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Oprah to Hit Trail For Obama on Dec.8

Updated: 12:45 p.m.

It's official: the only surrogate arguably more popular than former Pres. Bill Clinton is hitting the road over the next few weeks.

Oprah Winfrey--who long ago endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, and could be his best hope for peeling away women voters from Sen. Hillary Clinton--will campaign with the Illinois senator in Iowa on Dec. 8, with additional stops in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Dec. 9.

"Oprah is a great friend," Obama told reporters in Littleton, N. H. today. "Obviously she is beloved across the country...campaigns are not just about issues and policy but about bringing people together and this creates excitement and an event and hopefully we can attract some people who might not otherwise be interested in politics."

Asked if Oprah is a better surrogate than Bill Clinton, he said "Bill Clinton is a great surrogate for Hillary as well. And so you know if he wanted to endorse me, I'd take it. I don't think he will."

He continued his argument with Clinton on health care, arguing the mandate she has proposed and that he rejects is a "political talking point" until Clinton details how she will punish people who don't purchase health insurance. Clinton aides have said the New York Senator would determine with Congress how to enforce a mandate if she were elected.


--Anne E. Kornblut and Perry Bacon Jr.

Read more on Oprah and Obama here.

By Post Editor  |  November 26, 2007; 9:42 AM ET
 
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Comments

People who usually participate in primaries and caucuses (and off-year elections) are usually "strong partisans" who take the time to incur the costs of determining who the best candidate will be for their party (i.e. increase their political sophistication by reading, research, listening to pundits and the candidates, talking to other voters, etc.). They also employ cues/heuristics to choose the candidate that they not only like the most, but they believe eventually has the highest electability quotient. After the frontloaded primaries are over, most people's party identification will kick in (the most obvious heuristic) and most Dems will vote for the Dem nominee, most Reps will vote for the Rep nominee, Independents are mostly "leaning partisans" (with very few "pure" Independents) and will vote in the direction in which they lean.

Regarding Clinton, Oprah, Streisand, and other high-profile figures getting on the campaign trail - I think that using a high-profile figure to stump during the primary season doesn't affect strong partisans that much. What it does do is bring out weaker partisans, leaners, and Independents - voters who otherwise would withhold active political participation until it is time to cast a vote for president in November.

(Sorry if I've gone on too long - I'm practicing for my Ph.D. comps in Political Science next year - this helps a little...) :-)

Posted by: Knathenak2 | November 27, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Oprah will provide a great service to our country is she spares us from Hillary.Hillary purports to be the smartest woman on the planet;however, she flunked her bar examination in Washington,D.C. and then concealed the fact for 30 years.
She had to know the truth about her husband's sexual involvement with an intern only a few years older than his daughter,yet she told a national television audience that the affair was fabrication by a vast right wing conspiracy.When considering Bill's history and his propensities for this kind of behavior, Hillary had to know that the the rumors had veracity.
To explain her affirmative vote on the Iraq War, Hillary said that she had conducted her own independent, extensive research. Why did her research yield the wrong conclusions? Maybe Oprah will help us to understand why we do not need Hillary.

Posted by: tsapp77 | November 26, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Oprah will have very little effect on who is president. There may be many who watch her but many women dislike and resent her, not because she is rich but because she think's she is hot stuff(which she isn't)

Posted by: nobush | November 26, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

This is so true, the excitment around Obama draws people and makes more people interested in politics. He is truely changing American politics for the better.

"Obama called Winfrey "a great friend," adding "obviously she is beloved across the country."

"Campaigns are not just about issues and policy but about bringing people together and this creates excitement and an event and hopefully we can attract some people who might not otherwise be interested in politics," Obama said.

Posted by: ESR1 | November 26, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

BB60, is that information planted?

Posted by: yiannis | November 26, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

This may be the beginning of the end of Ms. Clinton's campaign. Thank God!

Posted by: zb95 | November 26, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi a fighter? I can't see how someone who wants to destroy the 2nd ammendment a hero. And after a few short years you will see Hillary will NOT make you be proud of our country again. What will make me proud is when everyone is not so party-divided kind of like in the 6 months after 9/11, no matter if you were a democrat or republican, you supported the president, everyone cared about the others. America was close. Thats what I want to see again.

