Talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey throws her support behind Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and there is much speculation over whether her star power will aid Obama.
Oprah Winfrey Throws Support Behind Obama
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor:
Now to Democratic candidate Barack Obama campaigning on the West Coast tonight in advance of a big party being held there in his honor this weekend. The hostess is Oprah Winfrey and her support for him is getting new attention. Here is NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
ANDREA MITCHELL, reporting:
She can turn a first time author into an instant best seller; single-handedly reviving an industry.
OPRAH WINFREY, Talk Show Host: What kind of response did you get from the show? (to guest)
Everyone gets a… (to audience)
MITCHELL: She all but invented the over the top studio giveaway.
Ms. WINFREY: Nothing in the world makes me happier then making other people see other their dreams come true.
MITCHELL: But can the billionaire entertainer and richest woman in America, turn her magic into votes for Barack Obama?
Ms. WINFREY: This is my senator, my favorite senator.
BARACK OBAMA, Democratic Presidential Candidate: Oprah you’re my girl.
Ms. WINFREY: George ‘Dubya’ Bush!
MITCHELL: Her show has long been a popular stop for politicians, and their spouses. But now for the first time Oprah is putting her money and star power on the line for a single candidate.
Ms. WINFREY: I have never, you know, spoken out politically about anybody; I think that he has the capability, certainly the potential to be a great leader.
TED JOHNSON, Variety Magazine: It’s a very big deal because Oprah as we known does not spread her endorsements lightly.
MITCHELL: Why could Oprah’s endorsement be so important? Because she reaches eight and a half million viewers each day, mostly women. Exactly the voters now largely supporting Hillary Clinton.
Mr. JOHNSON: A lot times celebrities have tried to be political for other candidates and haven’t had a lot of success. But Oprah is different.
MITCHELL: So different Oprah was recently ranked the second most admired woman in America. Who was first? Hillary Clinton. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.
Synopsis: Media giant Oprah Winfrey was born in rural Mississippi in 1954. She began her broadcasting career at age 19. In 1976, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, where she co-anchored the evening news. In 1978, co-hosted a talk show, "People Are Talking." She later became the host of her own wildly popular program, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which aired from 1986 to 2011. That same year, Winfrey launched her TV network, the Oprah Winfrey Network.