December 9th, 2007
06:28 AM ET
15 years ago

Oprah-Obama show part two

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN)–Not being a meteorologist, I can't explain how it rains when the temperature outside is a mere 11 degrees (The Weather Channel says it feels like 2 degrees, to which I can attest).

Packed practically to the rafters, Oprah fans and Obama supporters braved the not un-daunting elements, and showed up by the thousands at the U.S. Cellular Center on Saturday night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The crowd, a broad mix of ages, races and ethnicities, was equally rapt by both the candidate and the talk-show host and seemed ebullient even while waiting for the headliners – of course, just being inside on a night like tonight is cause enough for celebration.

The event, Sen. Obama and Ms. Winfrey's second of the day, touched on a broad array of themes including: education, housing foreclosures, health care, racial and religious divides in the U.S. and the "politics as usual" fatigue.

Ms. Winfrey strode the stage, urging the crowd on by repeating the mantra, "the moment is now" – the introduction of Obama culminated with Oprah saying simply, "He is the one."

As for the candidate himself, Senator Obama began by joking with the crowd saying "you know it's a good program when I am the third best speaker".

He also had the crowd laughing and cheering by referring to his distant relation to Vice President Dick Cheney. The Senator cracked, "everyone has a crazy uncle".

After being introduced by Michelle Obama, Winfrey took the stage to the strains of Aretha Franklin and immediately referenced the weather, saying that on the road between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids they "were slipping and sliding" and she assumed that no one would be at the event. Oprah said she'd "be home in my footsie pajamas" if it wasn't for Barack Obama.

–CNN Producer Carey Bodenheimer

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • Oprah Winfrey
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Jay, Toronto, Ontario

    i wonder what's oprah's motive in endorsing obama?!?!

    December 8, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. Jimmy

    The billing to this is very interesting. Is it trying to say any thing. Senator Obama is trying to ride on someone else skirt tail rather than standing on his record of (present?)

    December 9, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  3. John,brockton,ma

    Oprah is good at a lot of things. She is a great speaker and if she wants to give her time to Obama's campaign, "god bless her" it's her right as a citizen of this fair country.
    Go OBama!

    December 9, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  4. Donna,Nashua,NH

    I saw the event and here's my thoughts.
    AMERICA IS BACK!! We are in the mist of rolling up our sleeves, God be with us when we get together and begin working. We are Americans-and when Americans start walking in a direction together, WE CAN DO ANYTHING! Our time is now. Go Obama, Go!

    December 9, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  5. George,Md

    Oprah is doing for Obama what Bill Clinton is doing for Hillary. Oprah had both George Bush and Al Gore on her show, and after the show, Bush pools number went up by 10 points. Oprah is an American and she has evry right to support any candidate she likes. Oprah did not tell the audience what they need to think. She told the audience to think!

    December 9, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. jb,boston,ma

    I think the O' factor will give Obama a boost and the power of it all is the fact that Hillary's attack machine is being held at bay. You can't attack Obama's credibility with Oprah standing at his side.

    December 9, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  7. Kelly Sydonie Vowels, Waverly, Iowa

    This was a great event!! For Oprah to put her brand on the line for this endorsement is a big deal and speaks to the integrity of Senator Obama. It didn't feel like a show. Senator Obama is the real deal and it will be interesting to see the response from Oprah fans that were introduced to Obama tonight! I brought a friend who was an Oprah fan and undecided. I think she made up her mind tonight.
    Iowa is FIRED UP!

    December 9, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  8. phillip,worcester,ma

    Oprah is the most powerful and influential woman in America. Pelosi, Rice, and Billary bow to her!…j/k

    But the fact of the matter is that “Oprah’s influence sways voters”. She is a candidates best ally in a general election because of the female population that follows her.

    Oprah says read this book…they read that book.
    Oprah says this guy is a jerk…that guy is now a jerk
    Oprah says vote for this guy because I think he is the greatest…that guy wins 'Obama'

    December 9, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  9. vicky,boston,ma

    To all people who suggest Oprah endorses Barack Obama (only) because he is black and who suggest Obama is only about vague hope and change: Barack Obama is the only candidate with so many detailed ideas.
    But more than this, Obama’s personality is his key asset. He combines great intellect with a heart and soulfelt commitment to listen to God’s will for him in his life.
    His address on religion and politics, video/barack-obama-time-after-time/text-2006-06-28-bara ck-obama-speech-on-religion-and-politics-call-to-renewa l-address-in-washington-dc , is the finest example of his spirit and of some greater Spirit.

    December 9, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  10. cicilia,nashua,nh

    I am a human being and I support freedom of speech whole heartedly, therefore, I respect all opinions on this blog. If we onlyh open your minds and eyes this would be a better world. We have become couch potatoes to the media and a slave to material things and not what really counts. The Great Americas has become a sleeping giant and we need someone with new ideas (black,white,red, yellow, it does not matter what color)to wake us all up to a new vision. I call Obama “The Light amongst darkness”. I am not saying that he is perfect but there is something different about him, he reminds me of John F kennedy( like Obama he had little experience), in his prime, he had true love for his country and he seeked out positive changes to make it a better place. I believe he will stand without waivering like other candidates and our current president. Obama is a seeker of change and we as Americans need it BAD!!!

    December 9, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  11. Sam, IA

    Thank you Oprah. A great person, a great role model. I may not support Barack at the caucuses but i know you have the integrity and honesty to tell it like it is. The hate jocks tried to work you over but your positive attitude and true charactor have frightened even the worst of them off. You rule!!!

