Oprah and Obama in South Carolina

29,000 turned out to hear Oprah stump for Barack Obama in South Carolina today. Here's what the pair had to say:


``It's not good enough to tell the people what you think they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. That just won't do. Not this time,'' he said. ``We can't spend all our time triangulating and poll-testing our positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy or Fred or the other Republican nominees are going to say about us.''

[Note: Read Eriposte's analysis of research showing who is triangulating more.]


``South Carolina - January 26th is your moment,'' .... ``It's your time to seize the opportunity to support a man who, as the Bible says, loves mercy and does justly.''

An attendee: [More....]

Caressa Louallen, 46, said she'd arrived inclined to support New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. She said she changed her mind after she heard Winfrey's argument that Obama's experience as a community organizer was more valuable than a Washington insider's credentials - and also when she looked around at the audience.

How being a community organizer equips one to be President of the United States escapes me, but there you have it. Hope and optimism spring eternal among his supporters.

More from Obama:

Obama spoke longer than he usually does about his background and goals, and while he rambled compared to Winfrey's polished performance, toward the end he, too, tailored his remarks to a black audience. "Don't let `em tell you we gotta wait," he said. "Our moment is now. Don't tell me I can't do something, `cause we're doing it."

From Politico, Obama and his wife's opening lines:

"I give all praise and honor to God," Obama began. "Look at the day the Lord has made."

....Obama's wife, Michelle, opened the rally with..."We need a leader who's going to touch our souls. Who's going to make us feel differently about one another. Who's going to remind us that we are one another’s keepers. That we are only as strong as the weakest among us," she said, echoing biblical passages.

It sounds like the event was a bit like a revival meeting:

Winfrey also recalled a story from "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," a 1974 film based on Ernest Gaines' 1971 novel. In Winfrey's telling, the protagonist – an old woman who had survived slavery and the Civil War – would ask every child, "Are you the one? Are you the one?"

"I do believe I do today we have the answer to Miss Pittman's question – it's a question that the entire nation is asking – is he the one?" Winfrey said. "South Carolina – I do believe he's the one."

According to one academic discussion of the book by Christopher Mulvey, a professor at University of Winchester in the United Kingdom, the passage continues to ask whether the child is the one who will "carry part of our cross," a "messianic figure."

A final note from Oprah:

"The reason I love Barack Obama is because he is an evolved leader who can bring evolved leadership to our country."

Shorter version: "I'm the one, I'm different, I'll bring change." I'm still waiting for specifics.

< Brokaw's "1968" on History Channel Tonight | Late Night: Losing My Religion >
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    Ohh i get it now (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 06:50:52 PM EST
    The Oprah Obama events were a great success so all the Hillary supporters are in a panic trying to get their smears going.

    So there are now two posts on the same subject.  Way to beat a dead horse!

    Now you want (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:06:47 PM EST
    to stifle discussion too? This is the political event of the day  -- of course blogs are going to cover it. Just like they did the Oprah event in Iowa yesterday.

    If you don't want to read people's opinions, why are you reading blogs in the first place?

    I haven't "smeared" Obama. I'm waiting to see what he stands for other than platitudes like "optimism" "hope" and "change."

    He hasn't been in the Senate long enough -- just since 2005 -- to have a voting record of substance. His record of introducing legislation (available on Thomas) doesn't offer much. I don't like his health care plan compared to Hillary and Edwards. That he opposed the war in Iraq doesn't mean he'll have a workable strategy to get us out.

    These are my concerns about him. If you have information that supplies the specifics, I hope you'll share it.  If you're just going to gripe that he's not my first choice and I prefer Hillary or Edwards, without specifics as to why you prefer Obama, then you can expect to be disappointed here.


    i was refering to the triangulation reference (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:09:32 PM EST
    and? (none / 0) (#8)
    by selise on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:43:42 PM EST
    are you claiming that it's an untrue characterization?

    yes (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 08:04:19 PM EST
    I have said that, I also said that I think these personal attacks on Obama are just a sad attempt to try and even his negatives with Clintons, and that it's sad that "liberals" are trying to do to Obama what republicans did to Clinton just so she can win.  

