December 9th, 2007
10:04 PM ET
14 years ago

Oprah and Obama stump in the Granite State

Oprah and Obama campaign in New Hampshire. Photo: Mike Roselli/CNN

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) ­– Tired and hoarse after a three-state campaign swing on behalf of presidential contender Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey rounded out the weekend Sunday with an evening appearance here in the Granite State.

"This is my first time in Manchester. Wow, what a beautiful place!" said the talk show host, her voice cracking. Her entrance unleashed deafening screams and frantic waves from many in the audience, along with a sustained standing ovation.

The campaign estimated a crowd of roughly 8,500 braved the chilly New Hampshire weather – roughly a third the size of the audience that attended a similar event held in South Carolina earlier in the day. Still, it was the state’s largest political rally this year.

Hillary Clinton has long dominated the Democratic presidential field here, but a Mason-Dixon poll released just hours before Oprah arrived showed the New York senator’s edge over Obama had narrowed to a statistically insignificant 3-point margin.

Obama’s surge here has been partially fueled by increased support from women voters – precisely the audience the campaign was hoping to reach with Winfrey’s appearance. Some had waited for as long as three hours in the cold before doors opened at 6 p.m.

"I have done my homework, because I wouldn't be standing out here for
somebody I didn't know who I was talking about,” said Winfrey. “I'm not going to step out here and take this risk for somebody who's going to disappoint me later on.”

Their vote, she told the cheering crowd, would bring "Martin Luther King's dream into reality."

Speaking after Winfrey, Obama also referenced the slain civil rights leader. “I am running because of what Dr. King called ‘the fierce urgency of now,” he said.

–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Andrew, Manchester NH

    Um... That is *not* what obama said. He said, "I am not running for this office to fulfill any long-held plans OR because I believe it is somehow owed to me."

    Nice way to distort his words!

    December 9, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. Tim, El Cerrito Ca

    Enough already. This kind of coverage I'm sure is turning people off in droves. Actually I think this will backfire in that it will draw attention to the Obama's lack of experience. That's what I'm reading between the lines. Read Fineman's article. I wish Obama supporters would stop pushing their messianic complex down the rest of our throats. There are a lot of us out here that think on our own. And can read and deduce the truth. The truth as I see it is Obama is an empty suit.

    December 9, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  3. Jay Austin, Texas

    Let's see... Oprah can't pick books adn authors and she can't run elementaary girl schools... Why should we listen to her on this?

    December 9, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. Liberal Chic

    Yeah. Let's all face it. Barack Obama with zilch experience is riding the wave to the primaries because politically correct white people all over the country want to feel good about being egalitarian.

    If Obama were white with the same credentials, he would be nowhere. He couldn't even have made it to the US Senate. We need to wake up and figure out that we are trying to vote for the most qualified person. Not some fluff ideologist with no substance.

    I hope some of us don't find out the hard way that he's just another politician - except one with no experience or capability.

    December 9, 2007 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  5. Betty

    Did Oprah promise all 30k people that she would buy them a refrigerator if they voted for Obama? Seems like she can buy anything why not the rice for the presidency. Hillary Rocks !!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  6. Lori, Woodland CA

    I'm a white admirer of Martin Luther King. He was a brave man who dared to speak out on injustice toward blacks and ultimately gave his life for it. But I didn't realize that Obama was running because of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now" and that Oprah wants him elected president so he can bring MLK's dream into reality. I think much of what MLK dreamed has been realized. Of course, there still is a long way to go. But, there needs to be justice for all, black and white. Many of both colors are struggling with poverty, lack of health care, disadvantages in education, religious intolerance, and so on. If elected president, does Obama see himself as a president who will represent only black Americans or Americans of all colors? Did Obama and Oprah tip their hand today in New Hampshire? Be careful, you two, you're beginning to sound racist.

