December 5th, 2007
03:15 PM ET
15 years ago

Oprah rally moved to football stadium

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

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Relax, University of South Carolina football fans. Your season may be over, but Williams-Brice Stadium won't be empty for long.

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign announced Wednesday afternoon that because of overwhelming demand, their rally on Sunday with Oprah Winfrey will be moved to the 80,000 seat college football stadium in Columbia (although, the campaign said they don't expect to fill the stadium - that's coach Steve Spurrier's job).

The campaign had been scheduled to hold the rally at the Colonial Center in downtown Columbia, which seats 18,000 people, but on Tuesday Obama's state director Stacey Brayboy announced that "overwhelming excitement" had caused a run on free tickets.

"This event far exceeded our expectations," said Obama spokesman Kevin Griffis, who said they had to negotiate with the University of South Carolina to get the stadium for Sunday's rally.

There had been a waiting list for tickets, but the move to the football stadium will allow the campaign to accommodate everyone who wants to go.

So, will all those Oprah and/or Obama fans be actual registered voters? That remains to be seen, but the media attention will certainly help raise Obama's profile in the crucial early-voting state.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (97 Responses)

    Though I am a big fan of Oprah, her support of Obama will not alter my support for Hillary. I don't think many people will be swayed, however fans will show up to view her for the entertainment value. Ms Winfrey is a great American and is a national icon not a political broker.

    December 5, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Hoping in SA

    Robert NYC/Miami: Sadly, America will not elect a black man.

    I happen to agree w/you. I personally am not voting for Obama – but it's not for skin. It because he is weak. Still you are correct on this one sir. They can fill the arena to top capacity it wont change the end result. NO Obama.

    December 5, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Winston

    Whats in this for Oprah?

    A secret deal to have a series of talk shows in the White House under an Obama presidency.

    Let me asure you, there will be no secret deals under a Hillary Clinton presidency.

    December 5, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. TJ, Lewisville, AR

    For all the people who are sick and tired of Hollywood throwing its weight around to try and influence people it looks like this is just more of the same. Obama is just another candidate that is in bed with Hollywood.

    December 5, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Hillarylover in SA

    Dont be sad – sad woman. Women are not swaying at all towards Obama even if the great whale speaks to a billion people. She is a sell out – a racist. Men and women stand solid w/Clinton. She beats Obama anyday. They're just going because its free and probably bused from Chicago. Not many people in Iowa interested in Oprah or Obama. And, God please don't let Michelle be there! SCARY

    December 5, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Steve in SC

    Rose in Chicago,

    Sounds like whine of a Hilliaryite! Why don'yt you get Barbara's to put on a show for Hilliary? I am sure you would be quick to sell your vote for that! You can back you candidate without hating on Obama, right?

    December 5, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. TB, FL

    Why does race matter so much in this presidential run??? who cares what color he or she is if they are qualified?? Are we still that closed minded??? Come on people, tell me I'm dreaming!

    December 5, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. TNYC

    Dear 'A Sad Woman'

    I am sorry you feel this way. I hear you about wanting a woman to be president, and how wonderful that would be. I do want a woman for president one day, but I know that woman is not Senator Clinton. Being from NY, I can tell you, it's been very hard for me to see her constant flip flopping, pandering to polls and unwarranted attacks on Senator Obama.
    Her politics are manipulative and this has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with the person she is.

    I applaud Oprah for support Senator Obama, she is doing so because he is the right candidate at the right time. Hillary Rodham Clinton is not. She is going with her heart, like me, and we both support Barack Obama.

    December 5, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. bymyside, Long Beach, CA

    Oprah draws the crowds and Obama will seal the deal! Although, Obama does just fine on his own in drawing big crowds! Oprah is a humanitarian and philanthropist. It's such a good fit.

    I won't be there, but I will see him at the LOS ANGELES RALLY on 12/10!!!

