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Oprah and Chelsea Clinton Hit Iowa

Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey at a rally in Des Moines Saturday. (Reuters).

DES MOINES, Dec. 8 -- Oprah Winfrey put her star power behind Sen. Barack Obama here on Saturday, telling a rapt audience of thousands that she is joining the fight for the White House because she is "so tired" of the status quo in Washington.

"You know I've never done this before and it feels like I'm out of my pew," Winfrey told the crowd, "I'm nervous."
Without mentioning Obama's chief rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), by name, Winfrey made a vigorous case against her, expressing concerned that "if we continued to do the same things over and over and over again, I know that you get the same results."

The dramatic appearance at a packed arena overlooking the state capitol by the popular talk-show host -- her first on behalf of a presidential candidate -- helped underscore the high stakes in the nation's first caucuses, which will be held on Jan. 3. Running neck-and-neck in the polls here and unable to predict how voters will react to sharp clashes close to the holidays, Clinton and Obama (D-Ill.) are campaigning furiously, with an emphasis on winning over female voters.

Clinging to her role as the national front-runner, Clinton scrambled to match the moment with her own advocates, bringing in both her elderly mother and her daughter, Chelsea, to campaign with her for the first time. Clinton struck a low-key note, all but conceding that Obama's high-wattage events would dominate the weekend news, and continued her efforts to get Iowans to turn out for her on caucus day.

"I always think it's better to go to the caucuses with a buddy, today I've got some buddies with me," Clinton told an audience in introducing her family.

Leading up to the speech, the Obama campaign all but ground to a halt as senior advisers in Chicago helped Winfrey prepare. Taking the stage in Des Moines, dressed in a lilac velvet suit and accompanied by the candidate's wife, Michelle, Winfrey initially appeared nervous and clutched a sheaf of papers as she spoke. But she quickly warmed to the crowd, her voice booming through the hall as she declared that "this is not a time for any of us to shrink away from a new, bold path for our country."

Obama appeared last, and, describing Winfrey as "someone who moves an entire nation" acknowledged that he was not the main attraction of the day. Winfrey shifted in her seat nervously as Obama piled on praise. "This is a wonderful person. We love her. I am grateful for her being here," he said, before turning towards his guest and adding, "she's embarrassed."

Polls show the top three Democrats -- Obama, Clinton and former Sen. senator John Edwards -- bunched closely at the front of the pack in Iowa. A central pivot point in the race, especially between Clinton and Obama, has been whether Democratic voters are looking for change or experience. Winfrey repeatedly proclaimed Obama as the only true change agent in the contest, discounting the Clinton campaign's argument that the former first lady represents both change and the experience needed to implement it.

"Experience in the hallways of government isn't as important to me as experience on the pathway of life," Winfrey said. "I challenge you to see through those people who try and convince you that experience with politics as usual is more valuable than wisdom won from years of serving people outside the walls of Washington, D.C.," Winfrey told the crowd estimated at more than 18,000.

"What we need is, we need a new way of doing business in Washington, D.C., and in the world," Winfrey said. "You know, I am so tired. I'm tired of politics as usual. That's why you seldom see politicians on my show -- because I only have an hour."

Winfrey said she has voted for as many Republicans in the past as she had Democrats, declaring that her current support for Obama was not about partisan politics. The Clinton campaign played down the significance of the moment and declined, as they have since Winfrey's decision to back Obama was first announced, to offer any direct rebuttals.

The crowd responded to Winfrey enthusiastically even when she alluded to his opposition. "We the people can see through all that rhetoric," Winfrey said. "We recogize recognize that the amount of time that you've spent in Washington means nothing unless you're accountable for the judgments you made with the time you had.
"We need good judgment," she continued. "We need Barack Obama."

People began arriving hours before the 3:30 central local time appearance; about 23,000 tickets were dispensed and attendees weathered sub-freezing temperatures and a wintry mix of snow and ice to make it to Hy-Vee Hall.

Clinton's counter-programming included three small-scale events scattered outside Des Moines. At a stop Saturday morning in Winterset, about 100 people gathered in a chilly warehouse at the local airport, where Clinton addressed health care, veterans' benefits and organic farming. Her daughter and mother sat off to the side of the stage, smiling and clapping with the crowd. Neither spoke, although Chelsea Clinton worked the crowd energetically afterwards with a gracious "Hi, thank you for coming," while urging people to support Clinton on Jan. 3. Clinton ignored questions about the Winfrey event, turning away from the microphones to shake hands along the rope line.

