Saturday, September 8, 2007

Obama & Oprah - California Magic

An elegant garden party at a Santa Barbara (Montecito actually) palatial 42 acre estate with the sobriquet of Promised Land, where the most elite moneyed guests sit on a lawn meadow overlooking the spectacular Pacific Ocean. Invites clearly stated the event is in a meadow and not in the 23,000 square foot house, so the gentry would know what type of attire to don.

One of the lucky 1500 happily paid a queen's ransom of $2300, with Hollywood fixers begging to repurchase it for their clients. If people could scalp tickets the $ky would be the limit. Oprah made sure that those who have not given the max, new fresh donors, have pride of place. Of course, there are a few exceptions, a newly pregnant Halle Berry, John Travolta, along with some Obama fundraisers from O & O's Illinois home turf. A private luncheon with Barack Obama was also scheduled for Saturday.

Obama made his only public appearance, on a beautiful clear sky Saturday, at Santa Barbara City College in front of a gathering of enthusiastic supporters, with one fainting.

"What's called for is a level of responsibility and seriousness that we haven't seen in a very long time," he told the cheering crowd, which included college students in short sundresses and big sunglasses and older couples in peace symbols.

A woman standing in front of the stage appeared to faint as Obama spoke about Iraq. The candidate paused and asked the crowd to make way for firefighters.

One supporter shouted, "You're a good man," leaving Obama momentarily at a loss for words.

"Well, I'm not the only one stopping to help her," he said, sounding almost embarrassed. (photo courtesy AP)

Barack was a star in San Francisco at the California Women for Obama gig held at the Bill Graham Civic auditorium. Obama's fundraising events usually are in the affordable $25 range. This is a whole different economic stratosphere and exposure, being in the Oprah league. Oprah and Obama are being profiled and watched around the world as this event takes place. She is planning to take an active role in his presidential campaign. Barack Obama will be the only presidential candidate to grace her studio this season. Oprah Winfrey has every legal right to narrow her political guest list to only Senator Obama because her show is syndicated. Bill Clinton will make an appearance (already taped this past Tuesday in New York) on Oprah to discuss his book Giving and I am positive some Hillary chatter will occur. He's no fool. David Letterman is first up on Monday, September 10th.

But Barack is making both Clintons sweat and seethe with a bit of the green monster on the political and big money fronts. A long retired Magic Johnson is having an old guard fundraising soirée at his much smaller place in LA for Hillary next week. Oprah has soulful magic with her branding capacity, competitive advantages. When Lady O picks something (video link), in this case somebody, they shoot for the heavenly stars and stay a good long while. Senator Obama landed the biggest endorsement catch of the year. The next endorsement to watch with mega star power and a global village is Nobel nominee, Al Gore's. (AP picture from Oprah's)

There is so much interest in Oprah today, her site is loading like molasses is powering the internet. This fall, expect a fiery Barack to draw more distinctions between he and Clinton and especially making appeals to women and African Americans. Oprah is the biggest asset to help women understand Barack's appeal, but that will pale alongside the most powerful woman in Barack's life, his wife, Michelle Obama. Much will be written about Oprah's fundraiser, especially if it garners more than the projected $3,000,0000. If more comes in, it sets Barack up for a great third quarter where he might actually beat Hillary outright in the money primary.
"I call my home the Promised Land because I get to live Dr. King's dream," Winfrey told her guests, a source inside recalled Winfrey saying. "I haven't been actively engaged before because there hasn't been anything to be actively engaged in. But I am engaged now to make Barack Obama the next president of the United States."

The star-studded gathering marked the most visible effort yet for the billionaire media magnate in her effort to help the Illinois Democrat in his quest to win his party's presidential nomination.

As Winfrey introduced Obama's wife, Michelle, who was wearing a dress by Chicago designer Maria Pinto, the hostess called her the "first lady."
Oprah's pal, Whoopi Goldberg, was there. They starred together in
Oprah's first film. The outstanding and haunting film of The Color Purple. The book The Color Purple is from the grand Alice Walker. Oprah is the executive producer of the sold out Broadway adaptation of the theater play, The Color Purple.

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