December 4th, 2007
05:53 AM ET
15 years ago

No more tickets for Oprah in South Carolina

Oprah's appearance could help raise Obama's profile in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Citing "overwhelming excitement," Barack Obama's campaign in South Carolina is out of free tickets for this weekend's rally with Oprah Winfrey, a signal that Oprah's impact could be significant in this state where Obama is still trying to introduce himself to primary voters.

Though Oprah's appeal certainly transcends race and class, black women are proving to be a key subset of voters in South Carolina, and Oprah's presence on Sunday could help raise Obama's profile in a state where Sen. Hillary Clinton is still more well-known.

"What this does, is it takes somebody who ten months ago most people in South Carolina had no clue who he was, and with the media attention surrounding Oprah, it puts him front and center," said Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon.

"Oprah is not going to change people's minds on her own, but Oprah makes Obama salient. So if he pulls off an upset in Iowa, suddenly he is the forefront of everyone's mind and he has the momentum. And he can use it to springboard him through in South Carolina. That's what it can do."

The Obama campaign wants this to be a huge event: The rally will take place at the Colonial Center, an arena here that seats 18,000 people. Oprah and/or Obama fans were camping out in sleeping bags outside Obama headquarters in Columbia on Saturday morning, waiting for tickets.

Assuming every ticket-holder shows up, there will be more people at the arena for a political rally than for an average University of South Carolina basketball game, which aren't usually sell-outs.

For those that didn't get tickets in time, the campaign says there is a waiting list. Obama and Oprah will also campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire this weekend.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Clinton 2008

    After recent weeks and the personal attacks, I strongly now see the best choice and my vote will go to CLINTON, we need her contacts as well as the great relationships President Clinton has with other countries and experience, to work together so that other counties will share the bill and world security. We do not have time to play politics with the likes of obama and rest of these guys…
    John Edwards would be an outstanding VP for Hillary

    CLINTON 2008, the true SMART choice

    WELL SAID!!! Post By A Sad Woman,
    Our friends and family are completely disgusted with Oprah, NEVER will watch her show or buy anything because she endorses it...
    SHAME ON YOU OPRAH, allot of young women were influenced by you until now that you have showed just who you really are and not the persona you play on TV...This is nit a movie Oprah, OUR GREAT COUNTRY IS IN DIRE STRAITS and you try to manipulate the election...
    How do you look in the mirror!

    December 5, 2007 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  2. Louise Mondale NH

    Just read the posts here in favor of oprah and obama, its like these obama supporters are at the soul train awards.. THIS IS OUR GREAT COUNTRYS PRESIDENTAL ELECTION!!!
    WISE UP! he's not the guy,your playing with your freedom and childrens future!

    December 5, 2007 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  3. Atlanta Ga

    wow. After reading some of your emails. I am shcocked to find some you just dont get the meaning of life or concept of soul. Oprah be it a gorgeous black woman seeks loftier goals. She is an Angel, She is a Godsend.
    What have you done that brings joy in this world.
    All my Love to you Oprah
    Godspeed my dear lady

    December 5, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. pam Eugene, OR

    WOW You Clinton fans sure are green with envy! You would think it was wonderful if she was supporting Hillary. But she isn't so you are being mean, nasty and petty. You are about as mature as 8 year olds. I sure hope people who support Obama aren't this ugly when Babs has a concert for Clinton.

    December 5, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    "Hillary is a powerful voice for change as we find our country at an important crossroads. Under her leadership, our country will regain its respect within the global community. She will prioritize issues of global climate change, universal healthcare and rebuilding a strong economy. After 8 long years, the public will once again have faith in their government.

    "Another former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, 'In government, in business, and in the professions there may be a day when women will be looked upon as persons. We are, however, far from that day as yet.' More than 50 years later 'that day' is now upon us...and Hillary Clinton is ready to shatter through that glass ceiling for all women."

    December 5, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Phil - New York City

    He's a nice young man, but if he were an option as my surgeon, I would pass him for the guy with more time in scrubs. Get my meaning?

    December 9, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. greg

    Oprah is an excellent public speaker. I have to say that it is difficult not to get swept away in the emotion of her speech and with the music at the end welcoming Obama, it felt like a movie. I really had to take a step back and look at it. Oprah was a gospel preacher and Obama was Jesus, come to save us all. He was the one and I thought he was going to come out and walk on water.

    I had to step back and ask, "Okay, when it boils down to it, who do I feel is better at making policy and decisions.? and What exactly is Obama going to do differently than everyone else that is going to bring about this mass change that is being talked about.?"

    December 9, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. Jerry , Adams Center , NY

    it is a shame that you have to give out free tickets just to draw people in, I use to like Ophra now I have a different opinion of her. Needless to say I will not be watching her as much as I will be watching Ellen.

    December 10, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. cindy melton

    Oprah stay out of politics.

    January 8, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. cindy melton

    Why did she wait until now to show her support?

    January 8, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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