Waiting on Obama and Oprah in South Carolina: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted December 9, 2007 2:16 PM
The Swamp

By Mike Dorning

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Laura Williams, a 54-year-old with gray-flecked hair, woke up at 3:30 am this morning from the anticipation and arrived with not one but two cameras to record Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey's sole rally in South Carolina.

"It's going to make history," said Williams, a disabled hospital worker from just across the border in Grovetown, Ga., who said she could now see the possibility of a black man elected to the White House and hoped to share the photos of the moment with her children and grandchildren when they reached her age.

A largely African-American crowd began lining up before 6 a.m. this morning for the 2:30 pm rally, with many of the participants saying the talk show host was as much a draw as the presidential candidate. Several, like Williams, said Winfrey's support had helped them sort through conflicting opinions about which candidate to back in favor of Obama and others said her strong endorsement had solidified their own feelings that Obama was the right choice.

The hip-hop band Arrested Development roused the waiting crowd on a beautiful, sunny 70-plus degree day as a McClatchy-MSNBC poll released Sunday showed the Democratic race tightening to a statistical dead heat in South Carolina, with Clinton at 28 percent versus Obama at 25 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters.

The new South Carolina poll also showed African-Americans, who comprised half the electorate in the state's last Democratic primary, swinging decisively to Obama, with the Illinois senator holding a 37-21 lead. Early polls had shown black Democrats in the state conflicted between Clinton and Obama.

Among those who have recently come over to Obama is Williams and Queenie Glover, 62, a nurse from Aiken, S.C. Both cited Winfrey's endorsement.

"She has not let anyone down yet. The doubt is gone," said Glover, who said she had been inclined toward Clinton until four days ago when she heard of Winfrey's unhedged endorsement.

Though Glover said she rarely watches Oprah because the show airs while she is at work, she added, "Her reputation, her track record precedes her. I don't think she's going to step out on a doubt."

"Oprah just turned me all the way around," Glover continued. "You can have all the political strategists, the news media. But Oprah's not going to sugar-coat anything. She's going to give you the straight facts."

Billie Freitus, 30, an Army wife and full-time mother of four from East Columbia, said she had long supported Obama because of his opposition to the war in Iraq.

But she said that she made a special effort to attend the rally because of Winfrey.

"When they said Oprah was going to be here, I said I'm coming," Freitus said. "I think she's a great person and a role model for the women of the United States. I trust her 100 percent."

"She's changed the world in so many different ways—the school in Africa, helping low-income families, battered women," added Freitus, who said she watches the show every day and has purchased several of the books Winfrey has recommended.

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the South Carolina had recruited 2,307 volunteers from people who had requested free tickets to the event.

The rally had originally been scheduled for a convention hall with a capacity of 18,000 but was later moved to the University of South Carolina football stadium. Organizers said more than 29,000 people attended the rally.

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I'm not a Clinton hater, but it is time to break the pattern.

Vote for hope.

Vote for change.

Obama '08.

There's no need to wait!

Besides Hillary and The Breck girl, Obama is just going to tell you in, coded messages, how he's going to soak the rich and upper middle class with new taxes and drive us into a Jimma Carter recession.

See, no need to wait!

Rudy in 08!


Paulo, clearly your hatred has clouded your judgment, since you can't possibly be comparing their actual records.

"Besides Hillary and The Breck girl, Obama is just going to tell you in, coded messages, how he's going to soak the rich and upper middle class with new taxes and drive us into a Jimma Carter recession."

Posted by: Paulo | December 9, 2007 4:32 PM

A Jimma Carter recession, eh rocket scientist Paulo?

Please get back on your medicine freak boy!

Posted by: avraam jack | December 9, 2007 2:46 PM

avraam jack,


Your schtick is getting old...and by the way,, unlike in the warped Wingnut mind of people like you, people know that HILLARY HAS NEVER BEEN THE PRESIDENT!, that was her husband, you moron.

I have absolutely nothING negative to say about the other candidates. Senator Obama IS THE ONE.

Democrat Barack Obama hopes to capitalize on the so-called "Oprah Effect" which, according to a Bloomberg writer, is known to "transform books, beauty products and foods into sales blockbusters." Unfortunately, I predict it may have the opposite effect and result in the Illinois senator's presidential aspirations being left in A Million Little Pieces.

Forgive me for the reference to James Frey's famously fabricated memoir. But with polls showing Hillary Clinton at her lowest point since announcing her candidacy and the Iowa Caucuses less than 30 days out, I predict the Clinton political machine is on the verge of striking Obama. And striking hard.

Just days before families across the nation -- especially in Iowa and New Hampshire -- begin gathering for Christmas, I expect the machine to kick into high gear, serving up a buffet of dirty little secrets to its lapdogs in the mainstream news media.

