September 6th, 2007
01:56 PM ET
15 years ago

Oprah may take visible role in Obama campaign

Watch CNN's Bill Schneider report on Oprah's potential role in the Obama campaign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The impact of a prominent presidential endorsement often fails to resonate at the polls, but popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey's backing of Barack Obama could prove to have a more significant effect.

Oprah, who first told CNN's Larry King last year she is backing Obama, may assume a visible role in his presidential bid, a source close to the Illinois senator tells CNN. She is already slated to hold a star-studded fundraiser at her California estate this weekend.

Oprah has repeatedly shown her name can sell nearly anything, but the media magnate has never endorsed a presidential candidate before.

It remains to be seen if the popular talk show host's role may go beyond raising money from her Hollywood friends, but the prospect of seeing Oprah in campaign commercials or on the stump is already causing widespread speculation on the effect she may have.

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soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Jim, Smithtown NY

    Oh yeah, just what we need – another somebody who claims they are not a Washington insider...Neither was Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter...all those outsiders did us a lot of good. Hillary has shown she can work with anyone and get things done. Let's not blow this election because "I just don't like her" mentality. It's either Hillary or another Republican...

    September 6, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Amanda, Chicago IL

    To Ed Mares:

    Obama did NOT say that he would go into the middle east without congressional approval. He said that he would send troops to areas where there is ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE. Anyone would send troops where there was actionable intelligence, especially as to where Bin Ladin is hiding, which is what he was referring to.

    It's ok if you don't want to vote for him, but make sure that it's for the right reasons. And not because you've been given faulty information.

    And to everyone else on this board: Oprah is not just a black woman. And Obama is not just a black man. And I'm hoping that Oprah will get America to see that he is NOT just a black man. He is a highly educated individual with more imagination and vision for this country than anyone we've seen in the past. Maybe his resume isn't as lengthy as you care for, but our #1 requirement for a leader should be a conscience. And he's the only one who demonstrates a real care and concern for the people.

    September 6, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  3. Joe Memphis, TN

    Go Oprah. She is an American. She can support any one she wants. No one complains if a white celebrity supports a white politician like Barbara Streisand, Steve Spielberg and Hillary Clinton. Guess what Mr. Spielberg has been throwing fundraisers for her. But OMG if the black celebrities happen to support black candidates they known for 12 years. They are labeled racist. Stop using the race card. Its being over played. Stop! Your jealousy against both Oprah and Obama is crystal clear. Heres the strange thing Oprah knows the man. Let me say this again she has known him for over 12 years. If you don't like the fact that she is supporting a friend she has known for 12 YEARS then go work on someone else's campaign.

    September 6, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. Walters, A

    It's really amazing for people to jump on Oprah for having her preference. She is simply endorsing Obama, Just like Brerizieski and congressman Murphy, does it means those two are racist too. please the blogs should be aim at intellectual opinions inorder to advance the political discourse. AL Sharpton, Jesse Jackson were also blacks running for office and if Oprah was all about race she would have endorsed any of these black candidates before, so please don't jump to stupid conclusions
    Obama 2008.

    September 6, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    I have now come to think that the reason Obama threads get so much visible hate from the neo conservatives on here...Is that you all are very scared of the prospect of facing him in the general election. Unfortunately for you guys though, your stupidity will not sway democrats choice for a nomination...we listened to you guys for the last 7 1/2 years...we've all had enough!

    September 7, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. hawnstyle

    I used to have some respect for Obama... But to hide behind two strong women is weak. He should wear a pink skirt and call Oprah mommy... Eventually, this move by Oprah will backfire and the nails will be driven in Obamas coffin... GO ROMNEY!!!

    September 7, 2007 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. Andrew, Jakarta, Indonesia

    To Wendy from Lexington, you are absolutely right. Media people should refrain from voicing an opinion, but instead should only report the prepared texts of the candidates. Welcome to the People's Republic, people.

    September 7, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  8. James, Olaya Street, Riyadh

    Oprah has the same right to try to influence the election as every pig farmer in Iowa and every sex worker in Nevada. Come on DNC, let's hear it for Oprah!

    September 7, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  9. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Obama attracts integrity upon integrity. Hillary attracts fraud upon fraud. Awesome choice Oprah and I wish you the best. Thank you for making the best choice for the people. I don't watch your show, but I know who you are and your roots. You have come a LONG way overcoming many many obstacles. It's great to see you recognize that Obama has the same gift.

