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. vicky,boston,ma

    Cnn misleading headlines.....I am going to look for news elsewhere....

    December 9, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Paul Dallas TX

    It's sad that Obama needs Oprah in order to win.....he's an embarrassment to men everywhere.

    December 9, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Maria,las vegas,nevada

    CNN where are those scenes?

    December 9, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. TAS West Columbia, SC

    “At the end of the day it’s a choice among those of us who are running. And I think that most voters understand that.” (by Hillary Clinton, yesterday)

    Now if that isn't no(n)sense double-talk Hill-Speak, then I don't know what is…..

    And believe it or not, there ARE folks out there in the electorate, who actually would put someone who talks like this, in the Oval Office.

    I have always been a Democrat, but if SHE's the nominee, I may be looking elsewhere.

    Its NOT that she is female (my doctor and vet are both females). She is simply not qualified to make the Changes we need here in the US. Unless of course you believe that talking out of both sides of her mouth is a qualification…

    The only remote advantage I can see for HER being Pres, is to make sure that the liberals regain control of the Supreme Court.

    Conservatism is lost cause, but like Racism and the rampant use of guns in our society, it still rears its ugly head now and then.

    We -certainly- need to stamp out the conservatives, but NOT with Hillary. Edwards, Obama, Biden, or Richardson… Yes.

    Hillary NOT…

    TAS, one of many liberal Democrats in Columbia, SC.

    December 9, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Anonymous, Boston Mass

    Stop calling them "Oprah-bama," what is this, the National Inquirer?

    December 9, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Dave, SC

    Those are not scenes, those are screams of Oprah and Obama...I know that American people are smart and they cannot be fooled. More screams they have, better it is for americna people to defeat them. We have no CNN to give them more and more publicity...God save us from these screams...

    December 9, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. robert powell, detroit, MI

    By using Oprah Winfrey, I think you made a big mistake,by using her for your crutch to gain popularity, but in the long run you're going to make more people vote Republican. I've been a Democrat all my life but if Obama gets elected I will vote Republican. He does not have the experience and Oprah has turned this into a black white issue, which it might not have been otherwise. In the primary I will vote Democrate but in the general election I will vote Republican. Many people I'm talked to feel the same way. People say one thing and vote another way. When are they going to give equal time to the other candidates? I'm disappointed with Nightline for only covering the one candidate. Nightline has turned me off from watching. I'm 78 years old and have voted for quite a few years.

    December 9, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. Glenn, Chicago, IL

    Isn't this a waste of time for the "O"? Hillary will win the nomination and we will all be worse off.

    December 9, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. K.Grant, San Francisco, CA

    Good job Oprah!!!! You are using your celebrity to shine a light on the best person for the job on a crucial moment in our history. A lot of people listen to you and trust your judgement. Many of them don't understand politics or recognize phonies like Hillary. Good job for telling like it is: Obama is our only hope to get out of this mess.

    December 9, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Daniel, NY

    More than Oprah-mania, it is Obama himself that is on fire if this new wave of early-state polls is to be believed. Obama has surged forward in New Hampshire and in South Carolina cutting Clinton's lead to as little as it has been in months (since early summer)! Check out all the polls here.

    December 9, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Kathy - East Texas

    I'm just wondering what's in this for Oprah, you know she's going to get something out of the deal. She is spending all this money and out thumping in Iowa. I guess she will be Sec. of State or Ambassador of Goodwill. If Obama wins she will be in his administration I bet. There is one thing for certain, all her star power won't influence my vote, in fact if a candidate can't convince me that they should be the next President a talk show host host won't either. If I were going to vote for Obama, I won't now because of this charade they are putting on......

    December 9, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Get A Grip, Buffalo New York

    People would like to think that Obama is the savior of America. Come on get a grip, Oprah is one of the "Hollywood Elites" that Rush refers to on a daily basis. She is one of the Rich and Famous do you really think she has the same views as us "common people" Would she be out there on the campaign trail if he was not African American. A vote for Obama is a vote for Hillary. Everyone needs to wise up.

    December 9, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  13. Andrew

    Do you think it's cool to make up these "conjunctions"? C'mon CNN!

    December 9, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. Jessica M., El Paso, TX

    She took shots at Hillary and others for their judgment on Iraq. Yet Oprah supported the war too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqVtRJeXxXM

    December 9, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Rick, Detroit, MI

    Why does CNN feel the need to nickname people that appear in their stories. It's demeaning to the 'named' and to your readers. BBC and other foreign news outlets refer to her as Ms. Winfrey; can we start showing celebrities a bit more respect? Also, you might want to edit your stories a bit more before they are posted... there are several mistakes here!

    December 9, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. Reddy, princeton NJ

    Who is the presidential candidates Here? Does Oprah using the oportunity to boost her show? The big Ophrah need to tell the people that Obama is the right candidate? If he can't prove him self that he is what she says he is then he is not capable of running the country?

    December 9, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. Jessica M., El Paso, TX

    OMG,I hate to say it, maybe Oprah DID endorse Obama because of his color of skin. I really hope that's not the case.

    http://card.wordpress.com/2007/04/06/is-oprah-winfrey-racist/

    December 9, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. Ron Sommers

    Peyton Manning is way better than Tom Brady. SportsCRAYZ7 has no idea what he's talking about!

    December 9, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Martin Kautz, Obrigheim, Germany

    Oprah is a truly remarkable woman. In many ways.
    If she would not use her name to make things better, if she would not try, she would just be another millionaire.
    There is an obligation no doubt.
    The search for truth is not an Oprah reserved search. Every American has the right to hear the truth and deserves honest, decent representation. It is about true work for the people: environment protection, economical stability and growth, reliable foreign policies, good foreign relations with friends, allies and the world, healthcare (why is this not an issue in the EU?), education…
    Not just words but actions.
    It is about no nation is superior to another.
    Admit it: not everything in the USA is great, the best, the biggest, the strongest, the nicest...
    Join the International Court of justice and sign the Kyoto treaty.
    Work to become a respected leader.

    December 9, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  20. Dale, Orchard,TX

    Oprah and Obama. Kinda of catchy, like "Sanford and Son."

    December 9, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. J.J. Houston,TX

    Hey CNN? Why is your "crowd" count at 30,000? I just read is was maybe closer to 20. Check out what your buds at Newsweek are saying.

    December 9, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. Chayce Denver,CO

    Oprah and Obama...."Sanford and Son." Has a nice ring.

    December 9, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  23. Tim, El Cerrito Ca

    I'm so bored with this Oprah Obama fest. It stills doesn't change the fact that he really lacks experience and doesn't know National issues the same way other candidates do. We need to elect a president that can really take charge. I don't see that with Obama. And I think he's been hypocritical in attacking Clinton. The only problem is the news media is giving him a total pass. Hopefully people will look beyond the hype because we can't afford to lose the election and we can't afford another President that doesn't know what he is doing (imho). Hopefully CNN won't delete this comment as they seem to be trying to create the news instead of cover it.

    December 9, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  24. Tunch, Pittsburgh

    Why is CNN pro-Clinton?

    December 9, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. jack, ny, ny

    What a hypocrite you have become oprah. You are calling Obama an honest politiian. You must be kiding me. You have really lost your credibility on after this one.

    DOn't quit your day job

    December 9, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
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