By the time the Iowa Caucuses are held Jan. 3, those dirty little secrets unearthed by Hillary's folks -- whatever they turn out to be and regardless of whether or not they bear a shred of truth -- will have raised "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jury (a.k.a., "Iowa voters"). As a result, Hillary will win Iowa.

That victory will, of course, be heralded by the likes of CNN, the Daily Kos and the Washington Post as a precursor of things to come in the Democratic primaries. Six months and several dirty little secrets later, Hillary will have the nomination wrapped up.

And that's where the 'A Million Little Pieces' reference returns to the picture.

Remember the media frenzy that surrounded Frey's return appearance on Oprah's couch. She sat him down and, in front of millions of viewers and a studio audience full of scowling faces, chewed him out for failing to live up to her expectations. After all, Frey's book was an Oprah's Book Club selection.

The same thing is going to happen to Obama.

The man Oprah had anointed as the first black president of the United States even before the first vote was cast will be verbally flogged for having lost the Democratic Party nomination and, as a result, brought much shame and humiliation to the O.

All hail Oprah!

Ask yourself this:

Should I vote for a candidate that has an out-of-touch, multi-media billion-aire shilling for him?

If the answer is YES.
Please study the candidates again. Run down the list of choices, one more time.

If the answer is NO.
You are on the right track towards saving this great country of ours.

No, but I'd vote for a candidate with one of the most successful, powerful and decent women in the world as his VP. Now wouldn't THAT be an interesting ticket? And why not? Oprah's done a mighty fine job building her empire. Would love to have her manage mine.

Obama suggests that he would not deliberately antagonize any nation, be it Iran or N. Korea. I don't think that he would let Israel dictate our foreign policy. He would work to bring manufacturing back to the US. He has not received money from China. I wish that he had not brought Oprah into the campaign. Skin color should have little to nothing to do with Presidential choice. I'm an 84-year old "from Arkansas white boy' who detests the concept of hyphenated Americans.

^ Do you mean HRC and Warren Buffet?

Hillary said 'It takes a Clinton to cleanup after a Bush' referring to her entitled spot in the White House because a Bush is there right now. I think Obama can become president and appoint Hillary to cleanup the toilet. It would really make her statement come true and save this nation from falling back 16 years.

Forget those same old things.
Vote OBAMA for new thing.

"If the answer is NO.
You are on the right track towards saving this great country of ours.

Posted by: Jim | December 9, 2007 5:51 PM

I agree with Jim; Vote Democratic!


When you point the [truth]out about Obama all leftie loons can do is reply with name calling.

Why? Because the libs need Obama to increase the hand-outs by way of tax hikes on the middle class, the upper class and wealthy Americans.... their retort to name calling only shows there ignorance of facts and the recession Obama will lead us all into.
Think about it....all your (D) party has done is get a minimun wage increase and before that, we were attacked at will because B.J. failed to protect us.

Rudy in 08 = The American Dream Continues!


I have an idea Oprah will draw a lot of folks out to see her, she is very popular in most circles. Whether or not this will effect voters to such a degree as some expect, I have some doubt. There is also a FACT worth mentioning that very few voters are influenced by these entertainers, no matter how much they may like them. Iowa is the key though, Obama has to win there, while Hillary could lose as expected from the start and not hurt much in the big Super Tuesday that will decide the nominee.

Dear Billy - My original post was on topic. The story mentions Hillary. It is about the Primary. Additionally Hillary talks about her experience so with experience comes responsibility. No need to be unpleasant. I think the Clintons are fine people - just not Presidential caliber.


Riddle me this: Who was president when 9-11 went down?


lylepink - your interesting analysis is slightly deflated between your inability to understand the difference between the words affect and effect. Oprah affects voters not effects them. Perhaps there's a metaphor there for people's inabilty to understand the difference between Hilary and obama.

How touching. Oprah has found her black messiah. After all her talk about "diversity" and flogging whites for supporting and hiring their own race ... she is of the same racist mindset. What a hypocrit!


Who was president when 9-11 was conceived, planned and put in to motion? Hint: It was the guy in office just BEFORE the current occupant.

Dear Billy - Hillary is mentioned and the real topic is who should get the nomination. Are you afraid Battleship Clinton will be sunk by some guy throwing waterballons from the comments section? Why so angry?

sarah: Thank you for the correction, but from a person like me with only one year of high school, I think I do pretty good/well most of the time despite an occasional misspelled word.

When you point the [truth]out about Obama all leftie loons can do is reply with name calling.

Posted by: Paulo | December 9, 2007 8:13 PM

Such a pathetic whine. You were shown the truth about the "Obama madrassa school" smear back in March; however, you chose to keep repeating the lie. I have challenged you REPEATEDLY to POST PROOF that the school Barack Obama went to in Indonesia WAS a real madrassa.

You have refused to back up your words at any time during these last 9 months.

You have been shown the truth, and your only response was to run and hide.

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