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)
  1. Dan, TX

    I'm voting for Obama, my daughter if voting for Obama, my wife is voting for Obama, my friends are voting for Obama, my neighbors are voting for Obama. Obama is going to blow the field away in the primaries and in the general election. All the negative talk here is by people who are too emotionally invested in Clinton to just take a unbiased view.

    Obama has plenty of experience. Does Clinton have experience as a community organizer, really working closely with people and their day to day lives? I don't think so. He's walked the walk already.

    His grandmother lives in Africa. Think he's interested in understanding world politics and how it affects his family at home and abroad?

    He blows away the field in real experience.

    As for politics, that's what advisors are for.

    December 10, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. mark, TX

    "Please tell me why anyone would make such an important decision on whom to vote for at this juncture in our history based on what Oprah Winfrey says…
    Posted By Bill, Commack NY : December 10, 2007 12:00 pm"

    Because too many Americans are plain stupid? I didn't need Oprah to learn that Obama has no substance, but now I know for sure that he has none.

    December 10, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. marge Hibbing Mn

    Uh er oh where's the number to call in the votes for this American Idol...I got to be at the American Idol campaign..gee gee gee....

    December 10, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Anita,orlando,Fl

    The difference between Opera and Obama was apparent as soon as Obama took mike from her.I think the race in the end will be between Huckabee and Clinton.I am closely listening to both.This year the race is not between Red and Blue ,but between what the policy is for America and its people.

    December 10, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    George W. Bush redefined the meaning of experience and intelligence as qualifications for president and Americans are paying the price. And those of you that say Obama needs Oprah, no, Oprah needs Obama who will uphold Americans Constitutional rights which "Big Brother" is taking away.

    December 10, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Eyzwidopn, LA,CA

    Tom, New York – I think that we all expect a debate on the issues and recognize that when candidates differ, there will be challenges to their positions. I had no problem with HRC calling Obama on his "universal healthcare" claim or even challenging specifics about his voting record, just like I had no problem with Obama calling HRC disingenuous about Social Security and not completely honest about her stand on other issues. But trying to exploit what he said in kindergarten or third grade for political purposes is petty and comical. I don't agree with the name-calling or below-the-belt attacks by any candidate but we should be intelligent and emotionally mature enough enough to recognize the difference between them and distinguishing a position or policy point.

    December 10, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Rod, South Carolina

    The Republicans are excited because they have information that will destroy Hillary if she gets the nomination. It is clear to me that voting for Obama is not a wasted vote. Voting for Hillary is a waste.

    December 10, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Stev ein SC

    Oprah is backing this candidate simply because he is black. Where I am from that is called racism.

    Posted By Todd New York, NY : December 10, 2007 12:16 pm

    Todd did Oprah tell you that over tea or are you making this up? I personally believe the latter and until you start accusing Barabra Streisand of racism and sexism, pipe down!

    December 10, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Bob, Seattle

    Everybody loves Oprah. The problem is Obama. He said 4 years ago as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention that he wanted to return America to one where people of low means could accomplish the American Dream. Does he mean the same America that allowed a poor man named Bill Clinton to rise the to the top. Or the American that allowed a poor man like Obama to rise to unimaginable heights? Or the same America that is allowing a poor man named Huckabee to surge in to latest campaign. Or the American that allowed a poor man named Justice Clarence Thomas to rise to great heights. What is wrong with an America that already allows extreme vertical movement in the social, politcal, and business world that you are going to fix Mr Obama? Then you have the audacity to spout the idiotic line about the 'incompetence of the White House and that only Obama can bring real, meaningful change'. Like you have never made any mistakes? To be a true stateman, Obama, you must acknowledge and honor your opponent for their RIGHT deeds then keep on honoring them for even their WRONG decisions. They are at the top of America doing their best to lead this country in a truly chaotic world. THEN you can disagree with their direction and offer a NEW direction as you see fit. THEN the American people MIGHT believe you. But to chaulk up the current White House as 'incompetent' is TRULY speaking down to the perceived ignorance of your audience. Shame on you for daring to call the American people stupid. Shame on you for assuming the American people are stupid. Should you be successful in your bid for the White House, how are you going to react when the next wave of campaigners chaulk up your endeavors as 'incompetent'. We are NOT ALL that stupid Mr. Obama, and YOU are no different than the rest of the SHILL and SHAM artists running for President other than one or two true and sincere and honest folks. People of America, please search in your heart for the REAL truth sayers. It is your nation at risk.

