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. xtina chicago IL

    But what has Obama done to show leadership? I don't see anything – the position of Senator is not a leadership position. If he had been a governor or mayor with some actual executive experience, he'd have something on his resume, but as it is, what has he done that's difficult, that shows decision-making and that's financially smart?

    December 4, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. aj huntington ny

    mr obama will not wear an American flag pin and will not put his hand over his heart when the Star-Spangled Banner is played. what does this tell you about him?

    December 4, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. RuthieM

    GO O's! Is it time to vote yet? OBAMA '08!!!!!

    December 4, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    mr obama will not wear an American flag pin and will not put his hand over his heart when the Star-Spangled Banner is played. what does this tell you about him?

    Posted By aj huntington ny : December 4, 2007 2:48 pm


    It tells us that YOU haven't been paying attention. Barack Obama wore his flag pin for quite a while and then stopped wearing it because he thought too many people were HYPOCRITICALLY wearing it, but not truly trying to live their statement.
    (Do you wear a flag pin every day? How many Americans do?)

    Barack was just like millions of Americans who believed that you show respect to our flag by singing and standing at attention and gave the Pledge of Allegiance with your hand over your heart because it is a PLEDGE. Barack showed respect by singing the Anthem, which a lot of Americans don't do, and he loudly applauded at the end. To attempt to make it seem like he is intentionally unpatriotic is nothing short of ridiculous.

    How many Americans DO NOT wear flag pins? How many Americans stand at attention, but DO NOT have their hand over their hearts for the Anthem? PAY ATTENTION and find a LEGITIMATE basis for your prejudice against Barack Obama.

    December 4, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Steve (Proudly) in SC

    msshaefer in LA,

    Your ignorance is boundless! If you were your all that your post would have reflected that. BUT NOOOO! Stop wasting bandwidth with your nonsense it make you look bad!

    December 4, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. stan pitts pa

    I don't need her ticket, I never watch her show anyway. Oprah acts like she is very proud of black woman, She is trouble maker, she couldn't help Obama, American Women and American voters will show her the lesson soon, interesting:).

    Posted By Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky : December 4, 2007 6:50 am
    dude your rantings are definitely borderline racist and immature, oprah has more class and sense to back any candidate simply because of race, she believes in barack because he has good values and sound judgement, the same way millions of americans do, you see barack you see hope, common sense and good judgement, i bet hillary would give anything to have oprah in her corner, lets keep the issues about america ok?

    December 4, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. S Alexander

    This move by Oprah is frightening to me.
    She has been burned recently a couple of times. I'm hoping that this move by her does not sway voters.
    Obama is too inexperienced to be our next President. It is disturbing to me that she is using her power in this way.
    This is a man soooo critical of Hilary for her vote yet he did not even show up to vote.
    His current holier than thou attitude and using Oprah or should I say Opray using him is underestimating our intelligence.

    December 4, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. stan pitts pa

    Absolutely no one said anything about race when Chuck Norris endorsed Huckabee…it'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!

    Posted By PhillyNola, New Orleans, LA : December 4, 2007 11:10 am

    well written thanks you!!!

    December 4, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. CHO, Houston

    Its ok for chuck Norris to Support Huckabee but not ok for Oprah to support Obama? It is ok for Spielberg and Straisand to support Clinton, but not ok for Oprah to support Obama. Oh, Really....

    December 4, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. stan pitts pa

    every one posting their hate filled blogs here, have no idea whats going on....the true oprah fans are watching her show as i type this and are not on here spewing hate, they are highly educated and they are taking a second look at obama, not just because of oprah but because, they see a family man, with good morals, values, good judgement, honest with over ten years of experience in elected office at both the state and federal levels, and with a good cabinet, obama just might be the best president this country has ever had i just think, the neocons and HRC are so scared of the possibilities for america, he is gonna do things they never thought possible, i can feel it and so can the millions who listen to him and will vote him into office! Amen!

    December 4, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. stan pitts pa

    mr obama will not wear an American flag pin and will not put his hand over his heart when the Star-Spangled Banner is played. what does this tell you about him?

