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. Patrick Jones, Street, MD

    Reform is needed on how canidates earn thier money, contributions are all most legal bribes. Each canidate should be given an equal amount of air time ,no more or less then any other canidate. Let them then make the best of thier allotted time. Way to much money is donated by big companies, who then want something in return for thier money. The average person has lost his voice.

    December 10, 2007 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  2. TL NH

    Ok, now obama is black again, using Dr King??? he is disgusting just like Oprah!

    December 10, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  3. Moore. NH

    Hillary's historic statement at the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 that "women's rights are human rights" still echoes worldwide. As a lawyer, advocate, First Lady, and senator, Hillary has fought for issues important to women here at home and around the world for decades. Today, despite the progress women have made, they earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn - and women of color earn even less. Hillary is leading the charge in the Senate to strengthen equal pay laws and end pay disparities between men and women. She introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen the penalties associated with wage discrimination, to ensure that the federal government sets a higher standard, and to increase oversight of employers. Hillary has also worked to increase access to capital and other support for women-owned businesses.
    When it comes to each woman's ability to make the most personal of life decisions, Hillary has stood firm as an advocate for a woman's right to choose. She has expanded access to family planning services, including for low-income women. She spoke out forcefully against the Supreme Court's April 2007 decision that - for the first time in decades - failed to recognize the importance of women's health.
    Hillary has worked to empower women throughout the world, especially low-income women. She has advocated for access to microfinance programs that enable women to start their own businesses and spoken out strongly against the tragic practice of sex trafficking.
    As president, Hillary will continue her lifelong fight to ensure that all Americans are treated with respect and dignity.

    December 10, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  4. Louy Iowa

    Hillary has fought the relentless and insidious efforts by far-right Republicans to limit the protections of Roe v Wade, while also working hard to expand access to family planning services.
    Hillary has seen what happens when governments try to control a woman's reproductive health decisions. Whether it was Romania under a dictatorship saying you had to have children for the good of the state or China saying you had to have only one child for the good of the state, governments have dictated the most private and important decisions that we as individuals or families can make.
    She has championed the Prevention First Act, which expands access to family planning services for low-income women, requires health insurance companies to cover contraception, and provides a dedicated funding stream for age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sex education.
    As First Lady, she helped pass the Family and Medical Leave Act and helped found the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancies, which established and achieved a goal of reducing teen pregnancies by one-third between 1996 and 2005.
    In partnership with Senator Patty Murray, Hillary waged a successful three-year battle to get the Food and Drug Administration to accept the overwhelming recommendation of the medical community and make Plan B (the "morning after" pill) available over the counter.
    Hillary's work to empower low-income women has changed lives. She fought for the elimination of school fees, which prevent poor children in some countries from attending school, and for investments in health care and education for women and girls. And she helped found Vital Voices, a not-for-profit organization that continues to work to support women's leadership around the globe.

    December 10, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  5. Woman 4 Clinton

    It was wonderful to see all three generation with Mrs. Clinton, that’s the kind of support we woman need in this mans world, which is currently a mess! Shame on Oprah! Who put woman back 50years… Madame President of the United States…it's an extraordinary thought. We truly are in a momentous time, where a woman's potential has no limitations," "Hillary Clinton has already proven to a generation of women that there are no limits for success. She is driven by her passion for public service and her belief in the enormous potential of our country. Smart, capable and strong in her convictions, Hillary has transcended the dictates of what is thought to be possible for our time.
    "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 10, 2007 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  6. Sick of oprahbama

    Go Oprah! We ALL know if anyone can’t take the attention off of obama’s no experience lack of leadership, refusing to show up and vote in the senate on Iran, Abortion measures etc... Seeking a trillion-dollar tax hike and raising the retirement age for Social Security!!!! Is not in favor of a health care plan to cover all children rich or poor and that he cannot make a decision on his own.

    You can….YOU have disgraced American woman, YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO THE FEMALE GENDER OPRAH! SHAME ON YOU, now as a last ditch effort you throw Dr Kings name at the black voters, now American knows where you stand on race…


    December 10, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. real change for USA, Ojai, CA

    after 8 years of the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and co DISASTER, most of us would be thankful just to get to 09 with anyone new! but, Hilary is old hat. Edwards, Obama...this is the future. Rock on Oprah, and thank you!

    December 10, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |

    It is so funny reading all these, "SHAME ON OPRAH" comments. Apparently Oprah is racist but nobody except you has made mention of race. Nobody has called any of Hillary's white endorsers racist.

