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Oprah packs the house, but can she deliver the votes?
McClatchy Washington Bureau ^ | December 8, 2007 | Margaret Talev

Posted on 12/08/2007 7:29:04 PM PST by Graybeard58

DES MOINES, Iowa — Television star Oprah Winfrey, an influential voice in American popular culture and one of the most successful blacks in the world, urged Iowans on Saturday to use their first-voting status to give Barack Obama the momentum to overtake Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"I'm here to tell you, Iowa, he is the one," the billionaire, philanthropist and top-rated talk-show host told a crowd estimated at more than 15,000 who navigated snow-crusted roads to see her stump for the Illinois senator at Hy-Vee Hall in Iowa's capital city.

Without naming Clinton, Winfrey argued that Obama's community activist background is more valuable than the former first lady's more extensive Washington experience and that he could better unite the nation. Obama, she said, has a "new vision" for the country.

Since the 1980s, Winfrey's endorsements have sold millions of books, created the likes of Dr. Phil, integrated black culture into swaths of white America and brought instant credibility to various causes and charities. Her appearances for Obama, the first presidential candidate she's campaigned for, will test whether the "Oprah effect" extends to American politics.

"I understand the difference between the book club . . . and this critical moment in our nation's history," she said. "I am not here to tell you what to think. I am here to ask you to think seriously — about a man who knows who we are and who we can be."

Obama looked star-struck as he told the crowd how much he loved and appreciated her.

"You want Oprah as vice president?" he asked, and the crowd cheered. "That would be a demotion, you understand that." He then delivered a standard stump speech, talking about his desire to end the Iraq war, expand health care and college affordability and shared his biography.

He also sought to frame his candidacy in the context of Winfrey's ability to succeed against the odds for most blacks. "My presence here today is unlikely just like Oprah is unlikely," he said. "We share that in common."

The mixed-race, heavily female audience began arriving two hours before the mid-afternoon event. The mood was raucous and festive, the lines to get into the standing-room-only hall grew longer and the crowd fed off its own energy.

The attendees were a mixed bag. Some were committed Obama supporters. Others were primarily Winfrey fans.

"I love Oprah, she's like my role model," said Adrienne Williams, 31, who said she's trying to decide between Clinton and Obama. She said that Winfrey's opinion could influence her vote.

But Kay Bolton, 68, who slipped out a few minutes into Obama's remarks, admitted that she's already a committed Clinton voter and said that hadn't changed. "We respect Obama, but we're here to see Oprah," she said. "She should run for president herself."

Then there was Liz Ward, a middle-aged businesswoman who said, "I'm a Republican and I'm not even a huge Oprah fan. It's just the place to be." Ward said she probably wouldn't have come to an Obama appearance otherwise, but that she was "open" to voting for him. "None of the Republican candidates do anything for me."

Des Moines was the first of Winfrey's four planned stops with Obama on a two-day blitz that was to continue to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and then to the early voting states of South Carolina and New Hampshire.

In South Carolina, where black voters comprise half the Democratic electorate, the Obama campaign changed the venue for Sunday's planned appearance in Columbia from an 18,000-seat arena to an 80,000-seat stadium to accommodate the anticipated crowds.

Experts, however, say that most celebrity endorsements have little impact, especially in caucus states such as Iowa, where only the most dedicated voters participate.

But if former president Bill Clinton is his wife's most powerful endorsement, Winfrey may be Obama's best answer.

David Redlawsk, a University of Iowa political scientist, said that Winfrey already has generated free publicity for Obama and could bring into the loop Winfrey fans who haven't focused on the election.

But Redlawsk was dubious of her impact on Jan. 3. "It's not clear that any of that matters when it comes down to getting people out on a cold winter's night to caucus," he said.

He predicted a greater effect in South Carolina because it holds a primary election rather than a caucus and because Winfrey may be poised to convince more black voters Obama is electable.

Obama, 46, a first-term Illinois senator and the first black candidate to compete this strongly for president, has been holding second place in national polls behind Clinton, but in recent polls the gap between them has narrowed.

Obama, however, is still struggling to convince many fellow blacks that he could win a general election and to woo older Democratic women who gravitate to Clinton.

Winfrey, 53, has had the nation's No. 1 talk show for 21 consecutive seasons. It reaches 46 million unique viewers each week, according to CBS Television Distribution. Many share traits of Clinton fans: three-fourths are women, more than half are over 50, and viewers' median income is $46,000.