    September 7, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  10. Steve, Austin, Tx

    Oprah should stay out of politics at this level. It might just come around her and bite her. Of course why would someone with Billions care? I wish she would be this aggressive with the rap industry in cleaning up their act. That is a ball she dropped!

    September 7, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. Monique, Atlanta, GA

    If Oprah knew ANYTHING about politics she would vote for Ron Paul.

    September 7, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  12. Amy, FL

    An awful lot of white folks saying Oprah must be endorsing Obama because he's black.

    But, ok, it's a reasonable point; Bill Clinton may have endorse Hillary just because she's white.

    Posted By Carrington Ward, Queens NY

    LOL, too funny. Point well made. Time to stop associating and judging people by their race. We are a diverse country with many many races/ethnicities. Judge Obama and the others by their character and vision and any other attribute other than's irrelevant.

    September 7, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  13. Amy, FL

    And what is up with the uproar over Oprah actually endorsing a candidate. Is she a US citizen? If yes, then she has every right to endorse whomever she wants. For all the capitalists out there, she built her TV show, she owns the production company, she worked hard and she can do whatever she damn well chooses with it, whether it be including or excluding guests. It's her perogative.

    I cannot believe the amount of comments on this thread. SHE'S A CITIZEN AND CAN ENDORSE WHOMEVER SHE CHOOSES, the end. Who cares.

    September 7, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  14. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    This is hardly news. Oprah would endorse Hitler if he were alive and black.

    September 7, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  15. fedupwithourgov't


    September 7, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Go Oprah.......

    September 7, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. hawnstyle

    Is Obama black? He is a weak pansy of a man, if you can call him that, hiding behind his wife, and racist Oprah... this will backfire, and Oprah will be crying next year...

    September 7, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Shantee, When Obama married to Oprah?
    Hillary and Bill are wife and husband. Do you understand family? I guess not.
    I never watched Oprah because she acts in lordly manner with her money. Now she proved it again with Obama. Oprah is better than Michelle, that is sure.

    September 7, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  19. Mike Canfield, Cleveland, ohio

    Lets face it – she's only endorsing him because he is black...

    September 8, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. SB, Baltimore, MD

    "I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today."

    Martin Luther King......Where did we go wrong?

    September 8, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. Neet, Charlotte, NC

    I have read all of the comments about Oprah being a racist because of her decision to endorse Barack Obama. While I do not want to spend a lot of time elaborating on Oprah’s decision, I am, however, incensed over the banter about her being a racist because of her decision. Only the uninformed, misinformed, and nauseatingly obtuse can accuse any black American of being a racist.

    Please KNOW that racism is a peculiarity assigned to WHITE people in America. When black people do not like, or in extreme cases hate, white people, it is not because black people are racist, it is because of the disparity blacks in America have experienced (and still experience) at the hands of white America. Black people in America did not enslave white people in America, nor did black people institute JIM CROWE. Black people in America did not create an economic system that derived billions of dollars from selling white people in America, nor did black Americans exact free labor for white Americas. Black folk in America have NEVER, EVER systematically OPPRESSED white folk in America.

    PEOPLE, the psyche of America is sick and her spirit is broken and this kind of iniquitous banter only contributes to America’s ills.

    September 9, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Janet Blankenship, Pensacola, Florida

    Mrs. Obama best "be ware," Oprah loves married men!

    September 9, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    I am a fan of Obama's wife and was one of the posters that applauded her for being real on a previous blog, her husband seems like a good guy as well, even as an independent/Republican I would be thrilled if he beat out Shrillary for the nomination, for the sole eason being he is twice the candidate she is and twice the human being.

    If Oprah wants to endorse him, good for her, in this capitalist society that progressives hate so much, she is a self made person who achieved NOT via "what can the government do for me", but by hard work and dedication.

    Bravo to her, I do find it disappointing that she has not voted in the primaries since 1988 though (researched I am sure by the Clinton political attack machine).

    September 10, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. hope columbus ohio

    Legislating shows someone's knowledge who can even be president.sitting and waiting for other people's documents to sign or approve what one has said its insane not thinking much only to rely on false documents and sign them without enough facts and you think that one can be president of US that is not good judgement that's why people need abig change in washington like it or not only fools will be fooled again like 2004 making the same mistake like you SIR think twice or use your common sense.

    September 10, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. hope, cleveland ohio

    Lee williams you said, you can't stand Oprah because she endorsed Obama ,do you have aproblem or you're just a many people like you have been hiding their racism but if she had endorsed a white person what would you say,why didn't you comment when she endorsed Dr.Phil and others of your choice.would you not stand her.Idon't think anyone educated can stand your thinking.

    September 10, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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