    My point about it being repeated in two posts was simple, you know there is nervousness in Clinton land every time a slew of negative Obama posts comes from the this blog and other Clinton bloggers.

    So Jeralyn can think what she wants about Oprah and Obama, and can write about it, but in my mind, and based on what I have seen before, I think the fact that she has chosen to ridicule Oprah Obama means it was a success.

    So yeah Jeralyn is allowed to express her opinion, but i would hope i allowed express a different one.


    BTW (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:20:42 PM EST
    He was a state senator too, and has a voting record there.  He has personal and career experience as well.  Being national senator is not the only experience that counts toward being president.  In fact some have suggested it is the worse kind, sense senators have a poor record of being elected president.

    I think he has presented some pretty good examples of the charge he represents, look at his posture towards negotiation and foreign policy.  He has taken the strongest position on negotiation and the one most at odds with the establishment one.

    His health care policy is also different from what the establishment liberals as well as conservatives want.

    Since Obama has to spell out what he means by change I think Clinton should make clear what her experience is.  What did she do as first lady, what did she do as senator?


    for what she did as first lady (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 08:01:52 PM EST
    foreign policy wise, see here.

    I completely agree (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 08:13:28 PM EST
    with you on that one.  As first lady she did some great stuff as far as speeches and other foreign policy activism. It was truly admirable and I wish she would mention it directly.

    This activism was essentially speeches and statements, appearances.  They were important, but as far as actual policy she has implanted in the realm of foreign policy it is fairly conservative.

    Her current foreign policy positions are to the right of Obama.


    as for her stand on issues on foreign policy (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 08:14:22 PM EST
    read her own words, a ten page paper published by the Council of Foreign Affairs this month.  It's filled with specifics.

    will do.... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 08:26:44 PM EST
    but, and i'm sure this will make your evening, can't give my opinion on it tonight...  i read slow, plus i have to drive home.

    Prove that Jeralyn is a Hillary supporter (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 06:54:45 PM EST
    so what if she is? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by selise on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:42:43 PM EST
    so what if jeralyn prefers senator clinton to senator obama? since when is an owner of a blog not supposed to have an opinion?

    personally, i'm not a fan of senator clinton - but i haven't seen anything that jeralyn has written that is inaccurate.... and shouldn't that be what matters?

    what's the saying? we can all have our own opinions, but not our own facts?


    I never said that there was anything wrong (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:48:25 PM EST
    with that.

    She can support who she likes, but lets be honest about it.


    An my problem (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 08:02:32 PM EST
    is that you're accusing her of being dishonest.

    go read her posts (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jgarza on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 07:03:16 PM EST
    on the primaries, but, you know, i guess this all depends on what your definition of support is.  I think advocating for one candidate and against that candidates chief competitor does it.  

    Jeralyn had the honor of being the first (none / 0) (#16)
    by Geekesque on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 09:14:47 PM EST
    person to post on the blog for HillaryClinton.com.

    There is nothing wrong with supporting Senator Clinton.


    They had a contest and I came in second (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 09:45:57 PM EST
    Her campaign asked for submissions for the first blog post. I wrote one and they chose mine to be the second reader submitted post on the site.  It says I think it's great she's running and she'd make an excellent President, which I believe. But I didn't endorse her. And, as I've said, I like Edwards too.

    And it's a little more laudatory (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 09:23:53 PM EST
    than I would have expected. Still, she says she hasn't decided.

