Sunday, December 09, 2007

What does Oprah have to do with the presidential election? Do we need a talk show hostess to tell us who’s best qualified to run this country?

The edited questions above were posted by "Tuffy" on the NY Times blog. See other postings and the story at the link below.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/08/oprah-in-des-moines/

37 comments:

KellyH said...

What Oprah has to do with the election is her ability to draw more people to the voting booths on election day. It is pitiful how many people do not exercise their right to vote, and while Oprah becoming involved could hopefully compel those who wouldn't otherwise vote to do so, it is also a bit sad that she has to get so involved in politics. In some ways it's good that she's drawing more attention to the race, but yet, we don't need her to tell us who's best qualified.

What would be best would be for her to just simply endorse voting altogether. Hopefully people research and make up their own minds on who they will vote for, instead of simply voting for the candidate Oprah or others are endorsing on tv.

RyanO said...

I think that Oprah will be able to draw in some of her fanatic followers to the candidate she endorses. That said, I don't think anyone should base their vote on what Oprah says they should do. I hate Oprah.

Vlad said...

I saw this on NBC last night. Oprah will have a strong influence over her viewers because she's going to make them pay more attention to Barack Obama. Her viewers are extremists who will follow her in whatever she says and Barack Obama will probably get the fundamentalists' votes. If the viewers of Oprah don't vote for Obama, he'll at least be getting more and more attention.
Star Jones '08

Lisa Marie said...

First of all, for some reason, I knew that this weekends blog had to do with Oprah, or at least I had a feeling about it.

I believe that people who don't know what to do in the election, and obsess over Oprah, will vote for Barack Obama because of her. Everything seems to be a popularity (fame) contest any where. And Oprah just contributes to it, makeing Obama a "celebrity".

I think Oprah shouldn't influence our opinions, just like teachers shouldn't influence us. I was always taught, that you never ask anyone who they voted for or tell anyone who you voted for. I agree with Kelly that she should just "endorse voting altogether". Just like "Puff Diddy/P-diddy/Diddy" whatever he wants to be called did.
Oprah should persuade citzens to vote, not a particular candidate.

ericag said...

Some people in this country vote because of what they hear. Actually i think most people in this country go to the polls and only vote on who is republican and who is democatic, or because of what they hear through media.

Oprah has the power to change votes. Obama is probably one of the smartest canidates.... He got Oprah to follow him, and help him campaign. People in this country love Oprah... and maybe certain people don't liker her, but she has MANY followers. She has the power to change votes for him. Smart Campaigning.

People in this country should do their own research and find out who is best qualified themselves, but are they going to? No. At least Oprah's followers are listening to a very qualified individual. As much as Oprah-haters won't admit it Oprah is a smart women, and is one of this country's top individuals. People should make there own choice, but they are going to be influnced by media anyways. So I find it to smart campaigning; and honestly no one needs anyone to tell them who is best qualified but people will and always will tell us who is best qualified.

Also Oprah doesn't have to pretend she is neutral just because she is famous. If she wants Obama to be prez, she knows she has the power to change this country. She might be the only famous person to come out say she wants to win... but if any of us had the chance to change the country and make people vote for who we wanted to win. We would.

Smart Campaigning.

katiekso said...

Oprah has a lot to do with this election in the sense that she is so popular and well-known that she has her own following. People who would otherwise never vote but watch Oprah will be more interested in voting. Other devote fans of Oprah will now consider changing thier opinions about the candidates now that Oprah is endorssing one of them. Oprah is probably one of the very best celebraties to endorse a campaign in the sense that many people will follow her and listen to her every word.

That being said, I don't feel we need a talk show hostess to tell us who is best qualifed to run this country. It is great that she is encouraging people to vote, but she of all people knows how influentialo her words can be. I agree with Kelly that she should support voting and she can endorse candidates but she should only go so far because noone should be told who they should vote for, they need to decide for themselves.

aly mac said...

Oprah's role in the upcoming presidential election will be to draw in support for Barack Obama. I think it's fair to say that she's a pretty smart woman. Although she made it clear,” I am not here to tell you what to think", she did make a very strong comment following it that she knew perfectly well would attract voters. Stating, "I am here to ask you to think seriously. I want you to think seriously about a man who knows who we are." Knowing she has a major impact on the beliefs of many, Oprah I believe will use her status to help Obama's campaign. Quite frankly, I think she will have a significant role in attracting voters.
I was a little shocked when I heard Oprah did this. I don't think that we need talk show hostesses to tell us who are best qualified to run our country. That is something the voter needs to determine. We are all very capable of making our own decisions.
But despite this, Oprah's voice is very powerful and will draw many people to listen. Some voters will base their decisions off of her beliefs and not their own. It is important for voters look at all the candidates and make sure they find the one that fits them best-not the candidate that their icon follows.

joannaz said...