Winfrey's talk show is the No. 2 syndicated program among adult women in Iowa, behind "Wheel of Fortune", and the No. 1 syndicated show among women in South Carolina and New Hampshire.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: halfrican; missinglink; successfulblack
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1 posted on 12/08/2007 7:29:05 PM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

“and one of the most successful blacks in the world”

Anyone else notice that the most successful blacks in the world live in the U.S.?


2 posted on 12/08/2007 7:30:58 PM PST by popdonnelly (Get Reid. Salazar, and Harkin out of the Senate.)
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To: Graybeard58

Do you have a link?


3 posted on 12/08/2007 7:31:29 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Graybeard58

She will deliver her 8 million brain dead female viewers to the alter of Obama …


4 posted on 12/08/2007 7:32:19 PM PST by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: Graybeard58

Say what you will, but I think Oprah looks like a Bullfrog!


5 posted on 12/08/2007 7:33:17 PM PST by Cowboy Bob (Real men don't vote Democrat.)
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To: Graybeard58
Oprah packs the house

She would have packed the house even if she was the only one there. :)

6 posted on 12/08/2007 7:34:16 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (...sigh...)
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To: Admin Moderator

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/22829.html


7 posted on 12/08/2007 7:36:08 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58
"I'm here to tell you, Iowa, he is the one,"

She is trying her best to Balkanize the United States along racial lines.

8 posted on 12/08/2007 7:36:56 PM PST by Ken522
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To: Graybeard58











9 posted on 12/08/2007 7:37:44 PM PST by Miss Didi ("Good heavens, woman, this is a war not a garden party!" Dr. Meade, Gone with the Wind)
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To: Miss Didi

Scary to see these three bozo’s even get this far in politics.


10 posted on 12/08/2007 7:39:18 PM PST by angcat ("IF YOU DON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM")
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To: Graybeard58
Oprah packs the house, but can she deliver the votes?

They're all hoping she rewards the audience with new cars! Hmm.

11 posted on 12/08/2007 7:39:23 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: Graybeard58

She is going to be very bitter and very difficult to deal with when her boy loses.


12 posted on 12/08/2007 7:39:29 PM PST by Fairview ( Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.)
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To: angcat

Michelle and The Oprah look terrified.


13 posted on 12/08/2007 7:40:23 PM PST by Miss Didi ("Good heavens, woman, this is a war not a garden party!" Dr. Meade, Gone with the Wind)
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To: Fairview
She is going to be very bitter and very difficult to deal with when her boy loses.

It's starting to look like he may beat "the beast" in the primaries. He nor the beast will ever win the general. I am becoming more confident of that every day.

14 posted on 12/08/2007 7:41:41 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58

“Wheel of Fortune”


15 posted on 12/08/2007 7:42:06 PM PST by TornadoAlley3 ( An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last..)
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To: Graybeard58

All the gays love opera, she’ll deliver them!


16 posted on 12/08/2007 7:43:29 PM PST by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: Graybeard58; All
...meanwhile...at the Hillary rally....

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

17 posted on 12/08/2007 7:45:18 PM PST by musicman
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To: Graybeard58
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Obama/Oprah-08!!!
18 posted on 12/08/2007 7:45:30 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist)
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To: Graybeard58
Winfrey's talk show is the No. 2 syndicated program among adult women in Iowa, behind "Wheel of Fortune"

Dammit Vanna, enough with the suspense! Who are you throwing in with?

19 posted on 12/08/2007 7:48:52 PM PST by Nachoman (My guns and my ammo, they comfort me.)
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To: Graybeard58
So the minor league low paid McClatchy propagandists spring training has begun.

Before this is over both the halfrican and the simple billionaire will be crucified at the altar of the Arkansas mafia.

20 posted on 12/08/2007 7:49:26 PM PST by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: Chode

LOL! Oprah ain’t going to be second fiddle to anyone!


21 posted on 12/08/2007 7:50:56 PM PST by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: Graybeard58
I think in the end, a lot of Oprah's viewers will be turned off by this.

Oprah is just another celebrity leftist, willing to sell her soul to an empty suit.

22 posted on 12/08/2007 7:50:57 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Graybeard58
Oprah packs the house, but can she deliver the votes?

Who knows how many but one thing for sure is it will be more than Barbra and Chelsea deliver for Hillary.

23 posted on 12/08/2007 7:54:29 PM PST by TruthWillWin
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Anybody retarded enough to watch Oprah is a possible Hussein voter.

