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)
  1. Adam, Pittsburgh, PA

    Obama couldn't fill a Burker King without Oprah??? Have you been paying attention to ANYTHING?!

    December 5, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Rosemary, Simi Valley, CA

    This is truly amazing. Maybe the Mainsteam media will now consider him a serious candidate. I also think this will answer your Oprah question.

    December 5, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Kyle G. Columbia SC

    I'VE BEEN SAYING THIS ALL ALONG AND I DONT CARE WHO WANTS TO DISAGREE BUT BARACK IS GOING TO WIN BOTH IOWA AND SOUTH CAROLINA BY SURPRISING NUMBERS. Everyone who talks bad about him that has never once SEEN him for yourself PLEASE for God shake stop it and take a look at this man. Don't listen to what your friends are saying that has never heard him, his stances or positions on key issues that affect our country.

    Do this for yourself and quit bashing Barack, Oprah or our political process. If Oprah would've endorsed Hillary just cause she was a women what point would that have made? Oprah is to smart for that she endorsed Barack because of his message and we all need to hear it FIRST and then make an EDUCATED CHOICE........ I LOVE ALL YALL FOR OR AGAISNT BARACK BUT HEAR HIM MESSAGE THEN JUDGE

    December 5, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Jonathan, Holiday, Florida

    I hope people realize that those attending are going for Oprah and not Obama.

    December 5, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    I think it is hilarious that people are posting that "everybody is going to see Oprah, not Obama" or "Obama couldn't fill a Burger King."

    Obviously you haven't been paying attention. Obama has regularly made appearances all across the country where he has had crowds consistently in the thousands, even up over 20,000, on his own!

    Obama '08

    December 5, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. P.J., Atlanta, Georgia

    After Oprah, Barack will have a tough act to follow and really big shoes to fill. Bet Barack could not half fill that stadium on his own. So who is everyone coming to see? His support is weak and support is not solid.

    December 5, 2007 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Gerald Adair

    I never even heard of Barack Obama until there was a rumor going around about voting for Oprah Winfrey for President about a year ago and when she was asked about it,she replied, I would not run for President but I'll tell you who I'd vote for or support, Barack Obama. I can't believe now a year later she is going on the Presidencial trail with him. My question is, Is she using her status of who she is to get him elected. You have to admit that she has a following.

    December 5, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Hooligan, Everywhere, America

    Is the world's smartest woman going to import her audience from the thick, soccer mom-rich masses of Chicago's North Shore, too?!

    December 5, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Jimenez - Texas

    Dan, TX – Maybe the guy isn't ready to vote for a black man. Maybe there's alot of people who won't. But then again maybe there's alot of people who won't vote for this black man. He's a fakey flake. They talk about the Hillary supporters and their blind support. I don't even have words for the people who are supporting Obama – except one – WRONG!

    December 5, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Laughing, Iowa

    What a joke. This is a ridiculous. What happened to electing people to office based on their merits? Why should we care who Oprah or any other "star" backs?

    December 5, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. J. McKinney SW MO

    O, Lordy? I am just sick with worry that people will be sheep enough to vote for Obama because Oprah says so. I just hope they are going to see Oprah, because it is a free show. I am afraid of what the US will become with Obama as president. However, I don't think we will have to worry about him being president. If he wins the demo. election, it will be another 4 or 8 years of the Republicans, as Obama can't win against them. He just doesn't have the experience.
    We need Hillary, and we need her bad. I just hope enough people have enough sense to not let Oprah sway their vote. Oprah isn't any smarter about politics than any of the rest of us, and I have to say, I think she really DOES want Obama because he is black. America is not ready for a black president. Hopefully this monkey & pony show will be just that–free entertainment.

    December 5, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. xtina chicago IL

    Still waiting to hear what Barack Obama has done successfully in Illinois in order to earn the office of President. I don't see anything as impressive as Rudy Guiliani getting 600,000 people off the welfare rolls and cutting crime 5o% in NYC or Mitt Romney's business smarts in turning around the bankrupt Olympics into a financial success.

    December 5, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. Bob Wuchte Sandwich, IL

    Folks lets not get excited about Oprah campaigning for Obama. Remember Oprah is not the candidate. Personally I think Oprah should stick to her talk show and stay out of politics. Oprah in my opinion has crossed the line by supporting a candidate.

