- Oprah Winfrey
- Before The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Oprah’s Success
- The Other Side of Oprah
Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama
Oprah Winfrey’s approval of Barack Obama was 1 of the most famously covered and calculated advancements of the 2008 presidential movement. Oprah has been depicted as the most influential female on the planet. Her effect on society and her proven record as a trend-setter and fashion arbiter, there was considerable interest in whether that effect might expound politically as she had certainly not endorsed a candidate before. Oprah 1st supported Barack in September 2006 previous to him even declaring himself a candidate. May 2007 Oprah constructed her 1st endorsement of a candidate, Barack Obama. In December 2007, Oprah made her 1st appearance for him. 2 economists approximate that Oprah’s endorsement was valued at over one million votes in the Democratic primary race. They said that without it, Obama would have lost the nomination. Rod Blagojevich the Governor of Illinois alleged that Winfrey’s support was so significant in electing Obama as president that he deliberated presenting Obama’s old time seat in the Senate to Oprah. Winfrey’s endorsement power
Oprah has been called “arguably the most influential woman in the world” by the American Spectator, “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” by Time.com and CNN, “1 of the 100 people who have the most influence in the 20th Century” and “one of the most influential people of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 ” by Time. Oprah is the only person in the world to have made all six lists.
At the end of the twentieth century Life magazine listed Oprah as both “the most influential woman” and “the most influential black person of her generation”, and in a cover story, Profile the magazine called her “America’s most powerful woman”. Ladies Home Journal also ranked Oprah number 1 in their list of “the most powerful women in America”. President Barack Obama said she “may be the most influential woman in the country”. In 1998 Oprah became the 1st woman and 1st African American to top Entertainment Weekly’s list of the “101 most powerful people in the entertainment industry.” In 2003 Oprah trimmed out both Elvis Presley and Superman to be christened the “greatest pop culture icon of all time” by VH1. Forbes titled her the “world’s most powerful celebrity in 2005, 2007 and 2008.”
Oprah Endorsing Barack Obama
Oprah appeared on Larry King Live, September 25, 2006; she was questioned about a fan who began a movement to get her to run for president. Larry King said that Oprah’s lawyers had evidently cautioned the man to cease the campaign. Oprah told the lawyers to notify the fan to “take all your energy, and put it in Barack Obama”. Oprah explained that Barack was her favorite senator, and she wanted him to run for president. Then Oprah interviewed Barack and his Michelle, October 19, 2006, on her show and restated the support that she had previously expresessed on Larry King, and the promotion of his book “The Audacity of Hope.” Oprah announced that she would be on the air for several more years, so if he ever decided to run, she would hope he would declare it on her show. Barack’s appearance on the show led to his book to reach the number one spot on both Amazon.com and the New York Times’ bestseller list. Instantly following Oprah’s two endorsements, Oct 23, 2006 Time magazine put Barack on their cover with the title “Why Barack Obama could be the next president”.
Barack finally chose to reveal his candidacy, not on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but on the front steps of the Illinois state legislature. With Barack formally becoming a runner for president in 2008, Oprah chose not to interview him or any other candidate throughout the campaign because as a voiced Barack supporter, she said that she may be incapable to be objective.
Oprah once again appeared on Larry King Live, In May 2007, and was questioned if her support of Barack still applied. She replied to Larry “of course” and described that what Barack stood for was worth her sticking her neck out. When Larry questioned Oprah, if there was a female side of her that might lean to Barack’s opponent, then favorite Hillary Clinton, Oprah clarified that she had considerable admiration for Hillary, and that her support of Barack did not suggest that she was against anyone else. After approving Barack, however, Oprah’s ratings fell seven percent.
