Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oprah To the Rescue.

Just when you though The Obama Express was derailing, here comes Harpo to the rescue.

Invitations have been sent out for what promises to be a must-attend event for much of California's Democratic elite, particularly those in the entertainment industry: a Sept. 8 fundraiser for Barack Obama at Oprah Winfrey's home in the Santa Barbara area.

In the best tradition of Hollywood, the e-mail touting the afternoon gathering doesn't mince words, promoting it as no less than "the most exciting Barack Obama event of the year anywhere ..." And the invite urges haste in responding, saying: "Please get back to us soon before it sells out."

Oprah endorsed Obama, who she got to know through their mutual home bases in Chicago, back in the spring --- the first time she had ever officially embraced a White House contender. At the time, she told CNN's Larry King, "I haven’t done it in the past because ... I didn’t know anybody well enough to be able to say, ‘I believe in this person.’
Oprah's never made a foray into politics, especially not publicly endorsing a candidate for national office before, so this will be uncharted territory for her. If she is serious about getting behind him, she can undoubtedly use her show in the fall to help his cause, as well as the obvious fundraising benefits.

At well over 50 years old, and with plenty of money in the bank, this strikes me as a good time for Oprah to silence her critics who have over the years accused her of not being vocal enough on issues to blacks, for fear of alienating her mostly white female fan base. If there's anyone who can help Barry eat away at Hillary Clinton's advantage among women and blacks (yes, she leads in early polls), then it's Oprah. Or, she could simply play the neutral role on her show and not publicly endorse him.

We'll see how this one plays out.

Oprah to host Obama fundraiser [LA Times]

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