It was far removed from the celebrity buzz generated by Winfrey, although Bea Leonard's 8-year-old grandson Spencer was giddy, having secured autographs from each of the three women on a baseball he had brought along. "She makes such a good impression," Leonard said, as Clinton carefully inscribed her name with a blue felt pen. But she said she was not n't ready to commit just yet. She also likes New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Heidi Reimer, who works in an eyeglass factory in Afton, thought about driving into Des Moines to see the Obama event but, worried about icy roads, took in the event here instead. "I'm kind of going a little more toward her," she said, gesturing to Clinton. But the Winfrey factor does give her pause. "I think it will make a difference," she said.
"I didn't decide until today, but I enjoyed what I saw and what I heard," said Amy Randolph of Des Moines. Randolph signed up as an official Obama supporter at the event, and Winfrey, she said, helped to validate her sense that he was the Democratic candidate most likely to shake up Washington, D.C. "My feelings about Oprah and Obama are the same," Randolph said.

Maureen McGarry of West Des Moines, a political independent who is shopping both sides for a 2008 candidate, said she heard about Obama's stirring speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner last month, and was disappointed that he did not deliver a repeat performance yesterday. Instead, Obama offered an abbreviated version of his stump speech.

"I was curious about Barack's message, that's why I got the tickets," said McGarry said. "I thought there would be more." She came away impressed with Winfrey, and a little surprised at the force with which she delivered her endorsement." I love Oprah, but today was about finding out more" about Obama, she said. Her conclusion: "He's very charismatic."

Saralyn Alderman, who drove from Ames for the event with her daughter and a group of friends, said she has followed Obama's career since he was elected to the Senate in 2004. The 58-year-old has never attended a caucus, but said she is committed to showing up this year. She's a big Winfrey fan, but said the candidate's appeal was not lost in the glare.

"It got a lot of people here, which is good," she said of the talk-show host's appearance. "But the ones I know came because of him."

--Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh Murray

By Post Editor  |  December 8, 2007; 8:51 PM ET
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I have yet to decide where I stand with this election. I want change as well I just wish there was another conteneder other than an ex first lady with no real political experience and another inexperienced candidate in Obama. They're both nice people with genuine desire to win and do some good but I just can't see handing over the reins to either of them, especially in the middle of the Iraq quagmire. Barack can't go to a G8 meeting, smile and shake hands and speak in generalities and Hillary will never be seen as the real leader with Bill Clinton by her side. Why do we not have a serious candidate on the democratic side?

Having said that, my opinion is that Oprah hurt Obama with her speech and her presence. She has a following but I feel her political career will go the way of her movie career - she had the power and the ego to try something and failed. Had it not been for her Martin Luther King -like tone as if trying to lead the crowd into battle, I would have taken it better. Oprah has a lot of money and influence but there are a lot of people who have more money than Oprah and are spending it more wisely. Take Warren Buffet for example.

Her tone made me recoil and cringe and I'm sure many others felt the same way. Sell me a book, interview Will Smith, start a school, but don't tell me who to vote for. Promoting him on her own show was withing the context of her fame; speaking to thousands outside of that platform and she appears like a shill. Iowans will see this and there may be a blowback in the form of people on the fence not voting for Obama only because that's what she wanted.

Stay on TV but stay out of the race or run for yourself. Quit ruining and shaming and demeaning the democratic race.

Barack genuinely wants change but he won't have the power to get anything done and Hillary genuinely wants change but she's too tied into the Beltway. She couldn't do anything for healthcare now we're going to hand her the keys for the entire country? Can we please find a real candidate with REAL experience to offer?

Posted by: mattg_661 | December 11, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I feel that obama is losing the magic, and oprah wil prove to have a negative effect. obama is begining to sound like a political wind-bag and losing that charm that he originally had. oprah go back to your tv show, politics is not your game.

Posted by: ebrizz | December 11, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

T0 the person who asks this question: "Why would she endorses a candidate this early on and go all out to campaign even before any American has cast a single vote in a party caucus?
She picked her candidate pretty well.Obama has no real hardcore credential. she can rightfully claim success for his Presidency, if it happens"
Do you really believe this? You are funny!
Do you believe her audience could BE any bigger? And yeah, WHY indeed would she back a political candidate when it doesn't do a thing for her career?
I know it's hard for many to believe, but sometimes people do something because it's the right thing to do. Oprah Winfrey has NOT gotten political on her show in order to remain untouched by the goo that is politics. She is suupporting Obama for the same reason most of us are - because he is an inspiring leader. He's The Real Thing and we don't get one of those very often.
Put down your cynicism and do the right thing!
Obama '08!

