December 10th, 2007
08:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Oprah rocks crowd in South Carolina

Watch the entire 20 minute address by Oprah Winfrey to a packed stadium in South Carolina.

(CNN) - Talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey told a crowd of nearly 30,000 gathered in Columbia, South Carolina Sunday that she was “stepping out” of her normal setting because she’d been “inspired” by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois.

"I've never done this before," Winfrey told the crowd, as she introduced the Democratic White House hopeful. "I've never done it before because in the past I've been disappointed by politicians."

Watch Winfrey's entire 20-minute stadium address.

Earlier: Oprah and Obama hit South Carolina football stadium

Related video: Obama: 'We're doing it'

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (134 Responses)


    December 10, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. soulonart, Atlanta GA

    I'm so tired of the Oprah-haters, Obama-haters, and the "we can't do it and I know because I'm African American" respondents. Oprah has the "right" to support whoever she feels compelled to, just as everyone else in the country. It is also very ignorant and irresponsible to suggest Oprah is supporting Obama's candidacy because they both are black. You are making this a race issue, not them. Obama is making an impressive run at the Oval office and that in of itself is a testament to the dire sense of fundamental change America is thirsting for.

    December 10, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Maryann

    Oprah has beeb reading her notes and sometimes has to go back and re-read it again. This does not make me feel confortable. When making a speech like this, you should talk to people, from bottom of your heart, and show us why you support him and why voters vote him. I feel that there are so many focus on "lines", Dr.King's line, or others. The core reason was not clear. She was not prepared this well or, another reason she doesn't know this "favorite thing" well. I think, like many people say, if you want to sell a book, you must read it first. She for sure sold a lot of books which she , I believe, read them all. But, this time she did not sell the book BECAUSE SHE DID NOT READ THIS BOOK. Oprah, with all respect, doesn't do Obama a good favor politically. As she said, she doesn't know politics well. If you take away all the "lines" she used, there is not much left for voters to truly think why Obama. But, I still love to see her in TV, where she doesn't have to read her notes.

    December 10, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Augustine

    I see we have a couple of ignorant fools commenting here today.

    Obama in 2016? after he would've been corrupted by Washington? after the oceans would've risen? After America would've invaded Iran? You guys must be sick? You can go ahead and wait for 2016 in your dreams – I'm not waiting. I'm having Obama in 08 and that's the way it's going to be.

    Hillary is change? Which part of it? The Status quo? Poor judgment that led to the invasion of Iraq? Norman Hsu? Sex scandals? Corruption? Another Clinton for 8 more years? Which part of change, precisely?

    You may be so dumb as to be comfortable with 2 families ruling America for 28 years, but that's not what the majority of sensible Americans think. Hillary would be better as Senate majority leader. She and Bill would've handed the baton to a new generation of leaders, while calling the shots as King-makers – not dirtying themselves in mud. Greedy people!

    December 10, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Marquis, Chicago, IL

    I hope to add some clarity and truth to this sordid discussion:

    1. Obama is ready to be President. He has more experience than Abraham Lincoln did - and we all know that Lincoln is considered in both learned and everyday circles as quite possibly our finest President. Lincoln had 8 years serving in the Illinois state legislature and had 2 years serving on the national level as a congressman. Obama has the same 8 years in Illinois and has nearly 4 years serving as U.S. Senator on the national level.

    2. This nonsense about his lack of foreign policy credentials is a joke. His B.A. is in foreign relations from Columbia University. He sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Select Committee, two other Senate foreign relations committees, and is on many Veteran Affairs committees. The leading foreign policy experts in the COUNTRY all agree with his proposals and ideas.

    3. Oprah is positive for Obama, they represent the promise of America, and the fact that she is black has little do with her support of him. She has said on many occasions she is supporting him b/c he is truly the best PERSON in her opinion and she reiterates that people know the difference between backing a person and buying a book. It is primarily designed to get people to vote period, not just for Obama. Are we that cynical as a country now? Don't we want people to get engaged?

    4. Obama has addressed the Kyl-Lieberman vote by saying he missed it, tried to get back, and apologized as it is one of the hazards of campaigning. No other major candidates have apologized for missing anything - and they have all missed votes. Further, Harry Reid, who is backing Sen. Clinton, did call that vote at the last minute when he KNEW that Obama was in route to New Hampshire.

    5. Obama's Social Security plan is practical and is focused on raising the ceiling, which will need to be done no matter who occupies the White House. Again, this is an issue beyond spin and partisanship, the ceiling needs to be raised, just ask the leading spokespersons and experts on the subject.

