December 9th, 2007
02:44 PM ET
13 years ago

Oprah vs. Chelsea

Oprah Winfrey campaigned with Barack Obama, and Chelsea Clinton hit the trail with her mother..

WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (CNN) – On a day when Oprah Winfrey is taking her first leap into the world of presidential campaigning by stumping for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in Iowa, Chelsea Clinton is also marking a first. It's the first time she's been out on the trail with her mother, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, during this election cycle. And guess what? They're also in the Hawkeye State.

An attempt to compete with the star power of Winfrey? Not so, said Hillary Clinton.

Answering reporters' questions, Clinton never mentioned the queen of daytime television by name. She did, however, say a trip with her daughter—and her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who also joined them Saturday—had been in the works but that the family kept running into "conflicting schedule needs," that is, until today, coincidentally.

Reporters weren't told about the addition of Chelsea Clinton until Saturday morning.

"It worked out that it was going to be [Saturday], and I'm thrilled to have them with me," Clinton said. "I've had a great time having my mother and my daughter with me. I hope I can persuade one or both of them to come back."

But the two sat quietly while the presidential hopeful spoke.

Asked if Chelsea would be making any comments at any point in the day, Clinton hesitated but stated simply, "I don’t think so."

Reporters were also curious whether Sen. Clinton was at all nervous that Winfrey would no doubt be hogging much of the spotlight Saturday.

At an unofficial campaign stop for breakfast—where reporters with cameras formed a quasi-fortress around the family's table—Clinton chose to answer by saying, "I'm having a good time. I'm just not sure I'm going to eat all of this in front of you. That’s the only thing I'm concerned about right now!"

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Antonio, San Antonio TX

    Chelsea vs. Oprah: Obama has to use Hollywood to deliver his message, because it seems that no one is listening. Where as, Clinton gets support from her family to support and strength the message she wants to convey.

    December 9, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Jon, Palo Alto, CA

    I think Winfrey is trying to buy herself a president. I don't think it'll work. Obama isn't ready yet. Maybe he could be secretary of something... the interior. Maybe he could enlist in the National Guard and get some useful experience. What does he know about sending troops into harm's way? All presidents have decided that they need to do that at one time or another.

    December 9, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. rdierker

    The major difference between Hillary and Obama in being the first potential "non-white-male" president is that Obama got to where he is with his charisma and his intellect. Hillary got to where she is because she married Bill. She did not really earn her way, while Obama did. He was not born into a privileged family, he worked for everything he has. This alone makes him more qualified and experienced. Oprah rocks because she is self made as well. We must ask ourselves, do we want a gold digger, or do we want a guy with a heart of gold?

    December 9, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. rdierker

    People shouldn't be calling this a celebrity endorsement. Oprah is not a celebrity, she a Queen. Hail Oprama 08!

    December 9, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Don Longmont, CO

    It is amazing to me that health care, immigration or the saftey of the products being imported into this nation are not the issues that are being talked about to select our candidates.

    Who cares what Oprah or Chelsea thinks about a candidate? Do some research on each candidate and how they stand of the issues important to you.

    December 9, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Maryann

    First of all, not as we expected.

    1. Oprah was reading her paper the whole time when she spoke, sometimes, has to re-read it again. Oprah is much better than that, kind of down. It doesn't seems that she was really well prepared. This also shows that she underestimated people in Iowa, Right, they came out just to see her.
    2. Obama did not give us anything new, instead, repeated the same story like speech "won't do for this election", nothing new. He did not prepare well for this either.

    3. Most cheers came from children and teens. Don't hear many from adults.

    4. The audiance were quiet 2 times: When Oprah attacks Hillary (althought her name was not mentioned) about "experince" line; when Obama speaking "unlike some candidates say what voters like to hear" line. To me, they failed right there. You can tell from their facial expression.

    5. This event was a great opportunity for Oprah to tell voters why she endorsing Obama, didn't say much of that. She even talked something like Obama against war thing which kind of hurt him because everyone now knew his voting records as exactly like what he claimed.
    Ovrall, lack of depth and lack of strength, kind of shallow. Like the 3 women watched the event told me, selling a book is easy, selling a president, she has to know what she is talking about first. Well, to sell a book, you need to read it first. Oprah did NOT this time.