I just recently saw Oprah squeezing a woman's breasts on television and proclaiming that the woman is right--they are in fact real.
That's who I want picking my candidate.

MorganJ said...

As much as I dislike saying it, Oprah has A LOT to do with the presidential election. I'm not a huge Oprah fan (I have never watched a full episode of her show); however I always hear good things about her. Oprah, being the "larger than life" icon she is has extensive influence over this election. Anything Oprah is an advocate for is the next big thing. Hopefully this will not be the case for Obama.

Personally, I do not need anyone telling me who is best qualified to run our country but the candidates themselves.

I just want to say that I'm not fond on how this question is stated. To categorize Oprah as a "talk show hostess" is very denouncing to her. While she does host a talk show, she is a very talented woman who may not be best qualified to tell America who to vote for in the election, but isn't the worst person for advocating a candidate in this election.

I believe Oprah should have continued to stay out of politics. She has such a powerful influence on a certain demographic in America that she should have stayed neutral in the presidential race, and instead have supported voting as a whole.

Christina S said...

Oprah has a large influence on this election just because of the fact that so many people watch her religiously. Many people believe every word that comes out of her mouth. I agree with Kelly that it is great for Oprah to draw attention to the presidential race, but not to a certain candidate.

cmorgan said...

In my mind I think of Oprah as a magnet and her fans are canadian nickels. All Oprah is doing is attracting attention towards Obama. Of course I think this is smart campaigning, but it has nothing to do with the presidential election. I hope that the voters out there do not base their vote on the fact that Oprah, a talk show host, thinks Barack Obama is the best choice for president. The one upside to this is that Oprah is attracting some people that would otherwise not have even thought about voting. All in all Oprah should stick to controlling the minds of middle-aged women around the country and stay out of politics unless she believes she herself has a chance at presidency.

Jbyko10 said...

What does Oprah have to do with elections? um... Shes the queen to most of the "UHH" people out there. So everyone does what she does, and says. Oprah is the definition of the game Follow the Leader. She can easily sway any of her "cult" followers. Its disappointing. Oh well...

"EVERYONE HERE GETS A PRESIDENT!" AND AN OVAL OFFICE!!!!!!"

- future Oprah Quote.

Tom B. said...

Heres how i see it. if you sit down everyday at 4 O' clock and tune into oprah religiously then your most likely going to be persuaded by what oprah has to say. Plus if your watching oprah your less likely to read up on a candidate and actually decide on who you want to vote for, instead of just who oprah thinks is best. And when did oprah all of a sudden know whats up in politics, i dont know, but if Oprah jumped off of a bridge more than likely half of her viewers would to. just saying shes a big deal.

DanielleT said...

Oprah, along with any other role model figure in our society, should never be able to influence who we choose as president or any other important position in our country. I think that people should be able to decide for themselves who best represents their beliefs. I do believe that allowing candidates to go on talkshows could be very beneficial. However, there should be some basic guidelines when doing so. The host(ess) should not be allowed to make opinions or commments that make it seem as though they are favoring a particular person. It should be more of an interview where the candidate is allowed to talk about who they are, what they believe, what they will do if elected, and so on without having an other candidate intervene. This shouldn't become the prime way for a candidate to win votes because debates are very necessary when it comes to elections.

mente said...

Oprah has a very large following, obviously, and that following she tells what to read (Oprah's book club, O Magazine), what to watch (Oh! Oxygen network), what products to use (Oprah's favorite things episode), and what to think about the world as a whole (which includes which presidential candidate to vote for). So to answer the question, "do we need a talk show hostess to tell us who's best qualified to run this country?" is, apparently, yes. Those who watch Oprah religiously and follow her words as scipture need her to also tell them who to vote for.

And, thanks to Josh B, the only thing I can think of when I think of Oprah is Dane Cook's bit called "Petaphiles." If you haven't heard it, look it up, I guarantee a giggle.

Alex D said...