Posted by: sheridan1 | December 10, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with zukermand'c comments about the snide slant in the coverage against Clinton, but this seems to be Kornblut's sole reason for existance. The media has been practically wetting themselves over this Oprah-Obama coverage--so what happens when he loses, does Oprah do the James Frey confession type show? And please, it is not politically correct to say it, but Oprah is doing this because Obama is (half) black and she wants more power and influence. And she is looking fat, too.

Posted by: rdklingus | December 10, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

WOW, Chelsea Clinton in Iowa!!! THE Chelsea Clinton!!!! What a huge story!! By the way, who is that "Oprah" lady that got to share the headline with Chelsea?

Posted by: wjennings13 | December 9, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse


"probably" in the above post should have been "probable."

liability should have been "likability."

While we're at it: Did the BCS screw up big time, or what? There's another bad product which needs less marketing, not more.

Poor Georgia. They will be hard pressed to beat Hawaii in New Orleans and they almost certainly won't cover.

Posted by: yxgeo | December 9, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

It is not pretty watching the Clinton candidacy hit the dead end.

And OMG, think how awful it is for Big Media, which reaps billion$ in ad revenue from Big Pharma and Big Health Insurance and HMO's, to come to a realization that they might not be getting the security blanket they have bought from the Clintons. Let's take Gannett as an example. It owns the Des Moines Register and has had a beat reporter attached to Hillary's campaign, but not to Obama or Edwards -- a Hillary beat writer who pumps out nothing but puff pieces. For YTD through November 4, 2007, Gannett's ad revenue from national advertising and tv-radio advertising was over $1.2 billion, of which nearly $200 million was for pharmaceuticals (all that when-the-moment-is-right deluge). So the DM Register, like WaPo and NY Times, keeps producing fawning coverage of Hillary because they know Hillary leads to either no change on health care or health care only a pharmaceutical company could love. Obama, meanwhile, talks about reducing costs, which, at 16 percent of GDP and a recession coming, can be done by moving incrementally to a single payer system.

A Clinton candidacy will unite Republicans and prevent a Democratic Congressional landslide. The last Democratic landslide was 1964 and led to both the Voting Rights Act and Medicare being enacted the following year (the year Hillary was a Wellesley freshman and President of the Wellesley Young Republicans).

As to dedication to health care, if HRC has been so dedicated, why has it taken 13 long years, from 1994 to now, to decide it's a front burner issue? And remember, she was not first out of the gate on it this year; John Edwards was. In the first debate Hillary saw health care reform as a second term issue. She has only been dragged reluctantly to the issue this time around and has provided essentially no specifics on how to finance costs.

Reality is that the degree of health care reform and movement toward a single-payer system is a function of votes in Congress, not of campaign promises.

2008 looks from here like a Democratic landslide, but not if Hillary is the candidate. She might squeak out a victory, but not out here in the Mountain West, she will cost one or two Congressional representative per state.

Both her on-the-spot reactions and her deliberate policy positions show she is simply politically tone deaf. Viz., her ultimate posture to oppose universal driver licensing. What does that mean? Ticking off Hispanic voters and all those thoughtful Democrats who sympathize with the plight of undocumented people. That's what it means. So while Tancredo, Giuliani and Romney are trying to hand the Latino vote to the Democratic Party for the next 20 years, taking a page right out of Pete Wilson's Prop 187 California play book, Hillary is turning down the gift. Why? Triangulation, that's why. Acting as though her nomination is assured and she'd rather be President than be right.

Two Mountain West states license ALL drivers. Republican Utah and Democratic New Mexico. It's a common sense public safety issue. But Hillary could not resist demagoguery so she finally said she was against universal driver's licensing after she said she was for it.

Now the real story in Iowa yesterday, as one commenter noted above, is that Oprah and Obama drew almost 30,000 in two venues, while Hillary, her mother and her daughter opened the day to a crowd described, charitably, as less than a hundred, in a frigid airplane hanger at Winterset, Iowa and went on from there to a couple of small town school stops, with advance work so bad that press found out about Chelsea from a commercial airline passenger who saw her on a flight into Des Moines.

