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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 08:57 AM
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Oprah becomes test of what an endorsement means
USA Today: Oprah becomes test of what an endorsement means
By Martha T. Moore


(Harpo Inc. via Reuters)
One-woman industry Oprah Winfrey chats with Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle at a fundraiser that Winfrey hosted for him last month at her mansion in Montecito, Calif.

Oprah Winfrey can get people to read Tolstoy, sell millions of magazines and turn a mail-order canvas bag into a hot item just by naming it one of her favorite things. To get Americans to vote for her favorite presidential candidate, Democrat Barack Obama, though, she'll have to twice prove conventional wisdom wrong: once with voters who repeatedly say endorsements don't make a big difference, and once with politicos who say they can but that those by celebrities usually don't matter. Winfrey has raised $3 million for Obama, the Illinois senator who draws big crowds and plenty of money but is stuck behind Hillary Rodham Clinton in Democratic polls. Winfrey also may campaign for Obama. The more she does, the more her first venture into presidential politics will test the limits of what a personal endorsement can or can't do....

***

Few endorsers are as famous or rich as Winfrey. Most are from the political world, sought after for their organizing abilities, political machines or credibility....Usually, money is as far as a celebrity endorsement goes....But what about a celebrity who talks to 49 million people a week? Winfrey who declined requests for an interview stars in the top-rated daytime talk show in television, publishes a monthly magazine and has a weekly radio show. When she suggested that her viewers read an 800-page Russian classic, as she did in 2004, Anna Karenina became a best seller....After mentioning her support of Obama on CNN last year, Winfrey endorsed him in an interview with Larry King in May. Winfrey has had candidates on her show, but had never endorsed one, she said. "I didn't know anybody well enough to be able to say, 'I believe in this person,' " she said....

Winfrey could host Obama on her show again, write about him in her magazine, make ads and, of course, campaign for him. Obama spokesman Bill Burton says she's promised to be "helpful," but no events have been scheduled.

The TV host's most loyal fans are just the people Obama is fighting to woo away from Clinton. Polls show Clinton has more support from women than Obama does, and Winfrey's audience is largely middle-class women ages 24-54. Winfrey also could help Obama among African-American voters, more of whom favor Clinton in polls even though he is widely viewed as the most viable black contender for president in U.S. history.

Steve Ross, a professor at the University of Southern California who is writing a book about celebrity endorsements, says Winfrey could have a measurable effect. "Her reputation as an activist and a serious, thoughtful person is much greater than any other movie star," he says. Winfrey's influence also might be great enough to get people who usually don't vote 36% of the 2004 electorate to the polls, he says. "There's probably nobody with that potential greater than Oprah," Ross says. If she increased turnout by just 1 percentage point, "1% of an increased vote in key states could swing an election. That's why Oprah's endorsement is different."....

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2007...
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zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 09:08 AM
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1. Oprah endorsing him
has not changed my point of view. Before Obama, she had
more republicans on than she did dems. She was featured by
Bill Moyer for her help in selling the Iraq war to the American
people. This alone makes me doubt her political judgement and
credibility.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 09:22 AM
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2. Oprahbama ... just another commodity like books and cars nt
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 09:23 AM
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3. And I read an article that said it had the opposite effect.
People said they would take her suggestion to read a book, but they made their own mind up when it came to voting.
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gorekerrydreamticket Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 09:28 AM
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4. Celebrities live in an insulated world unto themselves. I don't
think their endorsements are particularly relevant...
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 09:39 AM
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5. Oprah gave Swartzenneger a giant boost in his bid for governor. She fancies herself a kingmaker.
:puke:
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-22-07 12:14 PM
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6. It's an amazing testament to the depth of American voters
that Oprah has so much pull.

Steve Ross from USC says she has a reputation as "...a serious, thoughtful person."

I guess Mr. Ross hasn't listened to the Oprah tripe on XM radio called "The Soul Series".

Anyway, if that's what it takes, then I hope the best candidate gets her nod.
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