After reading the article I went to bed sure that the world was officially over. Oprah, the queen of sappy talk show hosts and selling advertisements to be called "gifts" is now supporting Obama. Because the issues don't matter we need oprah to tell us who to vote for. Hopefully people will wise up and do not base their vote over Oprah, but then again how wise can you be if you vote for Obama. ')

ps. In case you missed it Marquette basketball beat both UWM and Madison,
This only goes to show that it is in face the better school. ;)

Erica C said...

Oprah is one of the most influential tv personalities. No, we don't need her telling us to vote for Obama.

However, isn't that what her show is? She promotes the actors and actresses she enjoys, the music she listens to, the causes she fights for, and the products she uses. She was bound to promote a candidate. I doubt her enthusiasts are likely to see every movie she recommends and buy all the moisturizers she uses. Hopefully very few of her enthusiasts will vote for Obama SOLELY because she promotes him.

Alex the Great said...

i wouldnt listen to what oprah says but some people will do anything she says which i think is bad. she shouldnt use her influence as a public figure to tell people how to vote.

CoreyA said...

Good ol' Oprah. Ha, what a joke. Good and Oprah, in the same sentance! Oh joy. Well, Oprah will definately be able to draw in her fanatics. Unfortunately for her, she will not be able to draw in people who aren't already fans of her. She will not be able to convert any Republicans to Barack if he becomes the Democratic presidential candidate because no one who doesn't agree with her already is ever going to listen to her.

Oprah, what a joke.

BrookeS said...

It's a sad day when a woman such as Oprah--looked up to by many, a model citizen, and the reason for the loss of thousands of pounds of obese Americans--use her power in this way. Quite a shocker.


P.S: loved the quote Josh!

Angelina said...

First, I hate Oprah. I feel that she has made her money on somebodies sad story. I also feel that no talk show hostess, especially Oprah, should tell me who the most qualified to run the States. You should vote for the person that you think is the best qualified. Lastly, Oprah should not be saying who she will vote for or stands behind, because she has too much power over Americans already. I just feel like it is wrong.

CassieH said...

Oprah is not the lady the people should be listening to when they go to vote. No talk show hostess is qualified to tell us who is right to run this country. I'm all for more people voting but it's sad that we need a celeb telling us to do so. You have the right as it is, why wouldn't you? This reminds me of when Paris Hilton was doing the whole "Vote or Die" Campaign with P. Diddy and then She didn't even vote. haha

shannond said...

As humans, we fight for things we feel strongly about. It's just what we do. If a friend bashes a sport you play or a song you like, you're going to defend yourself. If he/she starts talking about an opposing view, you want to put your two cents in. I'm not defending Oprah, but we all do it. Oprah is standing up for a cause that she thinks is worthy and important. Good for her, not so good for her followers. I have nothing against Oprah or Obama for that matter. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that Oprah knows the tremendous effect she has on her viewers. Obviously she is trying to sway people to vote for Obama. That's what public speakers do. I agree with EricaG-- that is some pretty smart campaigning. I just hope that Oprah's viewers make thier own decision about who is most qualified for the job.

newkirk said...

I think that Oprah has a lot to do with the election, with the fact that she has a lot of viewers and listeners to her show. So whoever she choses to go with for the election is going to influence who her viewers vote for. I think that talk show hostess' can tell us who they think is best qualified to run a country, but that doesn't mean I think people should listen to what they say.

JamieW said...

I feel Oprah is one of the most influential people in our country to date. This is one of the main reasons I chose to ask Barack Obama about his take on the whole bit with Oprah in the "If you could ask any presidential canidate a question" question. I don't feel like it is Oprah's place to get involved with something like presidential campaigns, however she has the righ to do so. Czernicki is right, that is just what Oprah does. She sits and promotes her favorites and sappy stories. Don't get me wrong, I love watching Oprah but I feel she should let America vote without being pressured to vote the way Oprah does. I'm surprised there aren't new bracelets for sale. WWOD. Yes that's right, What Would Oprah Do?

amandak said...

if you sit down everyday at 4 O' clock and tune into oprah religiously then your most likely going to be persuaded by what oprah has to say.

I love the stereotype of people who watch Oprah. I myself watch Oprah and I'm pretty sure I do have a mind of my own.

This really isn't any different from what all candidates do--get celebrities to tell everyone how great they are. Maybe it's a little different because she has a huge following and some people (I've noticed it's mostly men) dislike her. Really, I don't think Oprah is going to make anyone who wasn't planning on voting go out and vote, and she probably hasn't changed the mind of anyone who was planning on voting. Oprah is a powerful person to have on your side, but the voters don't have to listen to her if they don't want to.

