On his first overseas trip as a presidential candidate, then Senator Obama chose Berlin as the backdrop for his coming-out speech to an already enamored Europe. After selecting the Brandenburg Gate for his address the place where President John Kennedy famously proclaimed his solidarity with Berliners and President Ronald Reagan delivered his ultimatum to "tear down this wall" the freshman Senator caught flak back home for flying a bit too high. But switching the location to the soaring 226-ft. Victory Column in the center of the city and the lofty rhetoric of his speech before a screaming crowd of 200,000 did little to silence his critics. His opponent, Senator John McCain, panned the performance as a "premature victory lap" and used footage of the event spliced together with shots of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in an ad portraying Obama as a shallow celebrity.