Style over substance

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The recent Barack Obama rally in Columbia, S.C., was the largest one so far in the 2008 presidential race, but most of the people weren't there because of the war or health insurance or the economy. They came to see talk-show host and cultural icon Oprah Winfrey. The "O Effect" brought out 29,000 to Williams-Brice Stadium.

On a whirlwind weekend tour of early primary states, she and Obama also spoke before record Iowa crowds in Des Moines (15,000) and Cedar Rapids (7,000), and Manchester (12,000), N.H.

Other than the huge crowd, the Columbia event produced little in the way of news for the 300-plus reporters in attendance. Some were reminded of a giant pep rally, complete with hip-hop and marching bands. Others, obviously college football fans, opined about all the empty seats in the half-filled stadium.

Some even discussed about how Obama may be "growing Southern roots" -- the Illinois senator seemed to be developing a drawl.

But more to the point -- did any of those 29,000 people come away from Winfrey's and Obama's lovefest any smarter on the real issues in the 2008 presidential race?

Probably not. That's because these kind of celebrity-driven campaign rallies generate too much light and not enough heat. The race for the world's most powerful elected office should be rooted firmly in substance, not in which favorite celebrity endorses which candidate.

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DrGunby68
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DrGunby68 12/13/07 - 12:46 am
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So the problem is that he

So the problem is that he gets people out to hear his message. Whether they agree with him or not, they're there and will hear him...sounds like sour grapes to me.The ACES and the far right have NOTHING to say that will dissuade the American public from voting the right out of both Houses and the White House with wide margins. Hey Repugs, you had your chance. Sure we've had our chance before, but it is our chance again. Go in time out and figure out how Dubya drug down your whole party. Save the SoupCourt, we'd not see any of you'll in Washington if the country judged you on Bush's performance. What a bunch of pathetic whiners...oh sorry, you'll do still control corp America, so you'll have your $$$ to keep you happy while the rest of the country is in a 2008 recession.

HTN007
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HTN007 12/13/07 - 04:28 am
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"not in which favorite

"not in which favorite celebrity endorses which candidate".............what if the plan is to make the "celebrity" his VP running mate? You guys didn't mentiom that possiblity. I mean, are you being a bit "slow on the uptake" in all of this?

HTN007
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HTN007 12/13/07 - 05:06 am
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one more thought

one more thought here......."Obampra"..........what a ticket! Putin would even be envious.

shivas
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shivas 12/13/07 - 06:42 am
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Atleast better than anything

Atleast better than anything the republicans can muster. Wait, Hucakbee and Chuck Norris!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/13/07 - 07:04 am
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Apparently ya'll didn't

Apparently ya'll didn't understand the editorial, let me break it down for ya. It's like smelling Thanksgiving dinner for 12 hours but no food is ever put on the table. That's all this was.

createyourfuture
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createyourfuture 12/13/07 - 07:48 am
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ColdBeer is right on: read

ColdBeer is right on: read the editorial. This rally was all about Oprah, not about Obama. Obama wants every vote Oprah can buy for him. Now if Oprah ever ran for President... No wait, she couldn't afford the pay cut.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 12/13/07 - 07:58 am
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Obama drew a huge crowd with

Obama drew a huge crowd with Oprah. Isn't that why these rallies are held? First get them to the meeting, then get them the message. I think Obama scored a big catch with Oprah. This early in the season, the message is face. Most voters aren't into issues. Why do you think the headlines carry so much weight? Regardless, Obama has made the big score,so far, with Oprah.

J.W.
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J.W. 12/13/07 - 08:14 am
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Style over Substance? I don't

Style over Substance? I don't care what it is as long as it enables Obama to put some heat on Billary!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/13/07 - 08:15 am
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But at what cost to Oprah, I

But at what cost to Oprah, I believe this will hurt her business ventures rather than help them, it happens each time a celebrity gets involved with politics. Look at the stars who have come out on one side or the other and look at how many movies or hits they are producing now. The Baldwin Brothers, The Dixie Chicks to name a few.

shivas
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shivas 12/13/07 - 08:28 am
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Such a cynical view Ms.

Such a cynical view Ms. Thomas. I think voters very much care about issues. Voters will decide if this country has been going in the right direction over the past 8 years, and will vote on who they believe can best lead the country over the next 4. Those who do not care about issues will more than likely not take the time to vote. Any chance the AC gets to spin a democratic positive into a negative, they will do that.

mojo
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mojo 12/13/07 - 08:49 am
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cb has it right - The 'O'

cb has it right - The 'O' effect is an advertising effort - tying herself to a political candidate will burn thru some of her ability to persuade - just look at Rosie - 15 years ago she was the golden girl of tv who could do no wrong - exactly who did she help with all those antics? now she's a laughing stock.

