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. RMRN.Y.

    Mathew Law, Atlanta:

    You still fly the stars and bars, bigot!
    Barak Obama is soon to be your Commander in Chief and you will still be the little indian.

    This country is ready for real change
    and a black president – let freedom ring!

    Enough of your stinkin' thinkin'!!!

    December 6, 2007 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  2. Leslie, North Hollywood CA

    Barack Obama is exactly what America needs! I wish I could go too!!

    December 6, 2007 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  3. Ben, Singapore

    This comment is a response to A Sad Woman. I would think that you for one are firstly, not a woman, seeing how childish you can be with one sided opinions and nonsensical logic. Firstly, how can you possibly dismiss Oprah's credibility in what she says just because she supports a male candidate? Does that mean that she has to go to bakeries started by females, wear clothes sewn by females, buy cars made by females? And even then, does it also mean that we are going to pardon Hilary, if she hypothetically speaking, committed murder, all because she's a woman. That, sad woman, is sadly sexism which you have ironically, contradicted yourself against. And secondly, you are truly sad, why so? Simply because of your own sad and pathetic attempts at ruining Oprah's vision and reputation. Lastly, Oprah, as a black woman, supports her own race too, and aims to empower them, just as how she aims to empower women. So does this also mean that she can pick Obama over Hilary just because of gender alone? And does this also mean you are a proud female rights advocate, but a racist? Grow up woman. And with all respect to Mrs Clinton, I wish both candidates the best in their campaigns.

    December 6, 2007 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  4. Sérgio, Porto, Portugal

    I find it funny that nobody talks about Chuck Norris being in the front row of the CNN/Youtube debate or using his mythical powers to raise Hukabee's profile.

    Now, besides saying she supports Baracka, has Oprah talked about politics? Has she persuaded the weak-minded to turn to Obama? Has she told her legions of fans not to vote Clinto or Edwards?

    Then why are people complaining. Just to go to the rally and see what is happening...

    December 6, 2007 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  5. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Rose Hillrose, Chicago, IL, don't worry, people are smart, they watch free show and will vote Hillary Clinton. I don't blame Obama, he is a empty suit, he has to grab someone to help him like black, passing rich, glamoous body(picture on and has the biggest mouth in this country, but voters are smarter than Obama and Oprah. Obama will learn soon.

    December 6, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  6. Trina Jones NH

    People are coming to see Oprah, just like a train wreck, you stop, look, and keep going, doesn’t mean they will vote for obama? The saddest part of this is that Oprah is using her TV viewers that supported her show because she has praised herself as being opposed race bias and especially gender discrimination, NOW LOOK AT HER, completely the opposite. We are witnessing the true Oprah Winphrey. I can tell you as a previous black woman and faithful oprah viewer, I will no longer be interested in anything that is connected to oprah... She just put women back 50 years and black women back 100 years! PLEASE Wise up IOWA /NH ladies! This is about the safety and security for ALL our children, their education and most importantly their health care. Shame on you Oprah for selling out your supporters...We adored who we thought you were

    December 6, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  7. Tim Harrisburg, PA

    Sen. Clinton still accepts money from PACs. she won't bring the change we need to Washington. Obama will. good for oprah, she picked the right candidate.

    Obama 08!

    December 6, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  8. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Kyle G:

    I have heard what Obama passes for a message – there is no message. He spouts change and hope but has yet to tell us how he would go about doing it. When he discussed specifics, they usually mirror plans that have previously been announce by others. Every time he opens his mouth about foreign policy, stupid comes out. And then you have his Bible banging. Havent we as a nation had enough of that? That Oprah is supporting him is not surprising. She is probably the most racist woman in America. She'd back Idi Amin if he were the one running (and not dead.) It's all about being black with her. He is not the most qualified. He is just another Bush like empty suit.

    December 6, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  9. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    If I had a ticket I would tear it up.

    Who cares? What a waste of print space that could be taken up by serious issues.

    Not an Oprah fan, and anyone but Obama or Edwards.

    December 6, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  10. Colors

    The big problem is people would believe Oprah will be better president than Obama, he is so weak to stand with her. Oprah can say whaever she wants, by the end of the day, people have to ask themselves do I trust Obama ? Even Oprah's records are stronger than Obama's. How can this guy face Reps ? By then, no one wants to hear speech any more.