    6. Obama's health care plan is realistic and practical and will SAVE MONEY. Some of the other plans, like Sen. Clinton's will actually force people to purchase health care that may be too expensive for what a given household can afford - which defeats the purpose of making people's lives and daily budget easier. Clinton means well but in the end Obama's plan gives people options and is loaded with subsidies to ensure that women and children get what they need rather than forcing it on them.

    7. This notion that Oprah supporting Obama just b/c he is African-American is a travesty. If that logic were the litmus test of this endorsement then anytime Clinton, Edwards, or anyone else received an endorsement from a White person that person would be racist. No one claims that Sen. Clinton's White endorsements are racist. Give me a break.

    8. Why should Obama wait when he has what it takes now? America is replete with history telling someone to wait. People need to relax, quit being so cynical and take a hard look at this guy. We are easily roped into thinking that in America a person can't both look and act nice and have substance there. Obama is the real deal - the fact that he comes in the form of representing both Black and White people should be a plus, not a minus. He represents the best of all of us. We could miss out on one of the best presidents ever. Please do your research and open your minds.

    December 10, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Ed M., Greenville, SC

    The comment that Obama is not for health care for children is wrong. All the democratic candidates, including Obama and Clinton, have plans to cover all children. You can be for whoever you want, but please don't post things that are not true.

    December 10, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Mark, Shreveport, La

    1) Obama is NOT black. He is of mixed race! Just because he and his campaign refuse to acknowledge the fact he's half white, doesn't change the fact he is.
    2) Anyone who decides whom to support based on the endorsement of a celebrity should seriously consider doing the republic a favor and tear up his voter registration card!

    December 10, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. demwit

    Hopefully Opra's disappointment in politicans will not keep black people from voting for the Clintons again..

    December 10, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Tom, Nashville TN

    The only true chance we have in 08 is in Hilary Clinton.

    * shudders *

    Please, do the world a favor by not voting in the November elections.

    December 10, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Kyle, Raleigh, NC

    Ike- that's a joke, really. like the GOP can't rip Hillary apart, too. they are chomping at the bit for Hillary or Obama. the lady is just too polarizing. she will make it too easy.

    December 10, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Intelligent and Informed, Houston, TX

    Oprah and Obama...or perhaps "Sanford and Son." Kind of catchy. Oh and the 30K at the staduim? MMMMM, better check with your groupies at Newsweek. They said closer to 20.

    December 10, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Julie - Albuquerque, NM

    I enjoy being entertained by talented actors, good movies, etc. – Oprah is definitely one of those entertainers who has provided good talk shows, and wonderfully crafted movies of the week, however, she will not influence me on my choice of candidate for President. On the contrary, I deeply resent any celebrity who thinks, even for one moment, that their ability to promote good entertainment will automatically make me a follower of their own political, and personal beliefs. It scares me to think that Oprah viewers who buy any book she endorses will do the same for a Presidental candidate – just because she says so. Is she that powerful? Not to me.

    December 10, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Stedman G.; Chicago, Illinois

    I think the only reason Oprah wants him to be President is so she can get her own network!

    Personally, I'm tired of hearing his name mentioned by her!

    December 10, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Shannon, Nashville, TN

    This is wonderful news. Ike, you are completely wrong. Obama is exciting conservative voters too! I know many Republican voters that have not only decided to vote for Obama but have actively been fundraising for his awe-inspiring campaign. I know of not one conservative voter that has switched to supporting Clinton. She is who most conservatives fear most. 24 years of two families ruling our government does not make for an American history that our country wants or needs.

    December 10, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Anthony Palmer, Columbia, SC

    Oprah's involvement in Obama's campaign is a net positive in that it can potentially bring new voters into the democratic process, even if they ultimately don't vote for Obama.

    However, I do believe this new spotlight on Obama and Oprah can work to the advantage of his Democratic rivals. Edwards, for example, can contrast the glitz and glamour of Oprah with his "humble roots" and his dedication to "regular working people." Richardson, Biden, and Dodd can also contrast their pragmatism and seriousness (to match serious times) with Obama's lightness. This actually strikes at one of Obama's weaknesses.

    There is also a threat that Oprah may overshadow Obama's message in that the "we" that comprises Obama's base consists of regular people, but Oprah is anything but that. Will Oprah's campaigning be seen as "meddling by yet another Hollywood figure" to those in Middle America? Or were these people never going to vote for Obama to begin with?

    You can read more of this analysis here:

    December 10, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Toolie, Cincinnati, Ohio

    What kind of experience did George W. Bush have? What a silly statement to make, and look at what he has done to this country for the last seven years What kind of shape are the majority of Americans in today because of him? We are looking for a change, and are sick and tired of the Bushes, and Clintons in the Whitehouse. I think Hillery would be fine, but enough is enough. I wish Senator Obama the very best in his run for the highest position in the country.