    Obama '08

    December 5, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Steve in SC

    Sad woman,

    The last time I checked this is the U.S. of A. Oprah is exercising her right to back whoever she feels is the best candidate for her. Narrow is the mind who cast votes based only upon gender or race!

    December 5, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Dan, TX

    Sadly, America will not elect a black man.
    Posted By Robert NYC & Miami : December 5, 2007 4:00 pm

    The question isn't whether America will elect a black man, it's whether YOU would elect a black man.

    December 5, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Celeste Stivers Baltimore Maryland

    I am so happy that this rally is going to happen. Obama in 08! Please take a moment to listen to a song dedicated to him on YouTube called "Betting On the Dark Horse".

    December 5, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. AQ Hopper, L.A.,CA.

    Life, just got interesting.

    December 5, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Claudia, Tucson, AZ

    Sad Woman in America,
    Hillary is to be respected for what she has accomplished. However, just because she is a woman is not a good reason to elect her to office. She is incredibly divisive which is something our country does not need at this time. Oprah is an excellent role model for all. Oprah gives hope to many women. As an American she is allowed to do what she feels is right for our country. Robert,NYC I hope that you are wrong. I would hope that our country is beyond racism.

    December 5, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Pepe Le Pue

    Robert Writes "Sadly, America will not elect a black man.

    4 more years of the last 8!"

    I used to believe that.But not anymore. I think the majory of Americans are looking pass the racial line because they realize that Obama is looking pass that barrier. He represents something that all people can be proud to associate with. He personifies what America claims to represent:a diverse nation.

    Obama is an idea whose time has come!!!

    Obama 08

    December 5, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Markie Bee, Sacramento, Calif.

    In order to reach the biggest audience so you can let them know your positions and vision for the future you have to get them in one place and Oprah does that for Obama. Great get, great job and I'm sure it will be a big boon for Obama in S.C. Quick, when was the last time people slept outside overnight for tickets to a Hillary rally? Think they'll do that for Barbra tix? Ahhhh, no.

    December 5, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Mitch, Colo Springs, CO

    The right thing for Oprah is to endorse someone who is a democrat nominee. Whether it be Obama, Hillary, or Biden. This is absurd! What if Hillary is nominated inspite of her push? Then what kind of face Oprah has to endorse Hillary in general election? Or, is she going to endorse Guliani then?

    December 5, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |

    Great news for Oprah and Obama and AMERICA!

    OBAMA '08

    December 5, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Jerome Whitting Iowa

    Will Oprah have any other guest on the Oprah show? who is the musical talent for the show that night?

    Ahhh...Oprah is not running is she?

    December 5, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Biden Backer/Seattle

    Will she push books written by autors who are lying? Will she be encouraging her minions to get plastic surgery from the dude that killed kayne west's mom? Will she be enrolling kids to be abused at her lame school in S. Africa? What a narcissist.

    Like Obama but DESPISE oprah.

    December 5, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. A Happy Woman Who Loves Oprah and Obama

    O Power! O Power! O Power! O Power!

    Although, Hillary is a woman, I really don't think her policies speak for The American woman. And they especially don't speak for women of color. I used to work in the beltway and Hillary likes to play the gender card when it is convenient, but don't be fooled.

    And A Sad Woman: It's not that I don't trust a woman to run the country, I just don't trust Hillary. Don't succumb to gender bias yourself by picking a woman just because she's a woman.

    December 5, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 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 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. James, Toledo, OH

    Oprah's endorsement as a celebrity is meaningless. Her endoresement as a humanitarian, leader, empowered minority person, and voice of reason is unparallelled.

    This is also a wonderful opportunity for Obama to reach thousands of voters who haven't been following his campaign closely.

    December 5, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Independent in IA

    And everybody is hoping for a new car...or at least a big bag of 'goodies' under the careful folks...remember you have to pay taxes on 'gifts'.

    December 5, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    I wouldn't mind if Oprah endorsed Obama if she had a history of endorsing Democratic candidates, but I find her epiphany disingenuous. We'll see if her inmense popularity translates into votes for Obama.

    December 5, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
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