American Culture

Oprah: The Un-Hillary


As more and more people are beginning to sense, the Democrats may have missed the boat with Hillary Clinton. If she’s nominated, winning the election will be no promenade up the gangplank of the ship of state. Instead, it will be a flying leap from pier to deck, hands grasping at the railing.

The sitting Republican president’s poll numbers are lower than his cardio-buff sitting pulse rate. As for America’s pulse, none of the 2008 Republican opponents seem to have a finger on it. That Democrats, with victory theirs for the taking, would settle for a candidate only capable of winning by the skin of her teeth beggars credulity.

If the Democrats go the woman route, it’s too deep in mid-stream to change horses. But they might have been better off riding the woman who, as Howard Fineman wrote at Newsweek, just made “her maiden campaign trail voyage,” appearing with Barack Obama, “and yet already she was better — more cogent, more effective, more convincing — than anyone out there.”

He refers to Oprah, of course, who shares with Hillary (and Madonna) the privilege of being the only women known to almost all Americans by her first name. But, in contrast to Hillary, Oprah, whatever her flaws, is endowed with a bounty of humanity.

As the most successful black woman –- or woman, period –- in American history, it goes without saying how tough Oprah is. Hillary, on the other hand, labors under an inferiority complex about women being the weaker sex. She continues to concentrate on projecting toughness about national security, thus obscuring whatever compassion she may have.

Meanwhile, to party hacks, nominating someone with as little political experience as Obama is a stretch. Considering someone with no political experience whatsoever, even though her constituency comes built-in — her candidacy in effect, turn-key — is not just outside their box, it’s beyond the space-time continuum.

Still, bloggers and columnists can’t resist speculating on Oprah using Obama’s candidacy as a springboard for a future presidential run. (Even if, as one said, it would “involve a really big pay cut.”) At Huffington Post Robin Gerber writes, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cynical about Oprah’s support for Obama.”

In fact, it’s because she doesn’t do ulterior motives that Oprah boasts a “base,” if you will, as sprawling as it is solid.

“But there’s no one she believes in more than herself,” Ms. Gerber continues. “And she’s certainly capable of multiple motivations.” Perhaps it’s not just her motivations — supporting Obama this year and running in the future –- that are multiple, but also the political positions to which she aspires.

On Democratic Underground, a poster named Quinnox wonders if “Obama is going to offer her a spot in his cabinet or something for her support if he wins?” Meanwhile, Gerber reminds us that “if Obama wins the presidency, there will be a U.S. Senate seat open in Illinois.”

Or, if she can’t wait, how about chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission?

Finally, Oprah may have considered backing Hillary before she chose Obama: Should I support the first woman with a chance of being elected president or the first black?

It might seem like throwing her lot in with Obama was a decision to make history with her race rather than her sex. But, in fact, by backing Obama she has a shot (however long) at having her cake and eating it too.

Should she one day run and actually win the nomination, she’d become the first (or second black president if Obama wins in 2008) and, with Hillary defeated and unlikely to run again, also the first woman president.

Cross posted at AlterNet’s Peek.

10 replies »

  1. Actually I wouldn’t mind seeing her on Obama’s ticket as his running mate. Can you imagine Obama/Oprah 08?

  2. People seem to forget the last time she “endorsed” someone by having them on her show, we ended up with the current resident.

  3. Dom,
    She would have to be better than W> actually a retarded weasel would have to be better than that jackass.

  4. Well that’s true.


    Here’s the reality. Bush and the Republicans have been extremely successful at getting what they want, even when the Dems are in charge. Think about how far along the progressives would be if they played the game the way the GOP played it.

    People will have to admit that that the current form of government and political system in its current state will have to fall before any changes occur.

    To clean up the current mess, you’ll need a progressive dictator willing to go after the previous administrations like the Bushes.

  5. A progressive dictator……Hmmmmm, that’s interesting.

    What would be the penalty for disobeying a progressive dictator? What would they do to you for opposing a progressive dictator? Would a progressive dictator show the cherished liberal tolerance(?) for opposing political views? I guess we’ll find out if Hillary gets elected.


  6. Someone should really do a better job on their homework. Hillary was a Republican early on from her college days to her support for Goldwater’s run. She still has what can be described as a “liberal Republican” philosophy. And btw, Bill is closer philosophically to former Arkansas governor Win Rockefeller than he is to JFK.

    What you say about the Clintons, says more about you than it does them.

    And don’t worry, Hillary won’t be the Dem nominee; she’ll find her wheels are coming off early on. On both parties, the field is still wide open and even a third party could make a serious challenge.

    The question that should be asked, is why the Bushes (41 & 43) are still walking around free.

    The current two-party system has one party that is wholly-owned, corrupt and without values, and another party that is inept, corrupt, and without values.

    What exactly is there to vote for?

    Ps; If I’m elected, I’ll answer your other questions. 😉

  7. Actually I didn’t really say much about the Clintons in S&R except in a previous comment. There I said that despite the fact that Bill was a lying sack of shit, he was a pretty decent president. I guess you’re right that it does say a lot about me….that I am capable of rational tolerence without being blinded by irrational emotion.

    Yeah, Hillary was a Goldwater gal, but then again my lovely wife was one of Gus Hall’s biggest supporters in the 70’s……people change.

    As a card carrying Republican, neither myself or any of my fellow Republicans would even remotely consider Hillary to have a”Liberal Republican” philosophy.

    Actually, that “PS:If I’m elected” speaks volumes about you.


  8. Yeah, my “Ps: If I’m elected” shows when I use a smiley I know the art of tongue-in-cheek. Besides, I know how temperamental some alleged “conservatives” are when I bring up the Bolshevik & Czar Nicholas option. 😉

    As far as card-carrying Republicans, it normally means people put party above country no matter what. Germans did that with Hitler. There’s a term for that: it called brainwashed.

    And btw, don’t confuse supposed “irrational emotion” with a failure of some people to understand and appreciate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    You know Jeff, you mentioning your “lovely wife”, but I can’t recall anyone asking.

  9. Maybe like Jesus’ General, you should start signing your posts with Heterosexually Yours instead “Jeff”.