    Great Success for simple minds (none / 0) (#19)
    by niliad on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 11:23:28 PM EST
    Will this columnist please tell us how many times BIG HEARTED OPRAH has taken a party of entertainers to Afghanistan of Iraq to SHOW SUPPORT FOR OUR TROOPS, (NOT THE WAR), BUT OUR TROOPS, OUR HEROS, YOUR SONS, DAUGHTERS, MOTHERS and FATHERS !!!Has Oprah ever showed or been interested in public policy: lower middle class taxes, lower military spending, improving social security? No to all and for her to now assume and think the People from all over the United States will vote for Mr. Obama because she endorses him? really makes me wonder if she thinks we are naive, just as her candidate a 2 year Jr. Senator. Our Country is in a crucial state and we can not take the Risk by doing what Oprah wants us to do. A Responsible Vote is what the people in Iowa, New Hampshire and every state will make and that is to vote for experience, which is what we need in the crucial times we are in. Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Clinton's experiences "make her uniquely qualified to lead our nation at this time of great challenge. She is the candidate with the strength and experience to restore America's standing in the world and to return the United States to a position of global leadership. Oprah please as nice as you seem to be do not expect all these people to put their future in the hands of inexperience and risk the future of our country, Mr. Obama you should have waited to 2016-Not now, you are to Risky. My vote will be a Responsible vote and I hope all of America will vote with their own minds... May God give us the wisdom to do the right thing and vote responsibly for the good of our Country and not let us be influence with Star Power,

    WOW (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jgarza on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:16:38 AM EST
    that was condescending.  Its really nice that you think you are intellectually superior to the 60,00 plus people who went to see Oprah and Obama.  

    I don't think there are many  people who are going to support Obama just because Oprah said she does.  I tihnk the event was a succes because his campaign was aware of that.  

    They used the crowd to boast practical things like there ground operation.  He is also going to get at least a half week of positive headlines, and a week, where any attack from Hillary can easily be written of as a desperate move.  ON top of all that he got to make his case to 60,000 people.   So thats why i call it a success.

    really makes me wonder if she thinks we are naive, just as her candidate a 2 year Jr. Senator.

    Clinton hasn't been a senator much longer than Barack, so i don't see what that has to do with anything.  I know that experience is the bux ward her campaign likes to use, but if that is the criteria most important to you, Dodd Biden and Richardson have much more experience.  


    The whole point of the Oprah rally (none / 0) (#22)
    by ding7777 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 06:07:43 AM EST
    was for Oprah to get the people to support Obama  "because Oprah said she does".  

    Which Republican policies that Oprah supported in the past is she so willing to abandon for Obama?  Or will Obama abandon the Progressive policies for Oprah?

    And why is ok for Obama to "attack" Hillary but its a no-no for Hillary to "attack" Obama?


    Oprah's a Union-Buster (none / 0) (#21)
    by TeddySanFran on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:31:07 AM EST
    There's not a single union worker in Harpo Enterprises.  It's not a coincidence there's an "Oprah Presents" tonite on ABCTV.  It's not a coincidence there's an Oprah Reality show scheduled for January.

    Support the WGA: Boycott Oprah!

    gee Jgarza, do you work at (none / 0) (#23)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 08:03:32 AM EST
    being dim, or does it just come naturally? personally, i suspect a combination of the two, but that's just me.

    for the record, obama hasn't much record, either nationally, or even as a state senator. last time i checked, foreign policy creds aren't a staple of state legislators.

    whether you agree with her or not, sen. clinton's adult professional and personal experience, in the national arena, far outweigh sen. obama's. thanks, i'll go with the surgeon who's actually performed more than one operation.

    my brother lives in chicago, and has for many years, during the time obama was a state senator. my bro was, um, underwhelmed by sen. obama's performance in the IL legislature.

    interestingly, obama's approach to all elective office campaigns seems consistent: offer platitudes without substance. i don't know if that's because he thinks so little of his constituent's ability to understand substance, or that he knows so little about the issues that he's unable to formulate actual coherent plans. in either event, i want details, as do most thinking people.