    December 9, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. Mark, Atlanta, GA

    I've already banned Oprah from my television. She's a hypocrite with her million dollar presents to her friends. If she really cared, she'd fess up her million dollars to help those in Chicago. But needless to say, her charity only goes so far only after she purchases her diamond jewelry first... she's a fake and Obama ought to be ashamed for having a "nobody" stump for him. If he was serious about becoming President he should have a serious person stump for him not a pop star.

    December 9, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  8. MK, Los Angeles, California

    On a related topic. It looks like this story just won't go away.

    Another Senator Clinton "volunteer" has been fired for sending out that vile email concerning Senator Obama. This volunteer sent out the email to ten people back on October 5 — a full month BEFORE the last volunteer did the same thing. This is getting to look less and less like renegade volunteers and more and more like a campaign strategy.

    December 9, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  9. Jason, Atlanta, GA

    Obama has official secured my vote!

    December 9, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  10. Elijah Robbyns,Mpls,MN

    Go Obama go,this is new politics,not the coxcomb old type we are used

    December 10, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  11. Julie, Champaign, Illinois

    "I have done my homework, because I wouldn't be standing out here for
    somebody I didn't know who I was talking about,” said Winfrey. “I'm not going to step out here and take this risk for somebody who's going to disappoint me later on.”

    I see Oprah's taking the same stance she took with the Million Little Pieces author, plastic surgeon, and teacher at her school in Africa. She would NEVER support someone who would disappoint her later on... please Oprah. Your ego has grown large enough in the past few years. Stop meddling in places where you do more harm than good.

    December 10, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  12. Sue, Macungie, PA

    DOES THE POLITICAL ETHICS COMMITTEE CONSIDER THE MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS OF OPRAH'S DOLLARS AND GUEST APPEARANCES AS FUNDING OBAMA'S GLITZY CAMPAIGN OVER AN INDIVIDUAL ALLOTMENT TO A POLITICIAN? WOULD YOU SAY THEY WOULD CONSIDER THIS OVER THE $2,000 LIMIT ALLOWED TO ETHICALLY ENDORSE, PROMOTE AND COERCE VOTERS OF AMERICA?
    IF SHE IS FUNDING HIS CAMPAIGN VISITS AROUND THE NATION, ISN'T THIS CONSIDERED A "WEE" BIT OVER ALLOWED PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND "BUYING" VOTES BY MANIP[ULATION?
    duh, I do think this is totally unethical.

    December 10, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  13. MidniteRyder Everytown USA

    Gosh this story is listed on both the Political News AND the Entertainment News. Does this mean that it's a toss up whether it's serious or fluff stuff? No bother – it's fun to be able to have your cake and eat it while you're watching the boob tube too LOL

    I'd also like to be the first to know if this means that the fabulous Oprah-Obama show will be going on the road in all 50 states as a coming attraction to a football stadium near me? ie I wanna make sure I get my free ticket to go see The Big O live and in person. Gee maybe not that close up and personal though... Do you suppose they will have those big wide screens turned on too? Should I be checking the daily Sports News just in case?

    What I'm really wondering is how WILL Oprah find the time to star in her own TV show, run her vast empire, AND take care of her School for underprivileged girls in South Africa – now that she has thrown her hat in the ring? Will there be highwire walkers and flying trapeze artists too? What about dancing bears and lumbering elephants? Lion and tiger tamers – fire eaters? Gee maybe the girls will have to keep fending for themselves?

    Was it Amy Semple Mcpherson who had her own traveling revival tent show? Maybe that's what Oprah meant when she confessed she felt like she was out of her pew? Hmmm I wonder how long it will take before the Oprahpalooza one ring circus gets to my state too? Can't hardly wait to see who I get to vote for because Oprah says we shoulda joined her book club and now we all have to pay the full nonrefundable retail price instead. Yep that'll teach us... the slumbering American masses to wake up and pay attention in civics class ho ho ho – oh right to be politically correct it's now ha ha ha.

    Coming soon to a stadium near you 2...

