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Election 2008 Humor Obama Politics

Overrated Much?

[digg-reddit-me]The Daily News’ article starts off a little less breathless than the headline:

Now Oprah Winfrey’s saleswomanship will be put to an ultimate test: Can she influence the course of American politics by helping vault Barack Obama into the White House?

By the third paragraph though, the hype suddenly jumps into overdrive:

Her power is almost unprecedented. Her show, now in its third decade, has helped shape the national debate on a huge range of issues and, with a few well-placed words, changed the buying habits of millions and put once-obscure books on the best-seller list.

Michael Saul, The Daily News‘ writer concludes on this jarring note:

Yesterday, Obama downplayed the power of Winfrey’s endorsement. “Ultimately, I’m going to have to make the sale,” he said.

I am not sure anyone can be said to be downplaying an endorsement by mentioning that, in the end, the election comes down to the candidate him or herself.

The Oprah story is getting a lot of play – I saw it on the cover of Newday and The Daily News this morning, and a Google News search reveals over 300 stories written around the world about the television diva’s decision to campaign for Barack Obama. From my brief foray into these stories, they all ask the same question: “What effect will Oprah have on the raceNervous Bill and Hillary?” They all strive to come to a clean answer, and end up with, “I don’t know.” But that doesn’t seem to stop the headline writers who have variously written: in Time magazine, “Why Oprah Won’t Help Obama”; at MSNBC, “How will Oprah’s endorsement affect 2008?” (Answer: The author doesn’t know.); the Toronto Star asks a similar question: Can Oprah boost Obama’s political dream?” and answers in the same manner. The National Review‘s Myrna Blyth teases her readership with the headline: “Obama-Oprah 2008”. The subhead reveals the tease for what it is however: another over-processed story: “Can Oprah sell her favorite candidate?” I personally liked the Washington Post‘s approach best. They coupled a boring article covering all the celebrities converging on Iowa and New Hampshire without much hype but with this picture of Bill and Hillary looking very nervous. In other news, the Post article also reveals that John Edwards is sending in BONNIE RAITT. If this was a war of celebrities (and what else is a campaign but that), you know you’re leading the pack when you have Bonnie Raitt, who was kind of big a dozen years ago, as your top celeb campaigner.

Yet another day in the Freak Show that is our political system.


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One reply on “Overrated Much?”

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