That was Friday. Saturday brought Oprah and Obama doing a crowd of 30,000 in So. Carolina while McClatchey polls show HRC's So. Carolina lead has disappeared. Saturday also brought a Newsweek poll showing Hillary trailing in Iowa among probably Democratic caucus goers by 40 to 27 percent.

We are now going to watch the huge part of Big Labor which has yet to endorse sitting on the sidelines throughout December (which for political campaign purposes is all but over as Christmas advertising and holiday rituals command voter attention).

My gut, as a guy who grew up in Nebraska, with an entire extended family of Iowans, is that the Hillary Iowa slide could go just as far as did Howard Dean's four years ago.

That's because she was not where she was on likability (Nixonian charisma and Nixonian phony forced one-of-the-boys humor gets no liability points) but on inevitability, cleverly pushed by Big Media, which has a vested interest in her winning and keeping health care reform (which they see, correctly, as pharmaceutical advertising revenue reform) at bay.

The fatal blow was probably her meltdown when they put out the release saying Obama has been plotting for the Presidency since a newly discovered kindergarten teacher in Indonesia who was quoted as saying he wrote a kindergarten essay on his goal of becoming President. Apparently no one in the meeting had the guts to challenge her on putting out the release and suggest, at the very least, that they run it by Bill before going with it. THEN they put Mark Penn out to try to say it was a joke. Well the Des Moines Register did not run it as a joke. They ran it as they run all of her stuff, as a serious piece, which it was. Its problem was that it was preposterous.

We can deduce how all of that happened. She doubtless convened Penn and Wolfson and the other acolytes, chewed them out, told them it was their job to trash Obama and they had failed, so if they could not get that job done, SHE would go out and do it. Which she just tried, with disastrous results (net shift of about 5 percent of probably Iowa caucus goes from Edwards to Obama). So she's stuck for now on a ceiling of about 28 percent, which, based on past Iowa experience, has nowhere to go but down.

She has zero Huckabee potential. She is not a fresh fragrance waiting to be discovered. She is also starting to look like the marketing staff's worst nightmare: an enormous ad budget to promote a product which is flawed. Thus the more it's advertised, the greater the velocity at which the market finds out it's flawed and quits buying.

The smartest Clinton operative was the one who authored the memo a few months back recommending that they skip Iowa. That, and building a big New Hampshire firewall, might have worked. Now it's too late to spin that Iowa does not matter and the rocket ride Obama takes out of Iowa will probably carry him through New Hampshire and after she's lost twice in five days it will be time to stick a fork in the campaign and start really serious speculation on who will be Obama's VP nominee. My money is on Mike Bloomberg, but, hey, it's still early.


Telluride, Colorado

Posted by: yxgeo | December 9, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

It's clear that Republicans want to relive the 90s with their hate Clinton agenda since it's the only thing that unites them. Any of the Democratic candidates will be a vast improvement but Obama doesn't have the baggage. Let's move on!

Posted by: david_sites | December 9, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's historic statement at the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 that "women's rights are human rights" still echoes worldwide. As a lawyer, advocate, First Lady, and senator, Hillary has fought for issues important to women here at home and around the world for decades. Today, despite the progress women have made, they earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn -- and women of color earn even less. Hillary is leading the charge in the Senate to strengthen equal pay laws and end pay disparities between men and women. She introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen the penalties associated with wage discrimination, to ensure that the federal government sets a higher standard, and to increase oversight of employers. Hillary has also worked to increase access to capital and other support for women-owned businesses.
When it comes to each woman's ability to make the most personal of life decisions, Hillary has stood firm as an advocate for a woman's right to choose. She has expanded access to family planning services, including for low-income women. She spoke out forcefully against the Supreme Court's April 2007 decision that -- for the first time in decades -- failed to recognize the importance of women's health.
Hillary has worked to empower women throughout the world, especially low-income women. She has advocated for access to microfinance programs that enable women to start their own businesses and spoken out strongly against the tragic practice of sex trafficking.
As president, Hillary will continue her lifelong fight to ensure that all Americans are treated with respect and dignity.