    December 10, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  14. Anonymous

    It was nice to see Oprah show up with her millions and talk about us sharing more of our money. The Democratic race needs some exitement hopefully this will add some. The repulican race seems to be more about who will be President and the Democratic race more about who will be the also ran.

    December 10, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  15. Wade Enns Tyler, Texas

    It was nice to see Oprah show up with her millions and talk about us sharing more of our money. The Democratic race needs some exitement hopefully this will add some. The repulican race seems to be more about who will be President and the Democratic race more about who will be the also ran.

    December 10, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  16. Stacy, Baton Rouge LA

    Oprah brings people to the campaign, who might not come if she was not there. Then they get to hear Barack talk.

    December 10, 2007 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  17. Ahtram, Oakton, Virginia

    This is really pretty amazing, because you know Hillary is depending on the Black (especially Black women's)vote.

    You go, Obama!

    December 10, 2007 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  18. Ruth Bethinger, New York, New York

    With four events across three states in two days, I was amazed at the energy and positivity about our nation that Barack Obama (and Oprah and Michelle Obama) brought to bear. And by the numbers that turned out, I believe the American people are looking for change.

    December 10, 2007 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  19. Concerned, Los Angeles, CA

    I wonder if Obama included in his stump speech with Oprah the fact that he has been missing critical Senate votes (like the vote regarding the Iranian Revolutionary Guard), and has instead been campaigning for an elected position for which he has no experience. It's really easy to criticize Hillary for her votes when he hasn't even cared enough about his actual job to show up to vote on important issues.

    December 10, 2007 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  20. Sheri Karnes, Manchester, NH.

    Forget it, Oprah.
    George Vreeland Hill is a much bigger name than you are here in good old New Hampshire.
    And he votes Clinton!
    So will we.

    December 10, 2007 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  21. Audubon, Vidor, TX

    I hold Oprah Winfrey to be one of the most intelligent women in the forefront of the world today. Likewise I agree with her that Barack Obama is a stately and eloquent man with a firm grasp of the issues facing our country. Let us not, however, turn this presidential race into one about racism. It is wonderful that Ms. Winfrey admires and embraces Mr. Obama, but at this stage of the game there are far more important issues (not that the destruction of racism isn't an important issue) than resurrecting Martin Luther King and his Civil Rights dream.

    December 10, 2007 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  22. mark wilkes barre pa

    Very savy Obama ,,go after the womens vote with someone women champion instead of trying to make women believe your more women than hillary. Are you listening Mr. Edwards ? Still don't think your ready Yet,,, But in the future your looking like you will do fine. I can hardly wait to see how you will shave more votes off hillary next,,,, Way to go!!!!!

    December 10, 2007 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  23. Catherine, San Francisco, CA.

    I am very impressed with Oprah showing up at a time when the country is crying for a "Change in leadership". As an individual, she has alot of credibility and integrity. Obama is what America needs in 08 , he doesn't only stand for change, but is internationally appealing. Cheers to Oprah for doing her civic duty.

    December 10, 2007 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  24. Independent in IA

    The more Oprah Windbag continues to use her blatant racial rhetoric while stumping for Barack Hussein Obama, this nation will become even more polarized than it is now.

    It's nobody's 'turn' to be President of the United States. That individual should and must be the most qualified to deal with both foreign and domestic issues facing us today.

    So far, I have seen no individual candidate who meets that criteria, least of all a United States Senator who consistantly misses important Senate votes because he 'has other things to do'.

    December 10, 2007 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  25. roger, conway sc

    I wonder if Obama will make Oprah his running mate if he is the nominee...or perhaps his Sec. of State, it could happen he will have to show his gratitude somehow..what bothers me the most about this is that it has turned into a "Black" issue, the comments about Kings dream, where the black would be if they had waited etc. this election should not be about race & Obama, his wife & Oprah all three made these types of remarks during their speeches. Yes race is important but this nation has bigger battles ahead.

    December 10, 2007 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
1 2 3