    You say Oprah has sent women back 50 years, yet it is your support for a candidate just because she shares your female Gender that sends women back 50 years. If you had any confidence in your candidate you would let her be treated equally, but at every turn you feel the need to protect her.

    It is sad to hear your comments of race, because it only shows who you are. Many forget Obama is half white...but wait that would make him a mixed breed wouldn't it.

    December 10, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  9. Dave, Evergreen CO

    Is it just me or do the posts from 'Moore in NH', 'Louy Iowa' and 'Woman4 Clinton' all appear to be the same person? Is the Clinton campaign so paranoid as to try to manipulate this board? It was a nice touch to make two of the posts to appear to be from Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Politics as usual.

    December 10, 2007 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  10. Tere, FL

    Its OK Clintonistas keep crying foul and saying how much you now hate Oprah. I am sure you would love her if she was supporting Hillary, but no she is smart enough not to. Watch Hillary slip even further into oblivion!

    December 10, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. Dj basu, philly, PA

    America shall never be 'color blind' and the legacy of Dr. King shall live on for as long as the U.S exists. It's our history and we should embrace it wheither we are black or white. So all of you discrediting Obama, Michelle and Oprah for playing the racial card are full of ignorance.

    December 10, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  12. hattrick

    I'd rather vote for Oprah than Obama. She has a better chance of winning the electoral college then he does!

    December 10, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. Dan, NJ

    I was thinking the same thing Dave from Colorado wrote. Some of these posts look like they were prepared by the Clinton campaign.

    Oprah has chosen to endorse Obama. For some reason, that is viewed by many as a racist decision. Do you all feel the same about Chuck Norris and Mike Huckabee?

    Finally, as for the invocation of Dr. King, start by acknowledging the greatness of Dr. King. We should remember his words more often. But there appears a sentiment among many Dems that the Reps would rip down Obama as a candidate because he is black. No doubt, there will be racists and biggots who will oppose him. Those people likely would opposed Hillary too. Regardless, Obama is smart to get across the message that we can't be afraid to make the tough decisions.

    December 10, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Allison, NH

    Fellow NHites who support Clinton – YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME!!! I welcome Oprah to come here. She is a bright, intelligent woman who has a lot to offer to Obama's race. She is not out there stumping for him because she is BLACK! She is out there stumping for him because they, as good friends who attend the same Chicago church, hold similar values – that change is needed in this country!

    I would also like to remind others that it is interesting that those ignorant individuals out there who say Clinton has more experience than Obama – lest remind you that he has MORE. Just because she was the presidents wife doesn't qualify her to be president herself or give her the right to put that down on her resume that she pushed any bills through congress or such. Obama's combined state and senate expereince – in length of time, is much longer than Hillary's. If she wanted to use her time as the president's wife on her resume, she should have opened up the presidential records to show exactly what she did. Otherwise, she was just a PR person for the president. Sorry, please tell me what decisions she made on behalf of the American people without being an office holder?

    I really like Obama, but I like Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Edwards. The only person who I will NOT vote for his Hillary. She will divide this nation in a nano-second. Think we have partisan politics now – ugh...I dont even want to think of what it would be like if she were at he helm.

    As a liberal democrat, in the end if it were a race between Ron Paul and Hillary – I would vote for Ron Paul. Sorry – sick of dynasty's, sick of her corporate ties, sick of her voting for the wrong things (Iraq, Iran vote). I trust her as much as I trust Bush.

    December 10, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Steve in SC

    To all you "shame on Oprah" posters,

    Vote for issues that are important to you. Voting based upon race or gender make you all appear as unlearned and unwilling to learn! Once again, she has every right to support and voter for whomever she choices. You all sound petty and jealous!

    December 10, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Jo Ann Ganzer Parsons, Kansas

    I do not see this as a racial issue. I believe that Obama is going to bring this country into a whole new light. He is going to help change the world for the better because he is going to get America involved. And God Bless Oprah for her help. Obama had my vote way before Oprah but she did say alot of things that I believed he stands for in the first place. I am a 43 year old white women and shame on Hillary for thinking that women in my category would vote for her just because she is a women. I think she has already proved that she is the same kind of politician that we already have in washington. Enough is Enough

    December 10, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Henry, indianapols, in

    How is it that everytime I come here to see the latest posts, I see new posts that were not here earlier that pre-date my comments. If this is an issue with your process or a computer glitch, fix it because it sure makes your (CNN) competency questionable.

    Or maybe you will not put this message up like the last time I was on here.