Hillary has fought the relentless and insidious efforts by far-right Republicans to limit the protections of Roe v Wade, while also working hard to expand access to family planning services.
Hillary has seen what happens when governments try to control a woman's reproductive health decisions. Whether it was Romania under a dictatorship saying you had to have children for the good of the state or China saying you had to have only one child for the good of the state, governments have dictated the most private and important decisions that we as individuals or families can make.
She has championed the Prevention First Act, which expands access to family planning services for low-income women, requires health insurance companies to cover contraception, and provides a dedicated funding stream for age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sex education.
As First Lady, she helped pass the Family and Medical Leave Act and helped found the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancies, which established and achieved a goal of reducing teen pregnancies by one-third between 1996 and 2005.
In partnership with Senator Patty Murray, Hillary waged a successful three-year battle to get the Food and Drug Administration to accept the overwhelming recommendation of the medical community and make Plan B (the "morning after" pill) available over the counter.
Hillary's work to empower low-income women has changed lives. She fought for the elimination of school fees, which prevent poor children in some countries from attending school, and for investments in health care and education for women and girls. And she helped found Vital Voices, a not-for-profit organization that continues to work to support women's leadership around the globe.

Posted by: dyck21005 | December 9, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Oprah is a TV celebrity whose shows need higher ratings every year...At core, she is a business woman who reaps benefits from giving away money and things on the show and off ...and she becomes more watched and popular...and the money machine is humming louder...

Oprah coming into electoral politics after so many years of staying away signifies one thing - she needs to expand her base ... Why would she endorses a candidate this early on and go all out to campaign even before any American has cast a single vote in a party caucus? other than because she is seeking fresh pasture ...a new relevance ...a higher power...

She picked her candidate pretty well...Obama has no real hardcore credential ...she can rightfully claim success for his Presidency, if it happens.

If she was truly looking for what we need in an American President today, she would have considered Bill Richardson more highly! But of course, he is a man and white too!

Endorsements are today a political and business calculation. Oprah is a business woman seeking political influence! And Obama is cynical enough to play this game, never mind that his crowds cheering is just a reflected glory and adulation for a TV phenomena. It does not matter how he wins I guess!

Posted by: latha39 | December 9, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The reason Oprah resonates with so many viewers across the country is that she is genuine-- which is also one of the appealing characteristics about Obama. They both speak to a broader yearning of the American people to move beyond the partisanship of the last few decades. The only reason that Obama is not leading national polls is that the American people don't know him yet. Once Oprah gets them to tune in, they'll learn more about the candidate and realize he's the one person who can bring together the country and restore our image in the world.

Bill Clinton is extraordinary at connecting with the "average American", and has been a strong advocate for the working class and minorities. Thus far, Hillary Clinton has benefited from her husband's political capital with these constituencies. But in the end, they're not supporting her, they're remembering him. Whether it's fair or not, she engenders such animosity from the right that she ends up unifying them. Despite the lackluster Republican field, if Clinton were to be the Democratic nominee, the country would once again be divided among red and blue.

Posted by: kmcnyasha | December 9, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

There is no job in the world that prepares anyone for being President of the United States of America.

All experience means is that you have met some heads of state, or know where to find Mongolia on a map.

It is a job unique in and of itself. Just look at some of the experienced "loser presidents" we have had in the past.

This election is waking up the nation and making everyone think before they vote. That is a good thing.

Posted by: houston.evelyn | December 9, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

On Oprah: She went out campaigning for her friend, Barack Obama and her role was to bring in women who may not have concidered Obama and were supporting Hillary based solely on gender alone. She said in her speech she was just wanting people to listen and think.
The whole thing was very well done. you could tell Oprah was nervous as this is something she never has done before. She came out to help a friend who she really believes in and respects alot.
Obama looked very happy and at ease and gave a wonderful speech. People looked like they were glad they came.

Chelsea: I do not like Hillary. but, there is something about Chelsea that I've always liked. Maybe because she is my daughter's age and she has some ways about her that remind me of Kelly.
If it was Chelsea running I'd definitely be supporting her. I just like this young woman and admire her poise and am really happy to see her turn out the way she has. she is definitely a winner and has alot of charm.

Posted by: vwcat | December 9, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This is nuts. Your bias is incredible. She does some low key campaigning with her family adn that's scrambling? Disgusting.

Posted by: hbp1 | December 9, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

bymyside, how can you say Hillary is committed to health care? She has been working on it for years now, and has accomplished so little. She failed so bad in 1992 it set reform back years and millions have suffered.

Hillary is too indebted to the drug companies to get anything done.

Posted by: julia1 | December 9, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I 've talked to 4 people who went to see Obama-Oprah yesterday. All for went in as strong Edwards supporters, and 3 of them have came out as leaning towards Obama. They said it was the way Oprah spoke and Obama follwed really had them wanting change. They also said that Obama actually gave the better speech which they were surprised by. But, they also wished Oprah would have talked more.

And to all of the haters out there, Oprah is not selecting the next President. But she might make people who were solidly behind one candidate to take a fresh look at Obama.

And her judgment arguement is spot on. All we need to do is look at Cheney/Rumsfield. Where did their experience get us?

Posted by: mcmahon10 | December 9, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

If there is one thing I am passionate about it is health care. Another woman equally passionate and strongly committed to the same topic is Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Hillary's American Health Choices Plan will secure, simplify and ensure choice in health coverage for all Americans. The plan covers every American - finally addressing the needs of the 47 million uninsured and the tens of millions of hard-working Americans who live in fear of losing their health coverage - with no overall increase in health spending or taxes. For people who have health insurance, the plan builds on the current system to give businesses and their employees a greater choice of health plans, including keeping the one they have, while lowering cost and improving quality. Sen. Clinton's plan includes refundable, income-related tax credits for working families. It also creates a small-business tax credit to make it easier for small businesses to create new jobs with health care for workers here in the United States.
In response to your editorial ("Don't get sidetracked by the mandate debate," Monitor, Dec. 7), I believe Hillary's health care experience shines through because her plan ensures affordability and guarantees coverage through an individual mandate. Independent experts time and again have argued that by mandating everyone sign up for health care, we will finally be able to balance costs and cover everyone. Younger Americans will sign up, and uninsured people will not have to walk into emergency rooms to receive more expensive care. As a physician, nothing is more heartbreaking to me than the patient who is in desperate need of a procedure but cannot afford it because her insurance doesn't cover it, or she is uninsured altogether.
Another aspect of Hillary's plan that really resonates with me is prevention. What my colleagues and I have known for years and what insurance companies have been slow to pick up on is that the benefits of prevention greatly offset its cost. The epidemic of childhood obesity is a perfect example. When kids learn healthy habits early on, they can often avoid becoming obese - a condition that leads to heart disease, diabetes, and overall poor health. Hillary's plan will prioritize prevention to reduce the incidence of so many avoidable diseases.
Hillary is committed to health care and will not let insurance companies dictate who does or doesn't receive coverage. Under Sen. Clinton's plan, insurance companies won't be able to deny you coverage or drop you because you are considered "high-risk" for illness or have a pre-existing condition. When she is in the White House, Hillary Clinton will end this common practice. Her plan creates rules all insurers must follow, ensuring that no American is denied coverage, refused renewal of an insurance policy, unfairly priced out of the market, or charged excessive insurance premiums.
The senator has worked tirelessly to reform America's health care system for years and she has achieved real results for American families. She championed the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which now covers 6 million children; she reached across the aisle with Senate Republicans to expand TriCare for National Guard members and reservists; she fought to ensure drugs marketed to children are safe and effective for children and successfully pushed for legislation to allow Medicare patients 40 and older to receive mammograms.
As I have watched and listened to Hillary Clinton campaign in New Hampshire, I see and hear a candidate who has the experience, commitment and passion to lead starting on Day One. My background in health care and my work as first lady have provided me with the confidence to endorse Sen. Clinton for president. Under her leadership we will have a healthier, more secure and economically stable country.
(Dr. Susan Lynch of Hopkinton, first lady of New Hampshire,

Posted by: dyck21005 | December 9, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama is ready to lead!

He has the kind of experience we need, but most of all judgment and change we can believe in!


Posted by: bymyside | December 9, 2007 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama is the 1...

Many are on the wrong side of history on this. Call me naive but from the beginning I just get THAT feeling about him. That feeling of capability, goodness, sincerity, intelligence and competence. None of the other candidates evoke those feelings in me.....Oprah sees it too. And everyone that gives Obama a listen eventually does as well....This is as big as JFK, MLK, Lincoln......just wait, you'll come around too :-)


Posted by: SvK1 | December 9, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Do you agree with Oprah that "Judgment Matters More Than Experience"?


Posted by: jeffboste | December 9, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton today in South Carolina = 120 women

Chelsea, Grandma Dorothy and Hillary = 100 people

Oprah and Michelle and Barack = 29,000 people (Des Moines and Cedar Rapids)

Hillary must be hanging on to her "national front-runner status" by the skin of her teeth.

And Chelsea big moment was working the rope line? Sigh....

Now is the time and HE is the ONE!

Posted by: jade7243 | December 9, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

It is great the Oprah can help get exposure for Obama. Barack Hussein Obama is a fantastic candidate, and if Oprah can get people to go to his campaign web site or otherwise listen to his plans for the future, I think most people will agree with Oprah. This is a candidate worthy of endorsement.

Posted by: DanFromTX | December 9, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I believe most of the candidates have good ideas, and the best of intentions for our country and the world...however only Senator OBAMA has the talent we need to bring Washington out of gridlock and put the good ideas to work and reach the rest of the world on all the important issues, all the other candidates are lacking in the confidence and hope he has in regular Americans. I like his faith, I like his friends, I like his Audacity of Hope!

Posted by: sundancepdx | December 8, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't want Oprah picking my President. She should stick to her gossip programs that made her rich. No I don't wish to have Oprah for President.

Posted by: pnbeatty | December 8, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

oprah and obama = positive dynamic duo
this country needs obama in 08 ; what a lift oprah has provided to this little engine that could named obama who shall sail thru the 08 nomination ; hillary s lead shall totally vanish as times go on and as people discover more obama and see
how his leadership will lift america back
to its best days to come ; I am optimistic
america will be back as the nation that once was under the obama administration

Posted by: akissai | December 8, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Lioness and efadams. The Hillaryland trolls have to come out and trash anything about Obama.
Jealousy and desperation and fear are very ugly things.
But, they should take cheer in that Hillary will always have 'Babs'
I support Obama and am glad his friend Oprah came out to support him. She put alot on the line in doing so.
The event seemed to be very tasteful and a great event for those in Iowa.
And Oprah is right in that this country needs Obama to be president and bring this country together

Posted by: vwcat | December 8, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

If Oprah had endorsed Senator Clinton instead of Senator Obama, I'm sure tI wouldn't be reading the kind of vitriolic comments posted above.

Posted by: efadams_53 | December 8, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

A lot of anger against Oprah in the first two comments.

Is it jealousy - because the BEST candidate got her endorsement, and not Hillary?

That's what it sounds like.

Obama for President!

Posted by: Lioness1 | December 8, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, can't you two ask for another assignment? It's just fundamentally and morally wrong you are doing this. There are serious issues of life and death for tens, even hundreds of thousands of people involved here, and you two can't seem to set aside your personal BS and do your jobs responsibly and professionally. While you will probably suffer no repercussions, more likely the high profile assignment will get you more TV appearances and more paper and web space, don't you still have to look yourselves in the mirror and live with the knowledge of what you are doing for the rest of your lives? There are real people in real trouble now, and what you are doing has real repercussions. Think about it. Fame and fortune aren't everything. Do the right thing, please, you'll be better people for it.

Posted by: zukermand | December 8, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

"Clinging to her role as the national front-runner, Clinton scrambled to match the moment with her own advocates, bringing in both her elderly mother and her daughter, Chelsea, to campaign with her for the first time."

"Clinging"? "Elderly"? "Scrambled"?

Why are you two so determined to choose our nominee for us? Do you just figure you know what's good for us? Are you a couple of insecure losers who always wanted to be Heathers and finally have your chance? I'm getting sick of this crap.

"Clinton struck a low-key note, all but conceding that Obama's high-wattage events would dominate the weekend news, and continued her efforts to get Iowans to turn out for her on caucus day."

So she "scrambled to match the moment" AND she "struck a low key note" simultaneously?
Who reasons this way? Not normal people, and certainly not professional journalists. Have you people no shame?

Posted by: zukermand | December 8, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

oprah is not a spiritual leader
not the echt thing anymore if ever she was.
Today we see gigantic devouring OPRAH
Inc. who can't stand a close up without 'loosing it'
if the camera in search of uncomfortable truths behind her own scandal in her own 'looking' perfect school.
Oprah should retire for a while.
distance herself from gift bags
perfumes + chocolotes and her own obese ego.
she is talented. she can reinvent herself easily.
Her pr pitch speech selling Obama
not effective rather the opposite.

Posted by: tabita | December 8, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Oprah was the one who parroted the neocon talking points and shut down anyone who dared to doubt it. herez a video as an example.

Posted by: chris29 | December 8, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

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