So yesterday was the day that Oprah came out to endorse Obama in Iowa. There were certainly crowds for her. I can’t actually watch Oprah for more than a couple of minutes– even when I am at the gym, on the elliptical, bored to tears. But I do find her likeable. How could you not? There is a reason that millions of Americans find her sympathetic, often empathetic, and inspiring, when it comes to overcoming life’s nitty gritty hardships, large and small. But does it translate to politics? Will her explicitly political endorsement matter to the hardened electorate of Iowa?
My bet — based only on gut, no numbers — is that it won’t make as much difference as her recommendation of a book or a diet or a way to get over whatever is holding you back. For that matter, just watching Obama standing next to this very successful, very sophisticated older middle-aged woman who has been around the block a couple of times, highlights his youth and inexperience. What does he know about life? As a citizen, if I had to choose, Oprah and the school of hard knocks looks more useful at such a moment than, say, Harvard Law School and a bunch of liberal advocacy work.
The same point was made publicly by none other than Andrew Young, the longtime civil rights leader and disciple of Martin Luther King. According the AP, “Young says Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is too young and lacks the support network to ascend to the White House. …Young also quipped that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her husband behind her, and that “Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack,.”
Of course it’s not so clear precisely what that interestingly worded endorsement is worth to Hillary….