared on the TV comedy show “Saturday Night Live” with the 29-year-old rhythm and blues singer.

Obama favored an eclectic group of musicians, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and John Coltrane.

As for TV, Obama listed throwback programs like “M*A*S*H” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” while McCain named the more recent “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Dexter.”

Obama also proved a little behind the times on the last movie seen in a theater, which for him was the 2007 animated film “Shrek the Third.” McCain said he had seen the blockbuster hit “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which debuted in May.

“I enjoyed that so much. The old guy wins,” said McCain, who has been the butt of jokes because of his age.

One person poking fun at him has been Paris Hilton, the 27-year-old actress, singer and socialite, who called McCain a “wrinkly white-haired guy” in a Web video posted this week.

For favorite actor in the role of president, McCain picked Dennis Haysbert from the Fox network hit “24.” Obama chose Jeff Bridges from the 2000 movie “The Contender.”

“He was charming and essentially an honorable person, but there was a rogue about him,” Obama said.

Obama said his first movie memory was “Born Free,” the 1966 film about African lions. McCain remembered the 1942 Disney animated feature “Bambi.”

“When his mother was killed. Oh, yeah, I cried,” McCain said.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and John O’Callaghan