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  • 15

    The Oprah Obama Show
    Race; Posted on: 2007-12-15 13:50:46 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Jesse Jackson: Obama's 'Acting Like He's White'

    by Thomas Fleming

    Every once in a while, politicians and celebrities slip their handlers’ leashes, let their guards down, and reveal how really stupid they are. Case in point: the recent and extraordinary performance of Oprah Winfrey and her hero Barack Obama.

    John McCain and George Bush, to say nothing of Dan Rather, Alec Baldwin, and Tom Cruise, do this when they speak off the cuff. Others are more careful. Bill Clinton was good at deflecting embarrassing questions, and Hillary stays on course by following the script and keeping anyone but supporters from asking questions, and some celebrities—Johnny Carson and Raymond Burr, for example—mostly kept their bizarre private lives private. The cleverest are those who turned their little problems into opportunities—Clinton’s sexual peccadillos actually won him respect in some quarters, and Oprah Winfrey’s highly publicized struggles with obesity and boyfriends gained her sympathy from her mostly white middle-aged female fans.

    (Aside: If you catch your wife, mother, sister, daughter, girl friend, daughter-in law or female second cousin twice removed watching Oprah, destroy the TV set.)

    Watching the presidential campaign casually, I have been impressed by Barack Obama’s ability to mask himself in campaign rhetoric. In general, Obama contents himself with promising change without ever entering into such messy details as policies or programs, and as for his private life, he reads the same script—co-written by Horatio Alger and Booker T. Washington, occasionally throwing in little humanizing details that may arouse the ire of Mitt Romney’s handlers but endear him to voters under 60.

    This past week, however, Oprah and Romney seemed to have solidified some kind of suicide pact. When Oprah merely endorsed Obama, there was little risk involved, and the pundits may have been correct in claiming that Oprah’s vast, largely non-political following of bored and ignorant housewives could represent a new factor in American politics, but the Oprah-Barack show in Columbia, South Carolina, is, as they would say, sump’n else. The Charlotte Observer’s Mary C. Curtis was thrilled by the stars’ performances and the enthusiasm they generated among the 30,000 fans, but even Ms Curtis (a middle-aged black female) could not help noticing that the audience was “predominantly black.”

    News Source: Chronicles


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