    ms. winfrey is a very successful entertainer, no question about that. however, that's all she is. she has no special insight into the issues facing us as a nation, nor any particular analytical expertise that she brings to the table.

    she tends to appeal (whether intentionally or not) to a class of women who seem to be guided more by emotion than logic. there's nothing wrong with emotion, it's a wonderful thing, but it also gave us ronald reagan and junior bush. thanks a lot.

    i would have been a lot more impressed had both the obama's and ms. winfrey told these women what, in their mind, were the important issues, and urged them to independently research them. it's not like the election is next month or anything.

    but no, they just dumped a big, hot, steaming pile o' "he's wonderful, vote for him" on them.

    how insulting.

    Amen, cpinva! (none / 0) (#24)
    by AscotMan on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 08:59:49 AM EST
    Tut! tut!! Jgarza, how dare you? Don't you know what it means to be underwhelmed by cpinva's brother? I mean, these are thinking people( as opposed to the idiots who have been overwhelmed by Obama) and they work very hard at being dim.
    As you can see, once in while, their hard work pays off.

    i would have been a lot more impressed had both the obama's and ms. winfrey told these women what, in their mind, were the important issues, and urged them to independently research them. it's not like the election is next month or anything.

    Exactly. As all celebrities do when they endorse politicians.

    Keep up the thinking, er...thinking man!


    Am I the only one.... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 09:36:44 AM EST
    who views inexperience in Washington as a plus?

    To borrow from Chris Rock in "Head of State"...do we really want someone experienced in cronyism, making enemies and war, running up debt, and weakening our standing in the world?  I'll take an amatuer...any amatuer.

    Obama = Reform, Clinton = More of the Same (none / 0) (#26)
    by Aaron on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:13:08 PM EST
    That's what it comes down to, like it or not

    And damn Jeralyn, it's like you just don't get it, either that or you're so in love with the idea of Hillary Clinton becoming president, that you're willing to give her a pass on all the SELLING-OUT that she's done since she became a senator, and during this campaign, far more than Barack Obama, if you want to compare records, especially on some of the most important big national issues, especially from the most progressive perspective.

    You think she'll have us out of Iraq before her first term ends?  Well the military-industrial complex in this country surely doesn't think so, and their donations to her campaign reflect their confidence.

    As I've said in the past your espousing of the left-leaning progressive agenda certainly comes into conflict with your support of Clinton, but I have the intellectual honesty to concede that compromises must be made in politics, that's what politics is all about.  But when it comes to supporting Clinton, you seem to be able to take this to the nth degree. I certainly don't see Clinton as more left-leaning than Obama, not when it comes to the deeper more substantive issues.  Rhetorically perhaps but in no other way.  The fact is Clinton is the Democratic corporate candidate, and she worked for many years to get herself in good with the establishment, because she knew how important their support was.  To the point where it's almost impossible for her to sell herself to the American people as the reform candidate.  That's a trick that only Bill could pull off.

    Hillary like Edwards is part of the elite in this country, just as you, a lawyer are part of that privileged elite.  Perhaps you recall Edwards saying on more than one occasion, that regardless of whether he gets the nomination or not, he'll be just fine, unlike the rest of America.  This was an amazing statement, which apparently none of his advisers had the presence of mind to tell him was not a good thing to keep repeating.  The American people who are struggling and suffering under this administration, certainly don't want to hear how the elites in this country will be just fine, regardless of who is elected.  But I think this is indicative of Edwards mindset, and why he is failing with his message.  And Clinton's problems mirror his, both of them need an attitude adjustment, because I believe they've lost touch with the people, the average everyday people who still have a say in who runs this country.

    And who else but a lawyer would be cynical enough to refer to hope, change and optimism as "platitudes", especially in a country that is desperately in need of the candidate who offers at least the possibility of change, hope and optimism.  Obama doesn't just throw these terms out as rhetorical devices, he conveys a sincerity when when using these terms, a sincerity that people respond to and appreciate.  Perhaps you should think about why Hillary does not engender hope and optimism or the prospect of change for many Americans.