    December 6, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  11. Sumiko Honda

    Dear "A Sad Woman"
    Sorry you sad that Oprah has (according to you) betrayed women by supporting a man for election.
    Since when is this a battle of the sexes? It's for the best candidate and their views for America, not what gender they are!!
    People are coming to see where all the underhanded tricks, nasty innuendos, lies about candidates, cheating, planted questions at rallies, smear campaigns are coming from. HILLARY.
    She's going down fast in the polls, and her presidential aspirations and going down the drain because of this. It's not about gender.
    People don't like Hillary, but they like Obama. And that's why He's going to win.

    December 6, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  12. JRD, kingston, new hampshire

    Oprah is no Billy Grahm, and Obama is no Joshua or Lincoln.

    December 6, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  13. aj huntington ny

    Oprama is for people who:

    1. don't have religion in their lives
    2. aren't happy in their marriage/relationship
    3. see government as the answer to every problem in their person lives

    December 6, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Heather, Columbia,SC

    I don't care if Oprah and Obama have the whole football stadium filled up. I still wouldn't vote for Barack Obama. My reason has nothing to do with his race, but it has to do with the fact that he is not ready to be the next president. He's only been in the U.S. senate for 3 years. His 3 years of service to the senate does not qualify him for the presidency. The person I'm voting for is Hillary Clinton. I'm not voting for her because she's a woman. I'm voting for her because I know that she is ready to lead our country and she will get us out of our current situation.

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!

    HILLARY 2008!!!!!!

    December 6, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. dmw, roeland park, ks

    Obama does need all the help he can get. He is not the best candidate and earlier this year he told us that he would not run for President. He was talked into by people like Oprah.

    I know lots of people will be there to see Oprah and not Obama. Once they hear him speak, which has been boring and dry from the speeches I've seen on C-SPAN, etal, the South Carolina folks will then make their choice.

    I hope they fill that 80,000 seat stadium, otherwise, they will look foolish. Obama is not all that and listening to him speak once again about HOPE which is boring and without any policy-wise ideas other than the ones he took from Hillary, Biden, Richardson, Dodd and Edwards, Oprah will be the only good thing for this event. And I am sure he will take a few digs at Hillary for good measure.

    December 6, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    You can give my seat to someone else!! I've seen enough of BOTH to last me a life time!!

    December 6, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Jimmy

    In September 2004, Sen. Obama suggested to the Chicago Tribune editorial board that he would use surgical missile strikes against Iran:
    [T]he United States should not rule out military strikes to destroy nuclear production sites in Iran, Obama said. 'The big question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to these pressures, including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do not cooperate, at what point are we going to, if any, are we going to take military action?" Obama asked. Given the continuing war in Iraq, the United States is not in a position to invade Iran, but missile strikes might be a viable option, he said.

    December 6, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Cory, Pennsylvania

    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

    I think you need to quit watching Elmer, Mr. jw, and pay attention. Obama has been having bigger crowds than any other candidate at every campaign stop he makes.

    December 6, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. Paul, NY. NY

    Aren't we all tired of the Bush-Clinton dynasty.
    We've had either a Bush or a Clinton in office for the last TWENTY years.
    Enough is enough.
    Time for some new blood.

    December 7, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  20. Barbara Armbruster, Beaufort, SC 29902

    I was very disappointed to learn that the first venue was sold out! What a great move to go to Williams -Brice Stadium. I'll be there.
    Best, Barbara Armbruster, Beaufort S.C.

    December 7, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By A Sad Woman, somewhere in America : December 5, 2007 3:45 pm

    You are what you profess you are "Sad woman".

    I respect Oprah for her lifes work and for her charitable endeavours.

    Don't care who she endorses, but you Clintonista's should be real worried, as Oprah can bring them in and they WILL VOTE.

    Chris from CT, I like yourself, can appreciate why people would like Obama and I lean a little more right than you.

    The world would not end if he became President over who I am supporting, but it could if we put another Clinton in office.

    We remember the first Clinton administration's agenda, GUT THE MILITARY, ignore ALL the bombings and they will go away and everyone "will love us".......

    Not again.

    December 7, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. adickerson

    I have boycotted Oprah Winfrey since she decided race was more important than
    supporting women (what a hippocrite she turned out to be). But, I understand
    she and Barack go to the same black separatist church so what else can
    we expect?
    The BEST Candidate is Hillary Clinton–Experienced, Agent of Change,
    INTELLIGENT, and wants to help our country. A vote for Hillary is a
    RESPONSIBLE VOTE, not a frivolous vote for an inexperienced, wet behind
    the ears Freshman Senator who has no background to run for this country's
    top office with or without Oprah Winfrey's money!!!

    Hillary in '08

    January 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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