Posted by: tenniswrestler | November 26, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Oprah will give Barack much needed exposure. He will take advantage of it by continuing to expound on his common sense approach to politics. He will continue to make converts out of all groups. Hillary will continue to weaken, she has peaked far too early and Brack Obama is just getting rolling. I am afraid that Hillary will mobilize too many people against another Clinton presidency. This is beginning to happen now.
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2645320920071126
She now trails 5 Republican Candidates in polls where she once dominated.

Posted by: eSPO1 | November 26, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

i have a year to decide on my vote. at this time i am not 'feeling' obama at all. my vote is swinging toward hillary for the single fact that she will be the first woman president of our beloved united states - kaboom! i could feel proud of our country again. anyway, anita hill comes the forefront of my memory - clarence thomas only got in by being a misogynist rat bastard. of course, this has nothing to do with obama, but i'm so tired of men, period. for me, pelosi has really brought dignity to politics as well as class. what a fighter.

Posted by: choqokat | November 26, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

stanjax, I do agree change is needed. The dems need to loose control of congress, because that would be CHANGE. Don't you just hate it when pirates run the country, at least they die without fear, for the good of what their fighting for. In that case, stanjax, Im glad to be a pirate, its better than an idiot like you.

Posted by: tenniswrestler | November 26, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is dropping because she's tainted. Exposed taking lobbyist's money,planting questions and sitting on Wal-Mart's board when atrocities took place including crapping on women. She was silent and only came out of her shell to grab that fat corporate check. She's phoney and people know it, don't like it and don't want another politricksters.
Meanwhile, the GOP as we know it is dead in this country. They are nothing but PIRATES plundering America's treasurey for the good of wealthy crooks. Americans are sick of that as well. Change. Real change is what we want.

Posted by: stanjax3 | November 26, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Those who say Oprah has been successful at selling books miss the bigger point. Even more than literature what Winfrey sells are IDEAS. This is why she may prove a far more potent advocate than Bill Clinton.

Posted by: GordonsGirl | November 26, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Hurrah! He's a first class human being and so is she!
David

Posted by: dandb3 | November 26, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Oprah is not a reason to not support Obama. His policies should determine that. I think her joining Obama's campaign will untimately hurt Hillary Clinton. Oprah is a "puppeteer" for many women accross the states. She is greatly admired by everyone and her views could sway other peoples votes. I found a great site on campaign issues. Visit www.mitchellinteractive.com

Posted by: tenniswrestler | November 26, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Yet another reason not to support Obama. I initially liked what he represented, but lately he has come out for jacking up social security taxes, rewarding illegal immigrants and now this. A write-in candidate is looking more and more promising.

Posted by: merganser | November 26, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Like any American else, like Bill Clinton, like chuck Norris, like Madeleine Allbright, like...Oprah has the full right to go on the campaign trail. There is absolutely notjing wrong in here. And she has the right to change her mind who should be president. Are the same people who voted for John Edward or Mc Cain going to vote again for them? No, some have changed their mind and found better candidates...And it is normal

Posted by: christophefiero | November 26, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Nov. 21, 2005 at the International Emmy Awards (when Obama was just a part time state senator)

Hillary Clinton introduced Oprah at the Awards Ceremony

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Senator Hillary Clinton and TV host Oprah Winfrey. According to the Gallup poll, they are the two most admired women in America. They had a very interesting and possibly politically significant encounter at the International Emmy Award ceremony Monday evening.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you. I hope you do us a privilege and run for office. Thank you...

(APPLAUSE)

... president of the United States."

Guess being a BFF of Obama changes her opinion of who should be the next Commander in Chief -Maybe someone who she knows better will come along between now and the primaries-Maybe Barack had better cover his back. Wow- not only does Oprah determine what Americans read but now she tells us who should be President- We've come a long way baby- and it's pretty scary.

Posted by: BB60 | November 26, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What a disservice to Barack Obama and his campaign, Ms. Kornblut! Oprah Winfrey is NOT his best hope of courting women voters.

In fact, in the latest polls, more women have named him their first choice, than they have Hillary Clinton.

Obama's campaign and legislative history stand on their own.

Posted by: dani2914 | November 26, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

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