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. Scott, Toledo OH

    This is exactly why Obama is a joke. I have yet to hear him say anything substantive. He is nothing more than empty rhetoric, and for some reason there are a lot of morons that buy into it. It is pathetic how candidates like Obama need Oprah, Huckabee and Chuck Norris, Rudy and Pat Robertson, etc. etc. The only candidate who doesn't need some big name celebrity to garner support is Ron Paul, and it is because he is the only one whose message can garner support. Hopefully the American people will be smarter than voting for some celebrity, and instead vote for freedom, liberty, the constitution, the rule of law, and limited government. Otherwise we are lost.

    December 4, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Oprah is such a racist. Why would she come out to campaign if she were not. I like Obama, not as much as Hillary, but he is OK. I don't think he has the experience or the knowledge that Hillary has. When Hillary wins, maybe Oprah will see shes not as popular as she thinks she is. Go home Oprah, you make me sick. I will not watch anything she is involved with.

    December 4, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. BlueGoose

    Obama can't win the electoral college. Purple states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida will automatically go Republican if Obama gets the nomination. Sad but true. Who wants to risk the Repulicans keeping the White House.

    December 4, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Stephanie, Clayton, WI

    Are people really going to see Obama or Oprah? I cannot believe that people are so naive!Sheep....

    December 4, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. It's me again Tampa FL

    America praises Oprah as an intelligent, successful, woman and values her opinion. She does great things for various causes and she is backing a candidate she truly believes will make a difference. This clearly says something.

    Go! Oprah & Obama. The start of POSITIVE change.

    I can just see all the negative comments coming in from the people on here. Rarely does anyone have anything GOOD to say about ANYTHING! A reflection on oneself I presume.

    December 4, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Jen, miami, florida

    I agree 100% of what African-American state Sen. Robert Ford said, when he announced he was backing Hillary Clinton.

    "Everybody else on the ballot is doomed," Ford said, explaining what would happen if Obama were nominated. "Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he's black and he's at the top of the ticket—we'd lose the House, the Senate, and the governors and everything."

    Stop Obama. Save the Democrat Party.

    December 4, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Jena, Houston, Tx.

    OBAMA/DODD sounds good to me!!

    December 4, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. Middle America

    Where is everybody with all the crazy comments? Let me start by saying OBAMA will be our next President!!


    December 4, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Lavelle Rochester,ny

    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.

    Obama 08'

    December 4, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Jerry Eversole Rogers AR

    You certainly have a right to do as you wish in this Great Nation but I think whay you are doing is going to make it a "shoe in" for a Republican to be elected President.

    December 4, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. Ivelisse

    not sure what is the fascination with Oprah, but if I were a candidate I would not like the idea (let alone embrace it) to have somebody bigger than life eclipsing me....

    careful Obama with what you wish for... you might actually get a lot of people there that are ONLY interested in her....

    December 4, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Kathie King Wheeling Wv.

    Obama "BEST BABY FOR PRESIDENT".The victum once again "OBAMA" cries over Clinton attacks. Politics may be to much pressure for such a whinner. Every candidate has been attacking Hillary for months. What kind of future president would she be if she stood by and did nothing after being attacked from all sides? Mrs. Clinton's ability to make decisions or changes according to the immediate threats in the US and UN will only make our country stronger.

    December 4, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Carrie, Dallas, TX

    Oprah!!!!! oh my God!!!!! who's Obama??? she wants me to vote for him....okay!!! Oprah....I got to see her she's so awesome. she should be president. she should be my savior. I will pray to her. I will worship her.

    December 4, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. matt, Philadelphia, PA

    Bluegoose and Jen,

    The same people that would not vote for a black candidate will not vote for a woman. So stop with this tired rhetoric. You cannot predict doom and gloom... I think we have a chance to do something momentous for our country. The tide is turning.

    December 4, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Pete denver

    Go NObama, take on Hillary and win.

    December 4, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. summus

    Obama can't win the electoral college. The airhead media never talks about the electoral college but it is the system that we still have in choosing the president. Most of the 'purple states' like Ohio, Penn, Iowa, and Florida will not vote for him. Support for Obama=helping Republicans keep the White House.

    December 4, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Taylor, Atlanta GA

    I am thouroughly confused by a previous post. Not that I am a big Oprah fan or anything, but how exactly is she a racist? What makes you say she wouldn't come out to campaign if she weren't racist? I think it shows a real lack of judgment to make such claims without citing any sources. I mean, I have maybe watched 4 minutes total of Oprah's show, but nothing about her character appears racist. Your post just makes you sound ignorant, please refrain from contributing irrelevant and/or ignorant posts to a public forum.

