Saturday, August 18, 2007

Double Oh! Oprah & Obama

Obama stops traffic in Iowa and Kenya. Oprah is the most famous billionaire black woman philanthropist for the planet. Two gravitational forces of personality are coming together for a mammoth fundraiser, scratch that, in Oprah parlance, "A Celebration" of this place and time in history. Oprah Winfrey does not endorse candidates. But Lady O is all in for Barack Obama and American political pros acknowledge the media maven's historic influence.

There was no hiding the mutual love-in when Sen Obama appeared on Winfrey's sofa last October, culminating in his gushing line: "Oprah, you're my girl". She has now repaid the compliments, referring to the senator as "my favourite guy" and "my choice".

"Oprah's support is much more than the usual celebrity endorsement," said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist and veteran election-watcher. "Most stars are just a name, but she can deliver votes in the crucial categories of women and African-Americans.

Meanwhile Barack's wife, Michelle, rocked Council Bluffs, Iowa. Sasha,9, and Malia age 6, did the petting zoo and great fun was had by all.
"I am really worried that we won't make the right decision this time around. And I'm really going to put everything that I have into making sure that people understand what's at stake and that we are thinking with our heads and not with fear."

The Obamas and Oprah go way back. Two years ago, Oprah and Obama traveled to the Houston Astrodome to comfort displaced, mostly black, poor victims of Hurricane Katrina. Both caused international paparazzi pileups as Oprah opened a world-class leadership school for young ladies in South Africa and Barack had an AIDS test in Kenya. A year later on the Audacity of Hope book tour, Obama and Michelle sat in front of the klieg lights facing a grilling about whether President Obama was in the offing.

What is different this year, is black folks are setting agenda and fundraising records. Neither Clinton believed Obama would fundraise with the deft skill and big money results of an incumbent president. No one thought diversity would factor so heavily in a presidential race. For Americans, this is the equivalent of the next Queen of England, Chinese President or Pope being Black. Always possible, never probable. Oprah & Barack are making strides to change the course of History.

Oprah reads and recommends other people's books. Needless to say she loved both of Barack's efforts. A natural gifted writer he is painfully truthful in Dreams of My Father and forward thinking in Audacity of Hope.

1 comment:

Ken Johnson said...

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