70,000 in two appearances this weekend?
The AP reports 29,000 in the USC football stadium Sunday. It should be noted that that's still about 20,000 fewer than the Gamecocks pulled even during their 21-game losing streak in the late 90s, but it's huge for a political event.
Tammy Bruce and Bob Beckel were just on Fox discussing whether this will make any difference. Tammy says 'no' because Oprah only speaks the people casually, and part of her charm is that she's not politicized. Bob says 'maybe' because the sheer size of the events is stunning and it will likely translate into at least some votes.
I'm not sure I'm with Tammy on this one. I don't know if Oprah can put Obama over Hillary, but she has sway with black Americans and women, and she gives those voting segments the warm fuzzies. Combine that with a candidate who's entire campaign is based on "hope" and "change" and warm fuzzies in lieu of much of a career, and Oprah's a dang near perfect spokeswoman.
Yes, the crowds come to see Oprah, but if they leave having transfered their warm fuzzies for Oprah to Obama, it doesn't seem all that unlikely to me that a woman who can revolutionize the publishing industry with the mere power of her recommendation of a book would be able to move some votes. Questions is, how many of those Oprah fans are registered and will actually vote? It remains to be seen, but the big, warm, fuzzy rallies can't hurt him one bit, especially since Hillary's star surrogate has proved so gaffe-prone.
Update: Ugh. This deserves a top headline at Drudge more than Huck's religio-speak:
"We need a leader who's going to touch our souls. Who's going to make us feel differently about one another. Who's going to remind us that we are one another’s keepers. That we are only as strong as the weakest among us," she said, echoing biblical passages.A politician who knows how to be the truth? What's that Scripture about worshiping false idols? Psst, Oprah: Just because it doesn't specifically forbid worship of the junior senator from Illinois doesn't mean he's not on the list of things you shouldn't put before God.
Winfrey also touched on Christian themes that had not been highlighted in Iowa.
"It's amazing grace that brought me here," she began, adding that she was "stepping out of my pew" - television – to engage in politics.
It isn't enough to tell the truth, Winfrey said. "We need politicians who know how to be the truth."
Update: Behold, the pathetic star power of the Edwards campaign.