Johnny B said...

11:24pm... it's been a long day.

(I try to post before reading what other people post. Then I don't feel like I'm just copying from other people.)

I believe that Oprah is influential. Her viewers obviously care for her if they watch her. A lot of them even have a strong feeling for her. I assume at least. With that said, I believe that what she believes in, a lot of her viewers might believe too. Therefore, she somewhat plays a big role or at least could play a big role in the election.

Do we need someone like her to tell us? No. We shouldn't at least. She could be a good way to get informed of both sides of the spectrum, but instead she looks as if she's only for one. Point being, she is a good way to support one side but is only telling us who is qualified on that side. That's just my opinion.

JamieW said...

Hello everyone.
I'm watching access hollywood and it is discussing Obama/Oprah. She isn't joking about this whole thing. Guess what though. Will Smith is on the Obama campaign now too. This is getting to be TOO much. What do you guys think about this? Does anyone feel race has a part in this?

Vlad said...

I think it's ok that Will Smith is doing it. Obama's not the only one getting celebrity support. Oprah is a big deal because she has her own personal outlet on TV, radio, print, etc.

Mr. Bretzmann said...

A sample of other "Celebrity" Endorsements:
Mike Huckabee = Chuck Norris
Hillary Clinton = Steven Spielberg
John McCain = Curt Schilling
Mike Huckabee = Wrestler Ric Flair
Hillary Clinton = Barbra Streisand
Dennis Kucinich = Sean Penn
John Edwards = Harry Belafonte (unconfirmed)

Wow: "(Previous musical support for the Democratic front-runner included rapper 50 cent, who told Time magazine "I like Hillary.")" cnn.com

CarolineB said...

Obama and Oprah are a perfect representation of how people with money are the basis of our government. If you think about it, Oprah's followers are pretty confident in her choices...books, gifts, she has a SHOW about what SHE thinks are the best gifts of the year. Obama is just doing what will get his name out there in a positive way, appealing to housewives, mothers, the general population of suburpia...he's on the right track sticking with Oprah. It just goes to show, money and popularity along with an obedient crowd can definitely take you places.
I think she SHOULD express her opinion about Obama and the election...she has plenty to do with the presidential election! We all do. If she gets on TV and says "Go vote", even if she says "for Obama" following it, she is influencing Americans to get out there and vote regardless. Americans shouldn't let someone make up their mind for them, they should form their own opinions, but I do believe that sharing Oprah's opinion and voting for Obama is better than having none and not voting at all.

amandak said...

I'm not so sure if having Curt Shilling endorse you is a good or bad thing...

KellyH said...

I just wanted to come back to this and throw in the fact that Obama did end up winning in Iowa. So somehow, he turned at least parts of the massive crowds who came maybe just to see Oprah into real votes for him. Just throwing it out there that if a person can turn people into votes, there's something there, some sort of quality, that could be a really good thing for a president to have.

Erica T said...

Personally I think it is a little ridiculous how much of a hold she's got on this. I mean, it's great that she's getting involved and supporting Obama, but she influences a semi-specific group, seeing as most of her viewers/followers are middle aged women like my mother that watch her talk show religiously. I've got nothing against Oprah; she's a smart and influential in a good way, however I hope all of these women are going to flock to the polls ready to vote for a particular candidate because they agree with what they stand for, and not just because Oprah said so.

Brittany Warnell said...

Oprah plays a role in making the new candidates known and popular. She can also get more people to vote, which is great! She has so many viewers that if she says so, hopefully they will go out and vote on election day. I don't think that we need her to tell us who she thinks is best, I think that her job should be to get both candidates out there and ask people to vote on their beliefs, not hers. We need her to be unbiased and give equal time and opportunity for both candidates.

Mitchell Kwapick said...

Oprah plays a role in publicity. She has a very large fan-base and a very large amount of people that listen to her and she knows that. She uses her power to express her opinion and persuade the audience that follows her, especially those with minds that are not made up. We do not need a talk show hostess telling us who is best qualified to run this country. However, for many people, this probably adds not only to the information they have, but also to the strength of the opinions they have because they see it is being backed by someone very powerful.

Tony Lopez said...

With how many people watch Oprah all all around the country, any opinions she voices to the public will be put into major consideration. If she would choose a certain candidate and back his decisions, it is likely some people would then vote for that candidate based on the fact Oprah supports them. We do not need a talk show hostess to tell us who is best qualified to run our country, but if they are popular many people will side with them on their choices.