Yesterday Oprah said she'd campaign for Obama, and guess what? Both women and black people said they'd be more likely to vote for her, because she is both black, and a woman. Oh, and also, she is Midwestern, and the Iowa caucuses are Midwestern. Will other influential black people, and/or women and/or Midwesterners, follow her lead? Like maybe Michael Jordan? Or Charlie Murphy? Isn't Hilary Swank from the Midwest? And speaking of Hillarys, is Oprah more powerful than the Clintons? It's an all Opra-bama-rama Crappy Hour, after the jump.
MOE: Hey hey hey! I think we should do a one-topic Crappy Hour today. Can you guess what that one topic might be?
MEGAN: Hmmm. Holiday shopping and the economy?
MOE: Wellllll, it's sort of tangentially related to giving holiday gifts....and the giver of the gift is known to be verrrry generous!
MEGAN: Anthony Marshall's indictment on charges that he bilked his dying mother? That was totes generous!
MOE: Yeah, you know what? I have never been one of those people who gave a shit about Brooke Astor. Rich lady lived a real long life and I'd bet you one in three offsprings these days bilks their dying parents. Also, he's 83. Who cares, right? NOT ME. Anyway, no, I wanted to discuss something ELSE. Something involving BLACK PEOPLE.
MEGAN: Ummm. Oprah?
As in Oprah and Obama?
MOE: I wasn't talking about Sean Taylor. Although maybe I should have been. May he rest in peace. So yes, Oprah. Oprah endorsing Obama. Is there anyone besides Eugene Robinson making the case that this matters? Because it seems like something that, potentially, could matter, if only because Oprah seems like she is powerful among other powerful people. She has been around longer than the Clintons, you know.
MEGAN: Um, I guess I feel a couple of things about this. Like, obviously it will matter to some people. I'm not sure if those people are Democratic primary voters, though- I think Oprah's fan base isn't exactly rabid Democrats but more middle-of-the-road people and it probably would help more if he actually got the nomination.
MOE: And yet her haters seem, well, less effective.
MEGAN: Yeah, I don't feel like people who hate on Oprah are particularly effective because it's sorta like, she gives people cars? Starts schools? Gets people to read books? I mean, on balance, she's richer than almost anyone and she likes to do good things with her money.
MOE: Exactly. And people actually do listen to her, as opposed to Warren Buffett. Or George Soros. Or whomever. But because her viewers are so middle-of-the-road, I have to think she can maybe help Obama out with quippy Hillaryisms such as: "I'm not going to approve a trillion dollar tax increase" etc. etc.
MEGAN: I mean, the real difficulty I see with it having any great effect is that she's said she's not going to use her show or her magazine or anything else to do anything about it.
So, it's like she's hold or appear at fundraisers, but the biggest and best thing she could do (which she's probably legally not allowed to do anyway) she's not going to do.
But if it's legal, she should say that.
MOE: On a side note: I think Eugene Robinson is giving her too much credit for putting Anna Karenina back on the bestseller list. I was, like, Mistress of All Cliffs Notes in high school and I managed to finish that thing. And I gotta think she'll use her show and magazine, she just won't make it into a soapbox. I mean, the last issue of 'O' I read had a reallllly long profile of Michelle, the second time they've profiled her in-depth, and I have yet to see a WORD on Elizabeth Kucinich...
MEGAN: True, although I think anything too deliberately political once she's endorsed him might count as in-kind contributions under the campaign finance laws and thus would be prohibited.
I've never read Anna Karenina, actually. I only got through the first portion of Crime and Punishment.
Plus, I think the lack of Kucinich coverage probably comes back to Oprah's fan base. I think she could probably do him more good in the general than the primary, but he has to get through the primary to get to the general.
MOE: Ha ha ha, I was just JOKIN about the Kuciniches. They are more "Yoga Journal" than "O"
And "Mother Jones"
Do you watch Oprah?
MEGAN: Not since I was in high school, I must admit. But my parents turn it on every day when they get home from work.
MOE: My sister used to watch it at 3 a.m. I'll admit I haven't watched a lot of it, but every time I do, I'm all "Wow! Great show she's got here!" ANYHOWZ, is there any consensus as to which, if any, of the important primaries, which is to say Iowa and New Hampshire, her campaigning is likely to matter more in?
MEGAN: Well, I think Obama has to make a damn strong showing in Iowa for him to get anywhere in NH.
Illinois, Iowa, that's like, close, right?
MOE: But isn't he AHEAD?>>
MEGAN: In Iowa? It depends on the poll. Last week's data still showed Hill in the lead I think, but dropping.
MOE: Right! And Oprah is ALSO in Illinois. Here's another question: is Oprah "blacker" than Obama? She had a more difficult upbringing than either Obama, plus she doesn't have that towelheady name. (KIDDING!) Um and she is wealthy, not just lawyer wealthy but Lebron James wealthy. And speaking of Lebron James, where is he on this? Where is Michael Jordan? Where is Bo Jackson?
No really, where is Bo Jackson?
MEGAN: Bo Jackson is on some beach somewhere sipping on a drink and pretending like he's trying to avoid being recognized.
MOE: Ooooh, we should track him down and ask him who will win! See if Bo still Knows. LOL.