    December 10, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. David, Dallas Tx

    Republicans are very excited about what is going on in the Democratic party right now. They are waiting around, hoping that Obama would win the nomination so that they could rip him apart as soon as the nomination is over.

    Heard an interesting statistic recently: 35% of us are registered Republican, and 50% Democrat. People are tired of the Republican way of doing things, and Obama stands in MUCH clearer contract to the Republican status quo than Clinton.

    No Republican has ever had 30,000 show up for a campaign event. Neither has Clinton. Quit the fear-mongering, open your eyes and see where the momentum is.

    You want to pick up swing voters and disillusioned Republicans? You want to win? Get Obama on the ticket.

    December 10, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Josh LaMar, Rochester NY

    I hear all these comments talking about how Oprah will hurt not help Obama's campaign and how sad it is that he needed her to back him up.... so WHY is it that RIGHT after he called up Oprah... HILLARY...CLINTON... decided to call up who? Maya Angelou? Come on now. Obviously Hillary thinks that Oprah helped Obama. That's why she got Maya in the first place. So to all the people that think Oprah was wrong to do it. Take a look at your precious Hillay and how much of a copycat SHE is.

    And in response to that gentleman that made up 5 LIES about Obama... it's people like you that are dragging this country into the dirt with lies. Learn the facts before you spout off at the mouth

    December 10, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Joe

    Headline poll ask if Oprah should RUN for VP? THE VP is only on the ticket of the nice gentleman who asked. They don't individually run.

    December 10, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Eyzwidopn, LA,CA

    mark, TX – for you and others making claims like this, let's go over the equation again. Oprah's popularity gets people out to hear Obama speak so that those people can make up their own minds after hearing him speak whether they will vote for him or not. Oprah has said that she is not trying to tell people what to think but rather just ask them to think.

    December 10, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Rusty, Chesterfield, SC

    God's holy word mentions of an antichrist in the future times that we are approaching. I submit to you that Obama is a closet Moslem with a membership in a Protectant Church to hide his true beliefs from mainstream America.
    After becoming President He will make a pact with Satan and become the world's leader. Only he can bring peace between Isreal and Palestine.

    December 10, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Ike Woodbridge, VA 22192

    Oprah is a very brilliant woman, but she just made a not so brilliant move. I am African American, and I want to remind Oprah that the Presidency is not about race. The Presidency is about experience, courage and vision. Obama has not been tested by any means, but Hillary has been. Hillary has a better chance od winning than Obama. Oprah in all her smarts should know that Barack Obama if nominated, would lose the general election even before the election day. Thus, I most humbly ask Oprah: Please don't NADER this election. Simply put, don't ruin this one Oprah.

    December 10, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Duh, central IL

    "Does Clinton have experience as a community organizer, really working closely with people and their day to day lives? I don't think so"

    Dan from Texas, are you serious? Look into Hillary Clinton's entire biography and you will see that most of her life has been spent working for the betterment of her community and more specifically women and children.

    December 10, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Ellis, Brown University, RI

    Barack Obama stands a far better chance of winning a general election than Hillary Clinton. It is quite clear, through many polls (like the one linked above)

    December 10, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Ike Woodbridge of VA 22192 posted a response that I have to disagree with.

    You truly believe Oprah is backing Obama because of race? Hillary has not been tested, she has been ridiculed. The only test for Hillary was when Bill Clinton appointed her to lead universal healthcare and she failed miserably. Obama has more years in elected public office than Hillary. Let's be honest, Hillary would not be running for President is she wasn't Bill Clinton's wife.