DrGunby68
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DrGunby68 12/13/07 - 09:55 am
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Mojo, you have to be kidding

Mojo, you have to be kidding to compare the Big O to Rosie. Oprah could find enough $$$ in her couch to buy and sell Rosie 5 times over. I think PT has it right here. Everyone wants endorsements. Why is a self-made media mogul any different that a preacher, former politician, former President, pundit, print editorial board or anyone else that might endorse a candidate. It is also not even a remote possibility that she will be his running mate. Hyper mentioned that we are slow on the uptake if we miss this...seems like they are uptaking something illegal.

charlesmanson
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charlesmanson 12/13/07 - 10:00 am
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i actually agree with you for

i actually agree with you for once pat, because i was at the rally.any candidate needs and wants endorsements,who wouldn't want oprah to back them?the neocons would haul a sitting prez into help them but this one is so disgusting,and corrupt that they all run from him and darth vader.it was not a pep rally he spoke of all concerns that voters have, i was there.there were no hip hop bands the 2 small bands sat in the stands above him and weren't even noticed by anyone.let any of the other candidates come there and lets see how many seats they fill.

teharper428
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teharper428 12/13/07 - 10:43 am
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I was also at the Obama/Oprah

I was also at the Obama/Oprah event on Sunday. My friends and I arrived around 1 pm. There was a local band (I think from Charleston) on stage (great music) and then a high school band played from the bleachers and then the group, Arrested Development were on stage. I personally hadn't heard of them; I'm not up on current music (my favorite group is still Aerosmith), but they were awesome. Michelle Obama spoke first for a few minutes & introduced Oprah. Oprah spoke for around 15 minutes and Barack spent around 45 minutes telling us his reasons for running for president and explaining what he wants to change. At times Senator Obama had the audience stamping their feet on the bleachers in approval. I've heard many of Obama's speeches and have seen him in person twice; each time I am so impressed with his message. I believe he can heal this country of its partisanship and ease the tensions between us and other countries.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 12/13/07 - 10:50 am
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Dang Doc Gunby, did you

Dang Doc Gunby, did you forget to take your pills? That 1st post was unlike you. Repugs? Pathetic whiners? Name calling all you got?
But, you are right about one thing. We still got Corp. America. But, have faith, your party will eventually bring it down.

DrGunby68
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DrGunby68 12/13/07 - 12:09 pm
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Ok, facts, touche...it was

Ok, facts, touche...it was late...

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/13/07 - 12:45 pm
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Of all the political promises

Of all the political promises I've heard from all the candidates, none have promised anything that they CAN deliver. Republican or Democrat. I hear all these promises but there is no way they'll ever get them through Congress and they can't pass anything without that hurdle. Socialized medicine and healthcare, at what cost? It's gonna take a long time for me to decide which is the least of the evils on this one!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/13/07 - 01:05 pm
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Oh and TEHarper, Arrested

Oh and TEHarper, Arrested Development was lukewarm back in the late 80's, in no way could they be construed as current!

HillGuy
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HillGuy 12/13/07 - 01:30 pm
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I think Oprah is a great

I think Oprah is a great daytime talkshow host, but I don't see how that qualifies her as an expert on international affairs, constitutional law, or domestic policy. I really could care less who Oprah or any other entertainment celebrity is voting for, and people who base their vote for President on who a celebrity is endorsing probably doesn't have the mental capacity to be voting in the first place. When it comes to the issues, Obama has proven himself to be very vague and naive. Hey, maybe if doesn't get elected President, his buddy Oprah can get him a talkshow gig like she did Dr. Phil.

teharper428
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teharper428 12/13/07 - 04:05 pm
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ColdBeer - it goes to show

ColdBeer - it goes to show you that I am a product of the 70's. LOL

dont live there anymore
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dont live there anymore 12/13/07 - 07:31 pm
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Hill Guy, I agree with all

Hill Guy, I agree with all aspects of your comments except that "Oprah is a great daytime talk show host". She must be but I just don't enjoy her show. Yes, Obama is vague and naive but he sure has picked up the knack for a good campaign. And yes, he is articulate enough for his own show. No, I won't be voting for him even if he is from Illinois where I was born and raised.

a crazy old man
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a crazy old man 12/13/07 - 07:33 pm
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Will someone please tell me

Will someone please tell me something that I've wondered for years. Where the heck did Oprah Winfrey come from. I've watched her show a couple few times and think it sux.

DrGunby68
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DrGunby68 12/13/07 - 08:20 pm
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Crazy, the Big O's number 1

Crazy, the Big O's number 1 demographic is older, white women. You are not supposed to like it.

a crazy old man
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a crazy old man 12/13/07 - 09:12 pm
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Ok, Thanks DrGunby68. But,

Ok, Thanks DrGunby68. But, but, where'd she come from and how'd she get her money?

HillGuy
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HillGuy 12/14/07 - 12:12 am
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Oprah sounded like Al

Oprah sounded like Al Sharpton at that campaign rally. She could be offending alot of her fans by being so vocal like this.

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