    December 4, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Claudette, TX

    Big whoop. I don't care WHO he has on his side. How much did this "party" cost? Could the money have been used to give homeless and poor people a nice holiday dinner? Could it have been used to house a homeless family for a month? All these politicians and "movie stars" have their priorities in the absolute wrong place. I'm glad of what they do now in these respects...but to deny any one of the ones not helped originally by throwing this gaudy shindig is just deplorable. What happened to footwork...what happened to getting elected on principles and values instead of how you want to look to the public? For these politicians to raise 3.3 BILLION for campaign ads is deplorable. Why can't they raise this kind of cash for humanity instead of a party or a TV ad? Why do we have people living in cardboard boxes, people loosing their homes, children killing children in school, kids without medical insurance, and people eating their holiday meals out of dumpsters ANYWHERE IN AMERICA if this kind of cash is available for this waste? America has lost its values and all of these candidates that raise THIS kind of cash is perfect example of that fact.

    As for Obama, he is TOO INEXPERIENCED to be President. For that fact....THEY ALL ARE.

    December 4, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Paul NY NY

    Well being that Oprah rarely does her homework before getting behind something ( A million little pieces , sex scandle in her school. etc. ) it doesn't surprise me that she is supporting the least qualified candidate.

    December 4, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Oprah draw the crowd &

    He knows how to seal the deal.

    December 4, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. White Woman Tampa Fl

    I think racist white people in America are SCARED to think of Obama in office. They must think he will enslave them or something.

    Someone on here said everyone will go republican if Obama is nominated, especially in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida????


    I live in Florida & I'm NOT going Republican. DON'T TELL US WHO WE CAN VOTE FOR!!!!!!!!!!

    I'd rather see another Republican in the White House if people are voting based on race or gender!!! We DESERVE another crappy Republican IF that's the case!!!! Obama & Hillary don't need your biased votes!

    Let's continue to live in this disturbed botox injected society where the white trash rednecks run the show. THAT'S gotten us REAL far the past 7 years!!! Those people PROBABLY don't even vote!!!! Can they read? After all they're still stuck on the confederate flag, which clearly separates them from sincere Americans. THEY want to live in the old world–never leaving their cozy little white towns their whole pitiful lives.

    That was sure an ignorant paragraph, wasn't it? THAT is how some people on here sound!!!!! Just because someone lives in a trailor park, does NOT mean they're white trash. Just because someone is black doesn't mean they'll be a "doomed" or horrible president.

    ANY gender or race based votes just prove this country TRULY has gotten no where. We might as well re-elect Bush for a third term-heck! We may as well elect George Dubya for LIFE!!!!

    THAT IS HOW SMART SOME AMERICANS ARE BEING ABOUT THIS ELECTION. They insist on slinging mud at people they don't even know & only hearing what they choose to. IF you listen for negativity, you will certainly create it yourself!

    We should start a whole new way of nominating a president. Only kids under 12 get to vote. They'd do a better job choosing a leader than WE have or continue to do so!!! Children seem to have better judgment & are un-biased until their parents brainwash them with it.

    December 4, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Howard, Huntington, NY

    "I cannot believe that Oprah is supporting someone that is running for the highest rank in our country that will not recite the pledge of allegiance. That is crazy. How do you not show your country your support but you want to be president. whatever. Obama won't wear an american flag either, i bet he won't wave one either. that's crazy. I guess that's what we get for letting a foreigner run for president. America better look out if Obama wins. It's not going to be a good thing. If he doesn't want people judging him on where he was raised and schooled, he should at least show that he supports our country in every aspect of the word "Support"
    Posted By shelly, pineland tx"

    Wow, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, do you? Whoever said he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance? Because of people like you, he had to post videos of himself doing it on his website. Yes, he's a "foreigner" because his name isn't "John Smith" and he lived overseas for a few years. Sometimes I wonder how cretins like you manage to successfully use a computer.

    December 4, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Nancy, Jackson, Mississippi

    It he wasn't black, she would not be there!!!!
    Yea, Oprah, you have really looked at all the candidates! ha

    December 4, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. LF Columbia , MO.

    As I read the committs, i truley see the division in our country. but, we need change now,we are self destructing
    I will vote for the first person in the Democratic party who annouces the will not renew NAFTA.The bill is coming up for renewal. If you do not know about NAFTA PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH!Personaly, I think we should make our
    States independant and forget the White
    House.We are taking care of ourselves anyway.

    December 4, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. PhillyNola, New Orleans, LA

    Absolutely no one said anything about race when Chuck Norris endorsed's a shame that when Oprah endorses Obama, people are quick to pull out the race card. Oprah has picked the best candidate. People are just feeling threatened by "Double O." They are truly a force to be reckoned with!

    December 4, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9