    December 10, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    [Shilling for a candidate:]

    It's interesting when some celeb comes out and pushes their candidate. Apparently, Oprah took a great deal of time in configuring this operation to promote her pick Obama. The only problem is that stumping for a candidate is more like selling the candidate like a shampoo or deodorant to her fan base. Will they try him out and find him as fragrant and odor-free as she says? Every woman is different and has different issues they want resolved. Selling them is completely up to the candidate. Oprah can attract them to the stump. But Obama has to engage them into his way of thinking. If he can't be all things to all women then they will look elsewhere.

    Oprah supplies the energy, but Obama "has" to win the votes himself.

    The Oprah commercial can only goes so far.

    Telling it like I see it,

    December 10, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Monte Brown

    I am starting to believe that Oprah is in fact a racist and an egomaniac. Her vague assessment of the Clinton administration, suggesting that nothing has changed during the Clinton Administration, is false and is just some demagoguery the Obama campaign cooked up to woo voters. Oprah is rich. Oprah does not really care about the poor and middle class. She just says she does, and Obama says stuff all the time, too. They can shoot their chops all they want. America will not buy it.

    Oprah thinks she is the queen and that she can make people do what she says. Oprah is not in the fight to help the Democrats win neither is Obama. If they are trying to win the race on an Independent ticket they might as well forget it. Obama is no Democrat, and he just wants to punt the ball back to the Republicans. They will do anything to win and they are only in the race for their egos. Neither of them truly knows what they are doing.

    The Clintons are running a clean campaign. They have received celebrity endorsements, but no celebrity has stumped for them the way Oprah is stumping for Obama. Ultimateley, America will see this and vote for Hillary Clinton. AMERICANS CAN'T BE BOUGHT AND SOLD.

    Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate, the most experienced candidate and she's READY TO LEAD ON DAY ONE.

    December 10, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. dmw, roeland park,ks

    I am a black female Independent.

    Hillary IS the agent of change. She has toiled and worked years for the betterment of all people.

    I do indeed get sick and tired of the race thing. So, listening to Oprah, Obama, and Michelle talk about it's Obama's time because he is black and THAT is the change in and of itself is an insult to blacks and whites in America.

    I was taught it is the content of one's character and NOT the color of one's skin that is the quality to seek out from a person.

    Obama is not ready yet. He does not have the experience internationally nor nationally to lead this great country. When he misses U.S. Senate votes 80% of the time; when he votes 'present' instead of standing on principle; when all he wants to do is look good and imply he can give us HOPE; then, for me this means this person is not a leader. He needs more time to show us what he can do instead of how he speaks about what he can do.

    Always hearing that Obama was against the Iraq war from the beginning and that he has good judgement based on that is silly. Obama was not even a U.S. Senator at the time and based on what we know now, he probably would have voted 'present' or missed the vote. He does not take a stand on issues. I'd rather have someone who takes a stand and is wrong, verses someone who is scared to take a stand because he might look bad and ruin his ambitions.

    Hillary is a doer, Obama is a talker. We need a doer in a major way for our country at this time.

    December 10, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Travis, Chicago, IL

    Hilarys people on here are a bunch of scared haters. See you on election day losers. Don't be mad because the most influential woman in America is supporting the most influential candidate. HRC sucks and the world knows it. Have a good day.

    December 10, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Mike, TX

    Hilarys people on here are a bunch of scared haters. See you on election day losers. Don't be mad because the most influential woman in America is supporting the most influential candidate. HRC sucks and the world knows it. Have a good day.

    Posted By Travis, Chicago, IL : December 10, 2007 11:33 am


    NObama '08

    December 10, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Sophia, Los Angeles

    Monte Brown your hatred and blind support for HRC makes me sick. It is unreasonable, you better be getting paid big bucks to be kissing up that hard. I am an obama supporter who does not claim that Hillary is anti-democratic or evil. Why can't you support your lady without hating???

    December 10, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Dorian, Brentwood, CA

    This media circus over a black talk show hostess and her favorite half-black candidate is blatant racism, especially that now both are invoking Martin Luther King, a great civil rights leader, who would want our troubled country to be led by someone who is strong, skilled, experienced, and proven to be a champion of everyone equally, regardless of color. Hillary is well-liked and respected by the majority of the black community. She's the real deal and electable; the only candidate who's strong enough to stand up to the Republican Attack Machine.

    December 10, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. xtina chicago il

    When are Oprama and their supporters going to get around to discussing and debating the qualifications of the various candidates? Barack Obama hasn't done anything to show leadership in Illinois. His main focus is "don't worry, you don't have to rely on hard work, faith, family and personal responsibility – the government will take more taxes from rich, successful people and give it to you .

    December 10, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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