    December 9, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. jack, ny, ny

    OPRAH- I watch your show once in a while if I am home or I am running on treadmill at gym. I always thought that you were decent who was voice for women. However after seeing you hooting for someone who happens to be black has really changed my preception of you. I think you are promoter of racism. Next time I see you doing a show on the issue of "racism" I have only one thing to say to you–shut your mouth because you are the biggest bigot on TV. shame on you.

    December 9, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. Banko

    Thank GOD this time somebody is standing up for the truth.

    Thank GOD this time somebody is standing up for the truth.
    "Obama's tongue 'dipped in the unvarnished truth'"

    OBAMA 08

    December 9, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Jaik , chicago, IL


    December 9, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Julie V , Lancaster VA

    I feel impelled to comment, finding it amazing to think that "the Woman of Daytime Television," per CNN’s Candy Crowley, was willing to take the extraordinary risk to "leave her comfort zone," as Obama said, to come out to support a candidate for the President of the United States. Hmmmm… Is that really as scarey as he made it sound? And who are all these people who have the time to watch daytime television? I don’t know about you, but I’m working two jobs these days.

    Anybody who actually listened to what she said recognizes that it was an emotional, solely personal, totally empty endorsement. Oprah thinks that Obama is omniscient: “...he KNOWS us....KNOWS what we can become...," she said in her speech. Where is there any substance, any truth in that? If she was so "worried about our country" as she said (twice over), why didn't she stand up before now, if she has as much influence as she thinks she has? In my opinion, this is exactly what we do NOT need to contend with in facing the critical decision to elect the next leader of our nation.

    Frankly, I could hardly believe it when the actor Ronald Reagan was elected. Why is it that actors, entertainers and celebrities seem to have such sway with the average American? How can an actor be trusted to not just be acting, putting on "...a really good show..." as Ed Sullivan used to say and making incredible amounts of money (your money, by the way) for it. Unfortunately, I think it clearly demonstrates that American citizens have become more interested in entertainment, in consumption, than in maintaining our freedoms, which are totally taken for granted. Too many of us have become too lazy to think for ourselves; we devour without question whatever drivel is presented to us, be it in daytime television, night time news or the slurry put out by the tabloids and we further propagate the same garbage in our own lives.

    That Obama has turned toward the Hollywood scene for support, an apparent maneuver for media exposure, does not bode well for him. The undecided discerning voter would logically turn away from a candidate endorsed by the Queen of Daytime Television. [my emphasis.] It further destroys his credibility, and his hesitant, mindless comments following her endorsement speech do not elicit my confidence that he could competently lead this country. I myself would hold little respect for a president who timidly confessed that he was "a by-product" of an event staged for the "Woman of Daytime Television.” Obama’s thoughtless response that Oprah's becoming the Vice President of the United States would be a "demotion" for her is an insult to that great office, and to every generation of Americans who has supported the Constitution of the United States since it’s inception, oftentimes laying down their lives for it.

    It's time....actually PAST time for us to get serious in finding out the facts about our potential leaders, with those facts informing our vote. With access to the internet, numerous newspapers, weekly and monthly periodicals to research all the issues facing us as a county and how our candidates would address them, we have no excuse to be uninformed voters swayed by the popularity of the entertainment industry’s personalities It's PAST time to separate entertainment from the critical task of effectively guiding this nation under the U.S. Constitution. And Yes, Oprah, you HAVE influenced this citizen, but not in the way you intended. I thank you for helping me eliminate yet another candidate.

    December 9, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. AlwaysforHillary, New York

    Chelsea or Oprah??? Are ya kiddin' me?? I'd rather see CHELSEA anyday!!! I think it's wonderful that Chelsea and her grandmother have come out to support Hillary!!!