     I will concede that in comparison to George W. Bush, Hillary seems a welcome relief, but I believe that most Americans want more than  just relief from the constant pain this administration has inflicted upon us, we want to be proud of our country again, we want the majority of Americans, a majority of more than 51% to be able to get behind a new leader, and help us silence the ugly vicious contemptible elements in this country, who will surely find new voice and power as a direct result of  their opposition to another Clinton presidency which will surely help to unify them once again.  Though they are fractured now, doubtless there agenda will be reinvigorated, simply by virtue of of having a Clinton in the White House.  And I suspect they will begin making progress once again in their efforts to manipulate the American people with Hillary as president.  

    I realize why you continue to post about Obama in this way, you really don't have anything to say about Clinton, nothing of substance anyway, because she's not willing to tell us anything of substance, knowing that if she does it will damage her position with the people who are filling her coffers, and with the support she's getting from the Beltway, and with the national media, all of which have agendas that don't necessarily coincide with that of the majority of the American people, or the best interests of this nation.

    And claiming that you prefer Clinton's approach to health care, over Obama's rings very hollow to my ears, since even those who have evaluated these rather broad plans don't understand how they would be implemented, or how mandates will be enforced, or how we'll get private insurers to actually pay for people's health care, once the people are sufficiently motivated to fork over their hard-earned dollars to the private insurance industry.  

    Here's an article from the weekly standard, that might help you with your anti-Obama rhetoric.

    Saint Barack of Iowa

    They subtly slight Obama, but are careful not to come down too hard on him because they like the idea of him doing damage to Clinton, who they see as the most dangerous threat to the Republican candidates.  They figure that if Obama wins the nomination, it won't be a problem defeating him because they can play the ni--er card, which I'm sure they believe will trump all other considerations in much of red and racist America. I think they underestimate the American people, and have been doing so for some time, and I really want them to play that race card in the national election, because that's what America needs to finally clean out the pipes and move forward into a new day in America.

    Instead of just being a cheerleader for Clinton, and failing rhetorically, which I imagine your hit numbers are beginning to reflect, perhaps you should have the courage to take a stand behind your candidate and start evaluating her weaknesses which have endangered the Clinton machine's acquisition of the Democratic nomination.  Here's an article that will help you in this regard.  Hillary had better take a page from her husband and learn how to adapt, because if she can't do it up against Obama, she will surely fail against the Republican nominee, who won't be nearly as kind or gentlemanly.

    Tension in Hillaryland Grows as Plan Goes Awry

    [Obama, they worried, can't win the nomination; voters aren't ready for an African-American president (a point expressed most directly by the two black women participants), and he may not be sufficiently experienced.
    A couple of victories in Iowa and New Hampshire would cure most of those problems.

    The concerns about Clinton, 60, a New York senator, are that she is devious, calculating and, fairly or not, a divisive figure in American politics.

    Those are a lot tougher to overcome. ]

    [Plan A Failing

    The Clinton organization had a clear plan A: It envisioned the candidate, as the choice of the party establishment and natural heir to the presidency, to so dominate 2007 that she would be able to corner, not have to capture, the nomination. It worked perfectly for most of the year.

    The strategy has imploded. In a similar situation, Bill Clinton would have changed plans on a dime -- he could have gone from B to E during a rest stop.

    Hillary has all the strengths cited by those Philadelphia Democrats and much more discipline than her husband. If she can't adjust and rise to this challenge, however, she may well finish third in the Iowa caucuses and lose to Obama in New Hampshire. In the past 30 years, no candidate has lost both these tests and won the nomination.]  

    As I said some months ago here and elsewhere, and was pooh-poohed by many, the people prefer Obama.

    Obama 08, strength, leadership, unity