That being said, who had the right to vote when the founding fathers set up the US?

Small wonder why the USA wil be destroyed from within.

24 posted on 12/08/2007 7:56:16 PM PST by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: angcat

I’m not surprised by anything anymore.


25 posted on 12/08/2007 7:57:31 PM PST by popdonnelly (Get Reid. Salazar, and Harkin out of the Senate.)
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To: Graybeard58

America is definitely ready for a black president or a female president. But they would prefer a black male president to a white female. And mark my words, the first black president will be a conservative. Americans are not going to climb on board the bandwagon of a liberal black. They would be uncomfortable with all the liberal racial baggage a liberal black would bring to the White House.

I think Americans would elect Colin Powell (let us say) in a heartbeat. Please don’t take that to mean that I think in any way that Colin Powell is conservative enough to be president, just that I believe America would elect him in the vastly unlikely event that he were to run. It is only an example of my contention that race will have nothing to do with Obama’s eventual defeat, just liberalism.


26 posted on 12/08/2007 8:01:35 PM PST by Fairview ( Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.)
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To: Graybeard58

The more Obama is identified with Oprah (the entertainment and the religion), the less presidentiable he looks. His campaign is starting to look like an Oprah book tour and seminar...


27 posted on 12/08/2007 8:02:58 PM PST by citizencon
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To: Miss Didi

Obama: " "My presence here today is unlikely just like Oprah is unlikely. We share that in common."
Oprah:"(What are you talking about, Willis?)"

28 posted on 12/08/2007 8:03:39 PM PST by Texas Eagle (Could pacifists exist if there weren't people brave enough to go to war for their right to exist?)
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To: popdonnelly
I’m not surprised by anything anymore.

Me either. I can still be disgusted but not surprised,.

29 posted on 12/08/2007 8:03:49 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58

Oprah can’t deliver the votes in a National Election but in Iowa and maybe New Hampshire she can help sink Hillary for the short term.


30 posted on 12/08/2007 8:06:37 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Graybeard58

Oprah doesn’t normally get involved in politics to this extent and I think it will have a far greater impact than most people think .

It will definately benefit Barry O , and it might be the factor that pushes Barry O to the top. This is the worst possible development for Hillary , as Oprah will peel off a great number of crucial female voters from Hillary .

Now the question is , do we want to face Obama or Hillary in the general ? Who would be easier to beat ....

Let’s not underestimate the Oprah factor ....i’m not ...


31 posted on 12/08/2007 8:07:45 PM PST by Neu Pragmatist (Unite against Rudy ! - Vote Thompson ! - It's the only way to beat Hillary !)
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To: citizencon

Obama is Oprah’s “boy.” This endorsement has nothing to do with qualifications...it’s strictly race motivated.


32 posted on 12/08/2007 8:16:49 PM PST by A_Tradition_Continues (No Longer white...I'm Caucasion-American...Please make note)
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To: Graybeard58

Edith Keeler In Iowa.


33 posted on 12/08/2007 8:27:57 PM PST by DGHoodini (The Dems no longer have the humanity to grasp that there are things worth dying for.)
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To: Graybeard58
She backed James Frey, too, for a while:


34 posted on 12/08/2007 8:29:30 PM PST by gunservative
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To: Graybeard58

Anything to make the Beast not walk away with the nomination is fine with me. Obama is an empty suit so I’d much rather run against him than the Clinton machine.


35 posted on 12/08/2007 8:33:36 PM PST by byteback
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To: doc1019
Image hosted by Photobucket.com i just figured her arm would prolly be elbow deep up his puppet azz he'd be her beard... 8^)
36 posted on 12/08/2007 8:34:10 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist)
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To: Chode

LOL! As a mater of fact ... LOL!


37 posted on 12/08/2007 8:38:26 PM PST by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: byteback

He would be far harder to demonize .....Maybe we don’t want to have to face him ..... Everyone knows Hillary is evil , but Barry O could and would play the race card , which is far worse than the chauvinist card ....


38 posted on 12/08/2007 8:39:16 PM PST by Neu Pragmatist (Unite against Rudy ! - Vote Thompson ! - It's the only way to beat Hillary !)
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To: Graybeard58

This is fantastic.... Obama or Hillary.... Man 2008 is looking great....

Those two will be so easy to beat...... life is good.


39 posted on 12/08/2007 8:40:12 PM PST by Porterville (Don't bug me about my grammar, you are not that great.)
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To: Nachoman

Don’t know about Vanna but Pat is definitely on the right side.