After Barack Obama acquired the Democratic nomination, in June 2008, Oprah Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight:
“I’m euphoric; I’ve been doing the happy dance all day. I’m so proud of Barack and [his wife] Michelle Obama and what this means for all of us … the new possibilities for our country. And if he wants me to, I’m ready to go door to door. ”
Oprah went to the Democratic convention in late August2008, and responded emotionally to Barack’s speech. She told reporters “I’ve never experienced anything like that. I cried my eyelashes off.” Explaining further, Oprah said “I woke up this morning, and I went to Google and I googled the entire Martin Luther King speech because like most Americans I, you know, you listen to the I Have Dream’ part. In the earlier part of the speech, he talks about the promise of democracy. And I think that today that promise was fulfilled in a way that Inver imagined in my lifetime.” Oprah also said to reporters:
|“||And what I saw with Barack Obama was something that was transcendent and I felt transformational for me as a human being and for this country. And I only pray in the deepest part of my being that America will rise to this moment. And I feel that what he was able to offer us as individual citizens and as a united country was something that we have never seen before. I really, I think it’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever experienced. I often wondered what it would be like to sit and listen to Lincoln speak or Roosevelt speak or what it would have been like to have been old enough to understand what Martin Luther King was saying 45 years ago today. And what he did brought that home in a way that I could never have imagined.||”|
Oprah’s Fundraising for Barack Obama
In the fall of 2007 Winfrey held a fundraiser for Obama at her California home and raised several million dollars. In October 2008 Winfrey hosted a second fundraiser for Obama, this time in Chicago.
[In the fall of 2007, Obama was considered a long shot, an absolute outsider in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States and was still considered unlikely to win the
|“||Oprah riffed her way through an eloquent paean to the need for a change of leadership in America. “Dr. King talked about the dream,” she said. “Now we get to vote that dream into reality. You gotta step out of your box!” she said. “We can dream America anew!”…She is astonishing, truly. The woman was on her maiden campaign trail voyage, and yet already she was better—more cogent, more effective, more convincing—than anyone out there.||”|
Over 1,000,000 votes had been gained. Applying a novel methodology, economists at the University of Maryland College Park, Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore, derived that Oprah’s support of Barack not only hooked him 1,015,559 votes in the Democratic primary solely (with a 95% confidence interval of 423,123 to 1,596,995) but made certain that he won the election. The researchers were not able to apply their scientific method to all states. However, their valuation does not contain any further “Oprah effect” that may have arisen in Texas, Michigan, North Dakota, Kansas, or Alaska.
“It does appear to have been a decisive, if not a deciding, factor,” explained Garthwaite.
Garthwaite and Moore compared sales of Oprah’s “O” magazine and the spike in sales of Oprah’s book club picks to Barack’s votes in the Democratic primary. Afterwards checking for a large variety of confounding circumstances such as the fact that both Barack and Oprah are popular with African Americans, Garthwaite and Moore showed that votes for Barack spiked in exactly the same geographical regions where Oprah is the most popular. By executing the same scientific method to Barack’s 2004 Senate race, when he did not have Oprah’s support, they found no connection among Barack votes and Oprah popularity in Illinois; the connection only developed after the support, implying that Oprah’s support had led to the spike in Barack’s vote totals in those regions.
In addition Garthwaite and Moore exhibited that the bond is not because individuals who read women’s magazines favored Barack to Hillary. Precisely the contrary, Barack got less support where women’s magazines like “Self” and “People” are popular. After examining for racial demographics, the economists also could not establish a relationship among the popularity of “Ebony” magazine, whose following is largely African American, and show support for Barack.
As a result of getting Barack over a 1,000,000 votes, the researchers concluded that Oprah’s aid pushed campaign donations to him in those regions where she is the most popular. They established that Oprah’s greatest “effect” was in caucus states like Iowa.
Throughout the Democratic primary, there was a debate over which states should be recognized in the popular vote total, and not all states released official vote counts, but it’s estimated that at most, Barack won the popular vote by 151,844 votes without counting Michigan’s disputed votes Clinton, however, won the popular vote by 176,645 votes when Michigan’s numbers were included.
Oprah’s Effect on the Polls
A CBS poll found that a third of all Americans claimed that most people they know would be more inclined to vote for Obama because of Winfrey’s endorsement. A study by the Pew Research Center found that Winfrey’s campaign appearances had dramatically increased Obama’s visibility, especially among African-Americans. One reason Winfrey’s endorsement was useful in helping Obama compete with Senator Clinton was because as of December 2007 (when Winfrey first began campaigning) Winfrey was the one woman in the world more admired than Hillary Clinton among American women.