    Oprah on the other hand is just being the RACIST she is. If she wants to enter the political arena, why not endorse the WOMAN candidate??? Huh? No, she endorses the black man, and her presence only reinforces that he is THE BLACK MAN!!!!

    Go back to Chicago Oprah where ya belong!!! The White House will be Hillary's in 2009!!!!

    December 9, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Interesting blog Jack from Ny, NY. You words make you look like the promoter of racism. I am white, female, baby boomer, and supporter of Obama. I am well educated and in mensa as well. I believe Obama will lead our country in a new, more respectable direction.

    It's time we all get off of the race card and look at a person for what their values and abilities are.

    December 9, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT


    barack obama brough a friend , Hillary clinton brough her family. Which is more important ? THE FAMILY

    Posted By LEO MIAMI fl : December 9, 2007 11:35 am

    You have shown your ignorance. Barack's family is with him on the campaign trail. This appearance by Chelsea is RARE.

    As for some of these southern bloggers, calling Oprah a racist only confirms that you are racists or you don't follow Oprah.

    When are you going to mature or are you stuck in the 19th century?

    December 9, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Cash, Atlanta, Ga.

    Hillary is seen as the least honest and trustworthy and doesn't represent change.
    This according to all recent POLLs. So,"baby boomer" how the heck could you vot for HRC?

    So many don't trust her, why would you think she will keep her word on health care, Iran, the economy.

    She can't even give a straight answer on ANY question that she hasn't had a poll study. Just look at her response in the diner about Chelsea and making a comment.

    Liar, and totally self centered. Dynasty...Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton...Not for me.

    December 9, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Ralph, FIllmore California

    This is about who has the most money. I truely believe Ms. Winfrey is pushing her agenda not the American Agenda! Mr. Obama is not in touch with the United States or its people and its scarry!!! Hopefully we as a people will not let the money or star power get in the way of what is right!

    December 9, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Frank Herrera, Silver Spring, MD

    Im not a supporter of of either one.. what makes barack think he will win this country is not ready for him!

    December 9, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Ralph, California

    One more thing, Obama is a part of the Trinity Church pushing Africa not America! Winfrey is for her people not anyone else! DO THE RESERCH!

    December 9, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. The Dirty South

    As bad as I hate to say it, it is true: America is going to vote for a white person before they do for a black person to lead this country. If the democrats pick Obama then Republicans are sure to win the general election, if the Democrats choose Hillary then the Democrats will almost certainly win back the White House. America is ready for a change in leadership, but when the time comes to elect an african american to lead this country they aren't going to elect the first one that comes along! They are going to elect an african american that has proven he is dedicated to advancing this country, not just his race – as Obama has demonstrated

    December 9, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. CD Henderson, Orlando, FL

    As a former New York citizen I've always been for Hillary Clinton. But I was watching Obama with interest – until recently. He's allowing the presidential race to be turned into a show business affair. It's always been influenced by Hollywood and its generous contributors, but I've never seen ANY star try to buy an election, and here it seems like that's what's going on. Oprah as competition for Chelsea? Not a chance. Chelsea is an independent young woman who came out onto the campaign trail with nothing to gain than to see her mother elected president. Oprah, on the other hand, would like to be seen as the powerful black woman who helped get the first black man elected president. Besides that milestone, neither have really done a whole heck of a lot for black people in the US. I'm not impressed.

    Btw, this article was quite one-sided; I think I know who Chris Welch is voting for... or, at least, NOT voting for.

    December 9, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Ferdie, Des Moines, Iowa

    Clearly, Oprah is a racist and a bigot for supporting a black candidate. I mean, a black woman supporting a multi-ethnic individual instead of supporting a white woman? What a racist! Supporting Hillary would have shown that she's not biased at all, and she wouldn't be wasting her support on the other candidates who have no chance that I won't be voting for because CNN told me not to.

    December 9, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. foreigner living (legally) in the USA.

    I live legally in the US, I cannot vote but I'm observing the the political campaign. From all the posts I have read so far, i would be ashame to be democrat or even american!
    The obvious racism shows that this country instead of being a model around the world, as it once was, is now downgraded to a country where people hate people of different religion, skin color and idea.