    Posted By aj huntington ny : December 4, 2007 2:48 pm

    it tells me you should read the statement he put out about it, he puts his hand on his chest to pledge allegiance to this country and sings along with the anthem!!!this is a non-issue, nice try! obama 08!

    December 4, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Daymon K. Seals, London,United Kingdom

    You know, I've been living in England and people are talking about Obama a lot. They are excited at the idea. They Like Hillary, but Obama seems to really excite them. However color is not a issue. They are concerned that its too much of a issue for America to even elect him. I've read many comments for this story and all you guys speak about is color. That is sad,rediculous, and embarrassing. So what that Oprah is black and Obama is Black..He's her Senator, and actually my senator as well. Im a BIG CLINTON FAN. HUGE. However, we need to move forward from Bush/Clintons..He's Fresh,new, and xxperienced. Why isn't anyone taking Jabs at edwards. He was a commercial lawyer before a U.S. senator, and has more money than the average american. Obama is on the intl Relations committee, and was a state congressman for years. He has more governmental experience than edwards and Hillary. You know...America, please. We're all people. We're just human and we all have feelings. Try to brush off that color stuff just once, close your eyes and listen to his words. I know most of you will smile inside and out. I'll be voting by absentee ballot from london for obama. However not becasue he's black, but just a good American that will be a shining example of post 9/11 possibilities. America is great and anything is possible! I love and miss all my Americans. Good luck!

    December 4, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Michel, Los Angeles


    December 4, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. John Fitzroy, Illinois

    Obama was raised a Muslim that is why he will not wear an American flag. I agree we all must pay attention and get to the polls because anyone with the middle name Hussein cannot run this United States of America. The Democrats should be worried because if they nominate him, most of the Dems who were for other candidates will cross over and vote Republican. Just watch. Oprah or not. I like Oprah. She has had some big problems lately but she is a good person, but does not have the ability to persuade the American people vote for Obama.

    December 4, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Ken, San Antonio

    I guess everyone forgets that celebrities always endorse candidates, and as for playing the race card, I guess it's not a white thing when the Walker Texas Ranger (Chuck Norris) endorses Huckabee, CNN has a lot of closed ninded people it looks like

    December 4, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. A Sad Woman, somewhere in America

    What a sad story for all Women in America. Here is a woman (oprah)who once gave all American women hope and inspired them to reach their highest goals and told them it is possible to fight gender based discrimination. And now she is trying to use women againts women. she is trying to stop a woman (Senator Clinton)who finally has a chance of becoming the leader of the free world and break the gender barrier. NO wonder when things like this happen people (men) don't trust a woman to run a country...nice role model Oprah! thanks for all that and nothing. Shame on you.

    December 4, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. truth13

    Would you elect a presidential candidate such as Barack Obama based upon an endorsement by someone who endorsed scams which bilked large amounts of money from the public? How about an endorsement from someone who endorses people who champion violent terrorists, mass murderers and slave owners? Maybe not, but what if the endorser is very well known and has her own television show? OK, well, I can't be talking about Oprah Winfrey, Right?... but I am. I am speaking of the Oprah Winfrey Cult. Before you go to the next comment thinking that I am exaggerating or making reckless and baseless comments, take the deepest breath of your life and read on just a little bit more to see the justification.

    In the beginning of 2007, Oprah Winfrey had a number of shows dedicated to a scam known as "The Secret". On Oprah's show and other shows hosting by others, this "The Secret” promoted pyramid schemes and made either misleading or outright false claims about their product. This is the same crowd who blamed the workers at the Twin Towers for their own deaths because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time because of their "bad thoughts”. The proof of these false "Secret" claims were made on countless websites, and respected magazines such as Newsweek and Nightline. Oprah not only endorsed this snake oil known infamously as; “The Secret" but she championed it and placed herself at the top of the pyramid of lies and deceit. "The Secret" used Oprah's shows as shameless infomercials and propaganda, and Oprah pandered endlessly to them. "The Secret" also praised a slave owner numerous times. While it may seem out of character for Oprah to allow uncontested praise of slave owners by the guests on her show, keep in mind that these slaves were white and not black–which may have made the difference for Oprah. Oprah is quick to use the race card such as when she was in Paris and demanded that a fancy store stay open just for her and when it didn’t recognize her as the head of the Oprah Cult—Oprah cried racism against the store. Not that I am suggesting that Oprah is a racist, but put this together with the fact Oprah only will support a black candidate (Barack Obama) without due consideration of other candidates. Moreover, Oprah supports Obama despite the fact that Obama shares a stage with a well known bigot. So it makes one wonder about whether Oprah is a racist in her support of Obama. Or perhaps Oprah is a very poor judge of character as witnessed by her championing of; “The Secret" which is now the subject of world wide criminal fraud investigations and lawsuits. Consider another choice of guest endorsed by Oprah. The fake doctor, who performed surgery on Kanye West's mother and then later died, was booked on Oprah and endorsed. Consider also Oprah’s choice of child abusing employees for her school. In either case, Oprah's endorsement of Obama has no meaning beyond a tv personality cynically trying to whip up some more interest in her tv show ratings, while pretending to show interest in humanity.

