December 9th, 2007
08:17 PM ET
14 years ago

Oprah and Obama hit South Carolina football stadium

Watch the entire 20 minute introduction by Winfrey to a crowd of 29,000 in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - The crowd traveled here from across South Carolina to see Oprah Winfrey speak, but the biggest applause line at Sunday's rally came straight from Barack Obama's stump speech: "The name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot" next year, he said to a huge roar from the audience.

"I'm sick of politics as usual," Winfrey told the crowd of 29,000 voters and 350 credentialed journalists at Williams-Brice Stadium, after an introduction from Obama's wife Michelle. "We need politicians who know how to tell the truth. But more importantly we need politicians who know how to be the truth."

Her speech, light on policy and heavy on the Illinois senator's message of change, was similar to the remarks she gave in Iowa on Saturday. But if the balmy weather and the football stadium weren't sign enough, it was clear from their speeches that they were in a different part of the country.

"I know something about growing up in the South," Winfrey said, calling it "amazing grace" that she was able to be on stage introducing Obama. "I know something about what it means to come from the South and be born in 1954."

Those recollections resonated with her audience, largely black and female. Black voters make up about 50 percent of Democratic primary voters in the state, which will hold its primary on January 26. Women make up about 60 percent of primary voters, according to an Associated Press poll released last week, and black women are being aggressively courted by both Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

That same AP poll showed Obama and Clinton tied for support among African-Americans in the state. A New Mason-Dixon poll, released Sunday, shows Clinton with a narrow 3-point lead among all likely Democratic voters.

Most women interviewed by CNN said they were already Obama supporters, although several said they were still deciding between Obama and Clinton. Nearly all said they were registered to vote.

Dozens of Obama volunteers worked the crowd lined up outside the stadium before the rally, cheerily passing out cards signing up supporters and verifying that the people who showed up to see Winfrey today were registered to vote. If not, they were ready with voter registration forms.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Anonymous


    December 9, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. P. Wood, Puyallup, WA

    I like Oprah but I wonder what she is up to. Does she like Obama because of his race–because he is from Iliinois–if she wants to use her influence in politics run herself don't invite the contenders to her show–oprah be fair!!!

    December 9, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. RyanB, Boston MA

    WOW. Brilliant.
    Obama '08!

    December 9, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Marysa, Reno, Nevada

    This event was amazing to watch (even online). Of course it was just another Obama speech, but the presence of his wife and Winfrey were amazing! GO OBAMA!

    December 9, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Carol Lipski SC

    I do not care which of democratic candidates win the primary, I just hope anyone of them wins the general election and the presidency.
    I have has enough republicans to last me the rest of my life and more.
    If a republican never wins a general election it will be too soon.
    I have voted republican, but after George W. Bush and the do nothing congress but BORROW, SPEND, AND RUN UP MASSIVE DEBT I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR ANOTHER REPUBLICAN.

    December 9, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Faith, Las Vegas, NV

    I base my vote on my research of the issues – not celebrities. The use of celebrites to sway the political process is just as deplorable as others have complained of the lack of separation of church and state. It also indicates how far a candidate will use others' influence (including PACs and lobbyists) to buy his way into office.

    December 9, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Darren Johnson, Salt Lake City, UT

    The event was phenomenal! Oprah was sincere and spoke very eloquently about her reasons for supporting Obama. I was very impressed with the entire production.

    December 9, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I guess these Palmetto State fans of successful blacks are not very much concerned that the Republicans are hoping for a Hillary they think they can beat, but would still pleased with a political lightweight nice guy like Obama. Nice guys lose in this rough business no matter what they babble about audacity and hope.

    December 9, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. jerry,worcester,ma

    The campaign dynamic changed suddenly one night in late October when Clinton stumbled in a debate in Philadelphia over the question of whether she supports allowing illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses.
    The same that happened this December 8th-10th of 2007. Everything has been blanketed that Hillary has been doing. I think now the deal is over. Thank you America!

    December 9, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. pmg, Bennettsville, SC

    I am not swayed by so called celebrities out campaigning, and I am definitly not swayed by Operah Winfrey. If she was so concerned for the American people, she would build schools in America, and not in other countries. These people make a movie or have their own talk show, and then suddenly they know whats best when it comes to politics or the environment....I don't think so. If these candidates were as good as they want everybody to believe they are, then they wouldn't need all these celebrities to speak for them.

    December 9, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Ruth Bethinger, New York, New York

    I am not one to be moved by political rallies, but this event, and the passion and substance of the speeches gave me hope for our nation once again.

    And it appears the final numbers put it at around 35,000 in attendance.

    December 9, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. jerry,grand blanc,mi.

    RUN Oprah RUN !!!!

    December 9, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. sally,newton,ma

    There is alot I don't like Hillary leave alone the mannerless thing she was doing on TV laughing like street gal. There is nothing attracting I like about Hillary....

    December 9, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Eric, Wash DC


    December 9, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Diann Davis, Chicago, Illinois

    I'm fired up and ready to go!!

    December 9, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Daniel, NY

    A new wave of polls released this morning by Mason-Dixon has Obama pulling within 2% of Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and in South Carolina - much closer margins than we are used to seeing in the early states. The race is certainly shifting - check the full numbers here.

    December 9, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Sledge

    I wonder how Michelle feels with Oprah's hands all over her husband; and where is Stedman in all of this?

    Simply put, Oprah enters the political arena because she is JEALOUS of Hillary. Go Hillary!!!

    December 9, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Is Obama running for president or auditioning for a spot on American Idol. Did they post a telephone number where they can "call" in their votes. This is ridculous. Oprah has just found another way to stick her face in the public view. I guess she was fading and had to find another way.

    December 9, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Hannah,Iowa

    Well, I would vote for Obama and Oprah any day!!!! So what if he is black... lets gets our heads out of the sand and realize the world is changing. Get with it or go live in a cave somewhere. And frankly, I'm embracing change.

    December 9, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. SteveWatson

    Wow. What an incredible rally that was...Obama was just fantastic. Oprah doesn't do much for me (I'm a middle aged guy who's maybe seen her show once), but the fact she helped draw 30,000 people for a political campaign event is pretty cool. I gotta believe that a lot of those folks in the crowd are gonna go back to their communities and be talking about both Oprah and Obama for days. Gotta be a good thing if you're an Obama fan.

    December 9, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Lioness, Washington DC

    Thank you for finally correctly reporting the size of the crowds instead of showcasing your usual and unwarranted skepticism about the real excitement that Obama generates.

    December 9, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. mike

    How about a scene (aka picture of the nearly 29,000 people) to go with the article?

    December 9, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Dood, Reality USA

    'Oprah-bama', 'Oprah-palooza'....

    Media geeks and their desperation to create labels never fails to amuse.

    December 9, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Psbro

    Did you know Oprah was for the Iraq war. You know, the same Oprah that appeared with Obama in Iowa.
    There is no end to his hypocrisy

    December 9, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |


    MR. B. OBAMA



    December 9, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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