    December 5, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Kevin Martin, Columbus, OH

    I really don't know anyone at my office, my church, or in my family that doesn't despise Hillary Clinton. I'm sure that there will be massive rallies for her republican opponent that will require football stadiums as well. If I were democratic, I'd seriously consider Obama or Richardson... I really cannot see that Hillary is electable, no matter where she claims to be from that week – NY, Arkansas, Chicago, etc.

    Good luck to the Dems, should be fun with Oprah in the mix. I'm 99% sure CNN will limit their coverage of Oprah/Obama since it is the Clinton News Network after all...

    December 5, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  15. Laura Tulsa OK

    Why do people trust Oprah? I don't trust anyone who doesn't have a good relationship with their father. I also don't like that she brought Mr. Frey on TV to make herself look good. And I don't trust anyone who thinks it's no big deal that the candidate she endorses won't wear an American flag pin or put his hand over his heart.

    December 5, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    No matter who comes for Obama, American will not vote Obama. He is weak, dishoest and lower than any candidates. He misled his supporters, it will show up soon. Republicans will appreciate Oprah right now, but it is not going to happen, Obama is dreaming.

    December 5, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  17. vtercell, just wanderin' around in America

    Oprah is interesting as Oprah, but as any celebrity endorsement, she is irrelevant and meaningless.

    The kind of people who need to wait to be influenced by some big name probably shouldn't be voting anyway.

    December 5, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Blacks pimping blacks to other blacks– how modern!

    December 5, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  19. Peter, Lyndhurst, NJ

    Im surprised at Oprah choosing her race over gender in which way to lean. Everyone knows there aren't any solid policy differences between Obama and Clinton.

    America will not elect a black man president and Democrats will lose the White House again if he gets the nomination.

    December 5, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. Wallace, Chicago IL

    A friend and I posted twice on here and get a comment on this board. Come on CNN.
    This is a great thing that a candidate is generating so much excitement about the process. Be glad that we're seeing this. This is a great thing for our country regardless if you are a supporter of Obama's.

    As for the America will not elect a black man remark. I think you're wrong. Most of the individuals who wouldn't vote for that reason, wouldn't vote for Hillary either.

    Obama has a good chance. So America is wide open to voting for women too huh? Since there have been so many women presidents… Just vote and don't worry about that nonsense.

    Quietly, there is a movement brewing that truly understands why we need a change. Obama has the same chance as Hillary (a polarizing candidate), if not a better chance of getting elected.

    December 5, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. Tapera, t.o

    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?

    Posted By Mitch, Colo Springs, CO : December 5, 2007 5:18 pm

    She is not just going with the party but with the best candidate that she sees.

    If you want to use your vote wisely then vote for a candidate and not the party

    December 5, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. Jim Slought, Chicago

    I have news for all of us outspoken bloggers.
    We are not the majority of the voters. The people at the football stadium are not the majority of the voters. The people who answer the polls are not the majority of the voters.
    I have never been asked to participate in a poll. Hmmm....It kind of makes you wonder if the polls are just another way to get attention and hype.
    We are the outspoken and we are the few.
    The silent are the majority and they will speak at the polls.
    They don't read blogs, they don't listen to polls.
    Thank goodness we have the silent majority to help balance out us outspoken bloggers. I admit....I am one of you....:)
    Good for Bill Clinton for admonishing the press for being out of control, because as he said, their hype or polls or both has (ve) a half life of what...15 seconds?
    Go Hillary!

    December 5, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  23. Jim - Lone Star State

    Who's running here: Oprah or Obama? Are the American people so willing to compromise who our most qualified candidate for the American Presidency truly is (Hillary) simply based on celebrity endorsement? I urge my American compatriots to consider who they support and vote for in '08, and weigh not who is endorsing our candidates, but more importantly their positions, experience, and true loyalty, not just to this country, but to every individual who is blessed to live in this nation.

    December 5, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. John, asheville, nc

    "Oh for the love of Elmer Fudd, Obama couldn't fill a Burger King without Oprah."

    Posted By jw, canadian,ok : December 5, 2007 4:09 pm

    Yeah, I mean he only pulled a crowed of 20,000 in Texas 8 months before the primary election... and 24,000 in NYC and 10,000 in ALABAMA! what more do you want?

    December 6, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  25. Vince King, Phoenix, AZ

    So many people just can't STAND Oprah's power, and I LOVE it! If she can draw people in to LISTEN to Barack, then, BEAUTIFUL!!!.

    December 6, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
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