Obama’s Oprah Problem
Like viewers, voters want honesty.

The Obamas and Oprah Winfrey in 2008


Lee Habeeb

But the American people were not quite ready to join in that exercise. Indeed, the people of North Carolina, a swing state, said no to gay marriage last week, and said no by a stunningly large margin: 61 to 39 percent.

I wonder how Obama’s words will play there in November.

Obama says he is a Christian and then takes positions on matters such as gay marriage and abortion that most Christians can’t reconcile with their faith. And that confuses Christians and non-Christians alike.

He says he wants to bring Americans together, and then uses the rhetoric of class and gender warfare to separate us.

He says he favors policies that favor job creation, but doesn’t seem interested in what real-life job creators have to say.

He says he’s going to close Guantanamo Bay, and then keeps it open.

He promises college students hope and change, but all they can see down the road is unemployment and debt.

It turns out that the Obama so many Americans thought they knew when he was running for the White House isn’t squaring with the man who’s occupying it. And that could be his biggest problem. One for which there is no antidote.

Oddly enough, as Oprah was beginning to lose her connection to her audience, Ellen DeGeneres was building a rapport with hers. Americans supported the openly gay TV personality because she had the guts to declare who she was and let the chips fall where they might. America fell in love with her show, and she has some of the highest ratings in daytime.

Which only proves that what Americans hate the most is a phony. A fugazee.

Many Democrats in 1980 and 1984 voted for Ronald Reagan not because they agreed with everything he said but because they trusted him as a leader and knew he said what he meant. And meant what he said. He didn’t equivocate or try to gauge the temperature of the room and modulate his opinions accordingly. He had no authenticity problems.

President Obama is riding high. And I suspect with all of the media help he’s getting, many around him think the election is in the bag, especially after the recent circus that masqueraded as a primary in the GOP.

But he should study Oprah’s rapid decline.

And come his biggest ratings day — Election Day — he shouldn’t be too surprised to discover a serious enthusiasm erosion.

He shouldn’t be too surprised if his audience — like Oprah’s — sends him into early retirement.

— Lee Habeeb is the vice president of content at Salem Radio Network, which syndicates Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt. He lives in Oxford, Miss.