    Oprah has had many chances to support past presidential candidates, both black and white, from Jesse Jackson to Bill Clinton. She opted not to because these politicians disappointed her. One thing about Oprah that many people are away of is that Oprah looks at the person first before she even touches the politics behind them. She believes in Obama's character first and foremost.

    December 10, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Greg West, Scottsdale, Arizona

    A popular TV personality does not necessarily an appropriate or effective leader make.

    December 10, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Mary Anne Sarasota Florida

    Just because Oprah has an interest in politics is no reason to consider such a ridiculous proposal. Since Brad Pitt is interested in rebuilding New Orleans should he become the next Secretary of HUD. Wait I visted a state park over the weekend maybe I'll put my name in for Secretary of the Interior..give me a break

    December 10, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Howard, NY

    Rusty in Chesterfield, SC, please tell me you're joking. Otherwise I see men in white coats coming for you in the near future.

    December 10, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. John Haas, Covington, KY

    As helpful to Obama's bid as support from Oprah in the form of endorsements and praise may be, he could only be injured by her as running mate. Obama possesses many assets that may eventually win him the White House, but he's also burdened by liabilities. The American people don't see in Obama a man who is particularly experienced or prepared to take the reins of foreign policy. As disputable as these perceptins may be, Oprah's addition to his ticket would only exacerbate them and further impede his path to Pennsylvania Avenue.

    December 10, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. PW Va

    2016??? Why are so many of you suggesting this magical number as the year for Senator Obama to run for president? Is another 8 years of wait time enough for him to become as JADED as Hillary and the rest of the Democratic pack now running???

    No...I say NOW IS THE TIME FOR SOME MAJOR CHANGES!!! We do not have the luxury of waIting even one more year under the regime we're now experiencing.

    OBAMA...the ONLY REALISTIC choice for 2008!!!!

    December 10, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Mary, Eugene, OR

    Obama supporters, please do not be fooled by all the people saying that he doesn't have a chance to beat the GOP in 2008 - that is not true unless YOU allow it to become true.

    Obama has a fantastic record in mediating dem-repub disputes to get things done. His experience in bridging the partisan gridlock-divide is SORELY needed like never before, and NOBODY can deny that.

    If Obama got the nom, I think he would win if he got a VP running mate that was a good complement to his strength as a diplomat and uniter/mediator. Some folks just cannot fathom the fact that skillful diplomacy IS the strongest/toughest force to get our troops home and protect the country from further terrorist attacks. To reassure these people that his adminstration has the necessary teeth to succeed, Obama needs a VP who is more rough around the edges and has a more "macho" reputation. He needs a "tough guy" (or tough gal) partner who could serve as a buffer for the GOP's probable attempts to sabotage Obama's work out of desperation to conserve their corrupt little paradise in Washington. Then, Obama could focus on his work as President - and yes, he does have well thought out plans for health care and security and etc. – some are very ambitious and likely would take some time to reach fruition, but nevertheless, they make good sense and are worth striving for - ANY president is going to be bogged down significantly by the burden of having to try to clean up the mess that the Bush Admin has created, so I expect that ANY candidate's (either party) outlined plans would take longer than they are proposing.

    Obama is THE candidate that stands for true ethics reform in Washington - what could be more important right now than restoring Americans' trust in their government? NOTHING.

    Obama is the best chance we have to increase transparency and accountability in Washington, and this is ESSENTIAL for preserving democracy. Period, end of story.

    I will be REALLY disppointed if Hillary gets the nom. Of course, if she gets it, I will vote for her. However, for now, I am really hoping Obama pulls this off, since I am tired of voting for people I do not respect or like. I think it would be brilliantly symbolic if Obama's grassroots campaign succeeded in beating Hillary and her blantantly corporate one. GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!

    December 10, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. kraig a fox sandusky ohio 44870

    we need to be forreal our country has gone to the doges we had a man that got us out of dept secured ss. and kept us out of war now that we need him more than ever you bring in a person that is not proven his self and you tack all of our live into his hands and a talk show host we need the clintons in office more than ever I hope to god there is a god for all of us

    December 10, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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