    December 9, 2007 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  12. gem2001

    She accomplished an amazing feat, she got me to sit through an Obama Speech in its entirety. I am beginning to wonder if Obama's Democratic National Convention Speech was one of those rare occasions when a politician is "in the zone" that can never be repeated. As far as I am concerned this was bigger than a keynote at the Democratic National Convention and Obama, took probably 10 minutes to hit his stride. Oprah is gifted and her speech was great , but when Obama hit the stage he literally took a bucket of cold water and threw it on the fire Oprah lit. I was about to turn away from his speech when someone in the audience passed out. He ended up getting it together, but seriously, he needs to bring it in SC. We've been having a running discussion about the relationship between Obama and Black women over at the blog What About Our Daughters?.

    December 9, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. J. McKinney SW MO

    I can't believe George at MD and others who say Oprah is to Obama what Bill is to Hillary. Oprah knows nothing about politics. She is a TV talk show host. She will be no help to Obama if he wins the election. We will just have a young, inexperienced, hesitant person trying to straighten out our messed up great country.
    But Bill is a two term, and very successful, knowledgable past president. He can be a great help to Hillary with advice. Two of the best brains in the country working to get this mess straightened out. I pray no one is swayed by a celebrity endorsement–a celebrity who is not into politics in any way. We need Hillary, and I hope our countries voters are intelligent enough not to be swayed by this dog and pony show.
    Go, Hillary!

    December 9, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. dmw,roeland park,ks

    Obama may win Iowa. And that Oprah supports him, that is good too. One should support the person they believe in and give reasons why they believe in that person. I would have gone to see Oprah too, as I have watched her for years on Television.

    Just remember Iowa is one state out of fifty. Iowa is different because they caucus and to win, the rules are very different than in a primary.

    I do wish Obama luck. I don't think he's ready yet, and my vote is still for Hillary and she will win the nomination after all fifty states have their say.

    December 9, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Kim, Dallas, TX

    This is so great to see; because Oprah is such a talented, intelligent, motivating lady she can get others to take the time to hear what Obama is all about. Far too often we just take in what we read on here and not take the time to really know what is going on around us. Obama has the intellect to lead the country, intuitively knowing what is right from the beginning. I would prefer a candidate/president that works with others and has an inate ability to get past the emotional judgment being pressured upon you. Obama's record stands for itself and all one really needs to do is begin researching what he stands for and not listen to the rhetoric of him not being experienced. Clinton's record stands for corruption and greed and parallels the present administration. Those who believe it will be the same country it was when Bill lead it are not thinking clearly. It is a very different time now and she is too independent to listen to what her own husband's judgment call would be. He has been in the press lately stating he NEVER supported war with Iraq and yet Hillary voted to give the power for war to Bush and his croanies. She doesn't stand up against the pressure that was being pushed at that time. Do we really want a president that cannot stand up to pressure? We are in a world where there will be a great deal due to how we are now viewed internationally. I for one would prefer someone that works well with others and can give us a new direction.

    Kennedy was president during a very difficult time and he lead with much self assurance and often went "against the grain" of the powerful government men around him. We need someone very much like him to lead us through our present mess that Bush has had his hand in. Let's really think about what we will get and not vote just due to a candidate's gender or former position as first lady. If Bill shared everything with Hillary back then she would have known he was having an affair. There is much that is not disclosed in the government due to it's confidential nature, or classified status.

    I don't allow a movie star to make decisions for me and those feeling threatened by Oprah's support should not worry. What this will due is allow an opportunity for Obama to be heard. If the message sways votes, then that is how it should be!

    December 9, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Tikara, Warsaw, Indiana

    All 50 states never have their say. I live in Indiana, Never will a democrat come to my state and try to gain my vote from me, they will never show campaing ads, it's concidered a waste of money because Indiana is a "red" state. We're not the only ones, and the canidates know it, They only go to the "swing" states. This is another reason why the Electorial College is outdated and we should go to a single vote system.

    December 9, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. chris

    Oprah. Obama. Uma. Shoe Fly don't bother me.

    December 9, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. JMG, Chester Illinois

    I am a white Republican, and I'm going to vote for Obama. I have been waiting a long time for something other than politics as usual, and Oprah's endorsement tells me my thinking is correct. Oprah didn't make me want to vote for Obama, she just confirmed my choice is the right choice.

    December 9, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Iris, Chase, Iowa

    Are people this dumb? Who would vote for a candidate b/c a talk show host urged them to? Oprah Winfrey portrays the world as a victim. This is a low moment for american politics. Obama is the media candidate–all fluff–no substance.

    December 9, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. xtina chicago il

    Im sure Oprah + Obama are nice people at heart, but I still haven't seen quotes from Obama in which he actually tells voters what he has done that makes him a good choice for Pres. I'd have a lot more respect for him if he stood up and said, "Congress spends too much and wastes taxpayer money." But he hasn't said that, so that means more taxes. I know part of hiring someone is a gut feeling of liking them, but you still have to have the qualifications, and Obama hasn't done anything difficult in Illinois to prepare him, and hasn't been able to show anything that would lead voters to believe he wants to lower Congressional spending.

    December 9, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Kay , Houston , TX

    Tikara :

    while I think it's true that candidates campaign harder in 'purple' states, swing states, I think it would be worse if the popular vote system came into place, because the candidates would ignore low population areas and just go for the millions of votes in large cities. Do we want only NY , LA and Chicago to choose our Presidents ?

    December 9, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Mark, Detroit, MI

    There's a part 1? Did I miss something? Man, these sequels are getting out of hand... each one is worse than the previous.

    December 9, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. 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 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Gerry NH

    wow Oprah is running for President now too, guess obama found he cant make it on his experience alone. Is Ted Turner or Rupert Murdock running with Hillary? lets get all the media mogels to run the election, since most media outlets recently are not fair and unbiased.
    I still believe that Clinton is the best choice and most woman would agree..

    December 11, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |