Could Oprah siphon off enough female support to get Barack nominated?
Oprah Winfrey, the nation’s wealthiest African American and host of an afternoon television program, endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in May. Now, she is in discussions with his advisers about playing a broader role in the campaign — possibly as a surrogate on the stump or an outspoken advocate — or simply bringing her branding magic to benefit his White House bid.
On Saturday, Winfrey will host her first-ever presidential fundraising affair on the grounds of the Promised Land, her 42-acre ocean- and mountain-view estate in Montecito, Calif. — an event that is expected to raise more than $3 million for Obama’s campaign.
Although no guests will be permitted to enter Winfrey’s house, a few dozen VIPs will have special access to Winfrey.
The fundraiser may be only the start. The Winfrey and Obama machines have maintained silence on the exact nature of their talks over what her role will be, but the idea of her appearing in television ads and other appeals is very much in play. She offered during a recent interview with CNN’s Larry King: “My money isn’t going to make any difference. My value to him — my support of him — is probably worth more than any other check that I could write.”
She’s right. Her following is extremely loyal and if she talks up Obama on her program enough…well, it could sway enough women to be a problem for Hillary.
Something to watch…