    December 4, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Tyrone K. Fields, Dallas Texas

    I really believe that Oprah is in support of Senator Obama because she believes in him and supports the issues he stands for. I have read and heard her comments regarding her support for him and to me her support is both genuine and non-biased. I don't believe race plays part in her support. Myself being a young educated black man, was a bit leary of supporting Barak Obama for the same reason. I didn't want to give him my support solely based on skin color. I've done some research on him. I'm looking into his views and his stance on a lot of issues and following his campaign as the other candidates, and honestly, I'm being won over by Barak. You should too if you care for the future of our Country.

    December 4, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. Anonymous, Chicago, IL

    Oprah has been promised an ambassadorship in return on campaigning.

    December 4, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Blane Willis,Louisville,Kentucky

    I am open minded and watching everything. It is too soon to make judgements. Listen,watch and learn.
    I am a Democrat,but I will vote for the most qualified candidate regardless of party affiliation.
    The rhetoric in this blog disturbs me.
    Blane in Louisville,Kentucky

    December 4, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Debi, Philadelphia

    I think Oprah is a racist and it just makes me think even less of Obama.

    December 4, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. Gwen, Houston, TX

    Why are some assuming Oprah's endorsement has a racial component? Generally, all of the presidential candidates in the past (except for Jesse Jackson) have been White and endorsed by White people for the most part? Is that racial?

    It is a shame that in 2007 an African American cannot support someone of his/her race without being labeled "racial." Since both Oprah and Obama are from Chicago, she probably has a closer relationship to him that she does the other candidates. Oprah shouldn't be forced to endorse a White candidate just to prove her actions are not racially motivated.

    December 4, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. rjk, charlotte, north carolina

    I use to enjoy watching Oprah. As a Hillary Clinton supporter and one who beleives in fair play, I will no longer watch her. What a fake and a fraud. Boycott Oprah!

    December 4, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  24. Troy

    Oprah, the racist is rooting for Obama because he is black and she is biased for anyone black. Nothing more than that. I bet if Hillary was black she would have supported her too. But who cares who she supports, who is she to sway people's votes unless poeple are dumb enough like Obama. Hillary '08.

    December 5, 2007 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  25. Lynn, FL

    As a white, female, Republican, living in the south, I can honestly say that Obama appeals to me as a candidate. He talks about faith in a real way, which so many of the Dems seem to want to rob this country of, from our roots. Depending on who the Republican candidate ends up being, I would be tempted to vote for Obama. If it is Giuliani or Romney, I would probably vote Obama. If it is McCain or Huckabee I would stick with the Republicans. I am one of those who would NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton.
    Not all conservatives are racist, contrary to what so many people seem to think. If Colin Powell had run for office, I would have voted for him in a heartbeat.
    I am saddened by the fact that there is so much prejudice in general, not just between blacks and whites, but also with Latinos, Middle Easterners, etc... I believe we are all God's children, created in His image. Anyone who calls themselves Christian who doesn't believe that is not reading the same Bible I am.
    In general with politics, people on both sides of the aisle need to stop being so arrogant and be willing to work together or nothing is going to be accomplished. The vast majority of Americans are moderates, but sadly the most outspoken people are the extremes on both sides. As a country, we can do better than that. People need to respect differences and work together. Focus on the common ground more.

    December 5, 2007 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
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