CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN)–Not being a meteorologist, I can't explain how it rains when the temperature outside is a mere 11 degrees (The Weather Channel says it feels like 2 degrees, to which I can attest).
Packed practically to the rafters, Oprah fans and Obama supporters braved the not un-daunting elements, and showed up by the thousands at the U.S. Cellular Center on Saturday night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The crowd, a broad mix of ages, races and ethnicities, was equally rapt by both the candidate and the talk-show host and seemed ebullient even while waiting for the headliners – of course, just being inside on a night like tonight is cause enough for celebration.
The event, Sen. Obama and Ms. Winfrey's second of the day, touched on a broad array of themes including: education, housing foreclosures, health care, racial and religious divides in the U.S. and the "politics as usual" fatigue.
Ms. Winfrey strode the stage, urging the crowd on by repeating the mantra, "the moment is now" – the introduction of Obama culminated with Oprah saying simply, "He is the one."
As for the candidate himself, Senator Obama began by joking with the crowd saying "you know it's a good program when I am the third best speaker".
He also had the crowd laughing and cheering by referring to his distant relation to Vice President Dick Cheney. The Senator cracked, "everyone has a crazy uncle".
After being introduced by Michelle Obama, Winfrey took the stage to the strains of Aretha Franklin and immediately referenced the weather, saying that on the road between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids they "were slipping and sliding" and she assumed that no one would be at the event. Oprah said she'd "be home in my footsie pajamas" if it wasn't for Barack Obama.
–CNN Producer Carey Bodenheimer