40 posted on 12/08/2007 8:44:46 PM PST by xp38
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To: Cowboy Bob

What a ridiculous thing to say.


41 posted on 12/08/2007 8:46:28 PM PST by Hildy (Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.)
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To: Graybeard58

I watched a portion of the rambling performance by Barak Hussein Obama. It would be very tough to call it a speech. It sort of sounded like they took a page from John Edwards pity the poor take from the rich playbook. My main interest in watching was to estimate what kind of turnout they had. Unfortunately I found myself distracted trying to decide who had a bigger ass Oprah or Michelle. Both nearly blocked out the whole crowd. How many brainwashed white women watch queen Oprah anyway.


42 posted on 12/08/2007 8:47:46 PM PST by cquiggy
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To: Graybeard58

Forgive my very un-PC observation, but this is simply a case of one black supporting another. Yes, Oprah has a very large audience but even most of her viewers aren’t so imbecilic that they’d follow her political propaganda - not because they’re intelligent and astute observers of the political scene - but because most of them just want to be entertained without having to think too much about anything very seriously for a couple of hours.


43 posted on 12/08/2007 8:48:21 PM PST by T.L.Sink
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To: musicman

Funny.


44 posted on 12/08/2007 8:50:47 PM PST by Do Be (The heart is smarter than the head.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

Ever seen her without her makeup? Yeesh!

I read someplace that it takes a 15-person team to do her hair and makeup for each show taping.

I really have no opinion about Oprah, other than an ‘I find her annoying because she just won’t go away’ type of thing.

What I would like to know is, has she done this kind of campaigning in the past for any white candidates, or is she a racist?


45 posted on 12/08/2007 9:03:42 PM PST by NorthWoody (A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. - Theodore Roosevelt)
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To: Graybeard58

Oprah is to be congratulated on the realization that Hillary is not fit for office.

On the other hand, considering her choice of characters to run her schools in Africa, I don’t think her personal evaluation skills are good enough to serve as a beacon for others in voting for ANY candidate.

Aside from the fact that Obama is black, she is black, he is a liberal Dem and so is Oprah, what relevation about Obama has she released?

I can’t stand these entertainment figured going around endorsing candidates for office and expecting rational thinking people to accept their assessments.

If I wanted advice on how to run a successful TV show with spin-off businesses, I might consult Oprah. If I wanted to select the next President of the United States, I would look at the candidate’s experience, character and position on the issues, and that would rule out ALL the Democrats.


46 posted on 12/08/2007 9:34:55 PM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Neu Pragmatist
"This is the worst possible development for Hillary , as Oprah will peel off a great number of crucial female voters from Hillary."

The Lord works in mysterious ways. He just might be splitting the votes so neither can win. He is the great Orchestrator, after all.

47 posted on 12/08/2007 11:17:08 PM PST by Picklezz (A very Merry Christmas to all -OUT with Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays)
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To: NorthWoody

I don’t think Oprah is a racist , but she is inserting herself into this campaign to make sure that Barry O isn’t discounted because of his race .

Oprah is smart enough to know that any racist attacks will indeed be clandestinely originated from Hillary , and Oprah is going to do her part to make sure that Barry O has a fighting chance.

This is actually shaping up to be Oprah vs. Hillary ....The results will be quite telling as to which woman really wields the power stick ....


48 posted on 12/08/2007 11:35:00 PM PST by Neu Pragmatist (Unite against Rudy ! - Vote Thompson ! - It's the only way to beat Hillary !)
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To: Graybeard58

What happened to representing Illinois, Senator?


49 posted on 12/08/2007 11:42:39 PM PST by endthematrix (He was shouting 'Allah!' but I didn't hear that. It just sounded like a lot of crap to me.)
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To: Graybeard58

Hillary’s in trouble. I don’t think it matters much what Oprah thinks, but she’s helping Obama dominate several days of an important news cycle with positive stories. Seems like the more Dems pay attention to Obama the better he does.

I don’t think Hillary’s cunning and dirty tricks are enough to overcome the fact that he’s a likable guy and she’s the wicked witch of the east. Or that he’s smarter than her (top of the class at Harvard Law, professor of Constitutional Law... versus some lady who tied the knot with the right guy). She’s a known quantity with nowhere to go in the polls but down. He’s still rising. We’re gonna have trouble winning independents if he’s their nom...


50 posted on 12/09/2007 4:55:15 AM PST by Anzat
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