Were you aware? Oprah Winfrey's endorsing Barack Obama. And it kind of looks to be working! He's leading in Iowa, and almost leading in New Hampshire. And in South Carolina, the state of the mulatto lovechild rumors that sunk John McCain not eight years ago, demand for tickets to an Oprah-Obama appearance has been so strong they had to change venues from an 18,000-seater stadium to a bigger one. And here's something also weird: according to the Economist Obama is actually the favorite Democrat candidate amongst Republican voters. What now? According to all the major news sources, it's all part of the Oprah effect. Why all this fuss over what a celebrity thinks? A Nation story inadvertently explains why:
She to many people Oprah embodies a comforting sort of motherly everywoman, whose embrace has been perhaps too comfortably nonpartisan. If some part of her audience felt betrayed when she lost more weight than the average soccer mom, it stands to reason that they'll feel betrayed when she takes an overt stand in the political realm.
Um, okay, but who really felt all that betrayed when Oprah lost the weight? And that's when we remembered: as a recent New York Times story explained, running for president is sort of like being Jennifer Love Hewitt; the public is constantly shoving trans-fats in your face, then mocking you when you eat too many of them. It's a vicious cyle! You can never win! Someone's always going to be judging.
Senator Barack Obama, who was chubby as a child, refers to himself as skinny in speeches and barely touches fatty foods — except at events like the Iowa State Fair, where he ate caramel corn, pork and a corn dog for the cameras.
What's this?! How very Nicole Richie of him. And yet, no one cares. And yet, somehow, he transcends the barriers segregating thin and fat, Panera Bread and Pilates patronizing. Can another candidate make that claim?
I think we've hit upon an historic moment, folks!