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. JSB

    Give me a break! I'm not interested in anything Obama or Oprah for that matter have to say! The reason she is backing him is only obvious....It'll never happen!

    December 3, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Ahtram, Oakton, Virginia

    Uh-oh! Sounds like Hillary is going to have a hostage crisis at her Wyoming headquarters on Sunday!

    December 3, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. Michael Todd NH


    As for obama you can't get a straight answer on healthcare, smeone who runs on ethics and not taking money from certain people is found out to have at least skirted, if not violated, the FEC rules and used lobbyist and PAC money to do so.
    Another bush!

    December 3, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Doug, Brentwood, CA

    Is there some news somewhere here in this article?

    December 3, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. JuleS, South Elgin, IL

    So the bottom line is, a vote for Obama is a vote for Oprah.

    Frankly, Oraph Winfrey would probably make a better president than all of the candidates combined, Democrat and Republican. She's smart, obviously knows how to balance a budget, savvy, knows how to manage a variety of enterprises - all successfully, and most importantly, compassionate.

    Oprah for President 2008!

    December 3, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. C.W.Williams

    I think Oprah should not be campaining for Obama. The reason I say this is that if Hillary still wins the Presidency in 08 I can't imagine which hole will be big enough for Oprah to bury her head. If you've ever heard the phrase " I bee that used to make honey is a USED TO BBE"; that is what Oprah will become. I think it's a big risk for her and I think endorsing Obama from her show would be enough.

    Obama if he manage to win, will be seen as and "Oprahs' Boy" president. And Oprah I am a new small home-run business owner, I could do well with about a twenty grand loan. If you are willing to help a Canadian fan for 2008. I would love to hear form you. God Bless you, and GOOD LUCK Barack.

    December 3, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. Melilli, Middletown,CT

    Gee what a shock, Oprah is backing the black guy?
    Forget the color, you going to vote for someone with a name so close to OSAMA Bin Laden?

    December 3, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. Gene Brake, Chantilly, VA

    If Ms Oprah can get him elected more power to her. I say anything that will get the neocons out of the Whitehouse, is ok by me. While Obama, isn't my first choice, I only want America out of the hands of the radical right and the Republican party. I hope to be able to again hold my head high as American, maybe I can after 1-20-09, because it's hard to right now.

    December 3, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. Truman, New York, New York

    I think Oprah should stay out of politics, so should race and gender. Just the mention of "black women" confirms my need to exit the U.S. soon. I mean, what is this, Lord of the Rings? We don't have elves and dwarves in the world. We're all human. Get over it CNN.

    December 3, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Theo, Tokyo

    Hey Maybe Bush can campaign for Hillary!

    December 3, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. JD, Atlanta, Georgia

    Go, go, go!!!!

    December 3, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. WiseOne

    Of course no more tickets, are you kidding me? Its Oprah coming to town so what do you expect? Obama has started to win the women votes even before Oprah comes to town, read the IOWA polls.

    Oprah coming to town is the ICE on the cake. Remember Obama said he doesn't expect women voters to vote for him because of Oprah but he expects them to make an informed decision and vote on their convictions.

    Please tell me how good and excellent is such a guy OBAMA. We are taking this thing all the way to the white house baby. Not even the haters can stop the movement, you either join us or get out of the way because our future is at stake.

    GO OBAMA 2008!

    December 3, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Oprah will attract them and Obama will SEAL THE DEAL!!!

    Obama 08

    December 3, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  14. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    All these Hollywood elitist types should be put in FEMA camps during elections years, all their popularity does is make voters focus on the same glitters is gold mesmerization crap. These celebutaunts only further corrupt our democratic process. Think for yourself!!!

    December 3, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. theresa lv

    With the crowds that Senator Obama can draw now you couple those with what Ms Winfrey draws and this is going to be a blowout.

    All the garbage that is being thrown by the Clintons against Ms Winfrey is pure hatred of a self-made woman unlike Clinton who can't do anything without Bill's support. The Clintons have even said that Hillory won't do well in Iowa due to the fact Bill didn't campaign there. How insane is that statement.

    So why should they be spouting such filth – strictly fear and jealousy.

    December 3, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Elections should be decided on the candidate who has best knowledge of issues and people to find and activate solutions in most cost-effective ways.

    December 3, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. Danton, Baltimore, Maryland

    Turn out the lights Hillary...Obama is what Americans have been working and waiting for...nobody wants to continue more go the Senate and lead from there...Obama 08

    December 3, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Augustus Kwaidah

    I strongly believe the involvement of Oprah in Barack's campaign at this point in time is a very strategic move which could totally destroy Hillary's high mark among women votes and Barack could also gained a lot of Blacks from Hillary's camp. Oprah's intereffernce will change the dynamic of this campaign in favor of Baack no doubt. Hillary has every reason to worry sleeplessly.

    December 3, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. jim earworm, South Bend, Indiana

    Oprah will bring them to the water and Senator Obama will make them drink.

    December 3, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. Derek, Walpole NH

    I'm curious to learn what she even knows about politics and why exactly we're supposed to care what she thinks.

    December 3, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Roger Parrish, Troy VA

    I'm a lifelong Republican and I will pledge my vote to Obama, if nominated. That's how strong I feel about Hillary.

    December 3, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    Obama is talking about issues and is connecting with voters

    while Clinton is desperately trying to tell us distortions about Obama.

    Let's talk about the issues.

    Obama on health care – insurance covers as many people as Clinton's plan.

    Obama on ethics – a leader.

    Obama, ready to lead the nation from day one.

    Clinton, ready to take on the republicans in a death match from day one.

    December 3, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  23. Robert , Boulder , CO

    I think that if she wants to get involved with Politics and she is endorsing a candidate then people who support another candidate should stop buying her products or support her show because you are contributing to the obama campaign fund

    December 3, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Michael

    Sounds good - is a plus for the campaign. It's all about exposure and sending the message.

    OBAMA 08

    December 3, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  25. localjim, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

    So Oprah will be good for Obama's campaign. I guess that settles any discussion on her not helping Obama's campaign. If I had her oppotunity to attract viewers to meet and learn about Obama I would do it to.
    I hope you visit it us in Florida, regardless of what the DNC or Fl Dems have done. You already have our vote regardless.
    Obama '08

    December 3, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
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