    Here are some of my thoughts. Some may claim i'm anti-Clinton, I'm not. I just don't follow Clinton's supporters reasoning.

    Oprah, as a citizen who is not only a talk show host but a humanitarian, can support whoever she wants. People saying she is supporting Mr. Obama simply because he is "black" are example of a part of the American population's close mindness.
    Barack Obama is as black as he is white. You seeing him as a black person shows that race is important to you (why would he be more black than white?). USA is a country of immigrants, it would be fair to see other people than rich-white-male as presidents. It's 2007, what about a non-white-male president (ie: female or non-caucasian?). You have at least 3 non-white-male candidates in the democratic party, republican party has none. Consider yourself lucky of the choice you have.

    Chelsea Clinton and Oprah should not be compared. One is a private citizen who happened to have very public parents, the other is a show-biz person talking to millions of people every week. What does Chelsea bring to her mother political campaign? Nostalgia, maybe, for all the people who used to see her as a kid when her dad was president? Chelsea contribution to her mom campaign should be similar to all the other candidates' children. Why would it be any different?
    Former president Clinton supports his wife? Why is this normal, just because Hillary is his wife? He could very well support another candidate (although this wouldn't be good for his "marriage"). Never read anything about it, and yet people assume his judgment is good? I would say it's far from being objective!

    I've heard people saying let's not vote for this candidate because in the general election he has no chance. This is supposed to be a democracy! No matter what the other political party says, YOU, the people, decide! Scary reasoning..

    Experience.. if you need real experience then only president would be president. Is a country where the same families are occupying the top job a democracy? I call that a monarchy if nothing else. This is hypocritical when you say you go to middle east to spread democracy when your election process is outdated (why do some state have to vote before other in the primaries?) and with the cost of the primaries, only rich people can apply?!.
    Back to the experience issue, what about Mr. Biden and Mr. Richardson? They both are very experienced candidates. But according to polls, they never got any momentum or financial support from the public? Mrs. Clinton got only 6 years in the senate, is that the experience you're talking about? If you're choosing a candidate based only on experience, why don't you choose Biden or Richardson?
    Oh I forgot, why not elect a female president, right? or a Clinton because things were much better back then.. this type of reasoning is scary and I hope the American electorate will mature between now and then, for your own country's sake.

    Finally, a president has advisers. He does not govern alone, this is not a dictatorship I hope. So I don't understand how experience is such an issue. Good reasoning, decision making, honesty and leadership should! Many presidents did well without former experience.

    Elect civilly your best candidate and unite for the general election otherwise you will only lose as you did before. In the end, the USA' president represents all of you, no matter what you say!

    As a simple observer, I'm still curious to see how things would work out between the President and the rest (congress and Vice-president) if Mrs. Clinton was elected president and Bill Clinton was back in the White House...

    December 9, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. jay Stewart L.I. NY 11427

    Well, well, well.. so the slogan is "change you can count on".
    Can we count on the White House chefs serving chitlins at a State dinner perhaps?
    Oprah go home we are sick of your egotistical over exposure.
    Obama, is an inexperienced little puppy, in WAAAY over his head.

    December 9, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Black power

    Maybe we should let Oprah be president, Obama VP, Jessie Jackson secretary of state, Al Shapton the defense secretary.

    December 9, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Daphne

    Vinay Goyal in CA,

    Are you fascinated to have woman candidate in the Presdential race? You want her to be our first woman President to do what? To raise our taxes to have Universal health care? To have abortions in the country? To have gay marriages in the country? Does she fit to be the president of our nation. No. My friend. She cannot be the president. You have been whitewashed by the media and also part of Bush-bashing.

    December 9, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. La'Kitgum, NH

    Obama campain adding Oprah so soon, clearly points out his inability to stand on his own and convince America that he is the one and points out his inexperience which is the reason any pragmatic person whould see he is not qualififed.

    Hiding under Oprah's skirt won't help Obama. At least Hillary stands her ground uncamouflaged.

    December 9, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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