    December 10, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Jessica, Reston, VA

    Oprah is just supporting Obama because he's African American, if he wasn't she wouldn't be supporting him. He has no leadership experience and will be stepped on once he's in the White House (if he ever gets there). So sad for Oprah.

    December 10, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Obama is a talented man and a good speaker but, and that's a big BUT, with only 2 plus years in the US senate and zero foreign policy experience he should have waited to run for president. I could see voting for him in years to come, but not now. This country has serious troubles, too serious to hand the reins of power to a neophyte.

    December 10, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Joseph Calleja, Manteca Ca

    What's in it for Oprah? This is America and nobody does anything for nothing Or is it as they say
    " Money talks and -–?

    December 10, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Don San Francisco CA

    Okay, CNN. We've gagged down days of Oprah/Obama hype and a weekend of nonstop coverage. Now we can even listen to her ENTIRE 20 MINUTE STADIUM ADDRESS. Her speeches contain no meat, only "inspirational" fluff about her opinion of Obama. She must be hoping that her opinion of him is enough to swing votes in his direction. It might, if she could help him articulate a clear agenda and tell us exactly what he wants to do as president instead of giving us vague generalities. Oh, that's right, maybe he doesn't need to be specific since he said he's running because Martin Luther King spoke of "the urgency of now". That was 45 years ago. "Now" is long past; it's time for Obama to come out, on his own, with a clear-cut plan to meet the challenges our country faces today.

    December 10, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Maria, Houston

    OMG, Oprah is not supporting a woman, she is supporting a black man! How dare she!!!

    Oprah is a successful self-made woman who did not get where she is by being married to a powerful man. She is independent open-minded strong person and she can support anyone she believes in and help in whichever way she deems the best. This is still a free country.

    How dare are you trying to shame anyone for expressing their belief?

    How dare are you calling her "a racist", just because she supports a man who happened to be of mixed race?

    Why are you supporting Hillary Clinton? Are you racist? Are you sexist?

    If you don't like Senator Obama, don't vote for him. But this fake outrage of Clinton supporters only shows that they have no class and are willing to use any dumb excuse and smear. Learn to loose graciously.

    December 10, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. Shaquan, DC

    Re: Tommy from Texas

    What it says among other things is that Oprah, a black woman, feels that shares a more common bond with Obama, a black man.

    If you think black women share more in common with white women as opposed to black men, then you are clearly white and don't get it.

    December 10, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. J. McKinney SW MO

    Let's hope that this Oprah/Obama sideshow doesn't derail the Democratic party, and cause us to have to endure another 4 or 8 years of Republican rule. Obama is not only inexperienced, he is hesitant–has trouble with decisions. Why else does he vote "present" instead of yes or no on most of the votes that come up in the senate? He is talking about hope, but we all can hope–that is nothing new. But can he turn this hope into reality? I don't think he can. I think we need the strength and experience of Hillary. THINK, Democrats, and don't be swayed by a talk show host who is playing the race card. I won't vote for Obama–not because he is black, but because he needs more seasoning. Maybe in 8 years, after Hillary has managed to straighten out some of this mess.
    Go. Hillary!!

    December 10, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Tom, New York, NY

    Now I understand why up to now, Oprah has elected not to get involved in politics. She should have continued to stay uninvolved. It was embarassing....

    And, Obama... how can he think he is ready to be a leader when 80% of his time in politics he has not been there to do his job... not had the courage to try to make change and create "hope" by voting on important issues... instead he chooses not to vote... maybe because he does not have the courage to decide? A leader? The republicans of course are doing what they can to push him as the candidate.... they will retain the office of President if he is chosen to represent the democrats....

    Oh well, the Obama supporters have no answer for his "experience" so they are going for hype and "Hollywood Oprah" embarassing....

    December 10, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. AJ, IL

    Everyone is talking about experience, experience, and experience. Sure experience is great when you are looking to hire a scientist to lead a team of researchers to find a medical cure for some illness, but we are talking about POLITICS here! Being a US president requires conviction, judgement, ability to inspire, and surrounding yourself with reliable and intelligent people. This is true of all presidents. Bill Clinton's knowledge and experience came mostly for his law studies. He wasn't a career military commander. He wasn't a career economist and he wasn't a career engineer. He had good cabinet members that performed well.

    Oprah likes Obama because past presidential candidates have disappointed her. Now what can she mean? She's not only talking about Republican candidates (i.e. GW Bush) but also Democratic candidates (i.e. Bill Clinton). Americans need to put aside their pre-conceived notions about how important executive experience is relative toward the presidency. If political experience was the only determining criteria to be President, GW Bush would not be president, Bill Clinton would not be president, GH Bush would not be president, and Ronald Regan would not be president. All the above mentioned previous presidents had at least one person in their political parties running for president with more political experience than any of them.

    December 10, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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