How Much Will Oprah's Support Help Obama?

Unlike her book club, if she likes him, fans might just not buy in
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2007 10:59 AM CST
A photo provided by Harpo Productions, Inc., shows talk-show host Oprah Winfrey holding her latest book club selection, Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth," during taping of the "The Oprah Winfrey...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Oprah Winfrey's formidable power of endorsement is well known: Long-neglected books become instant bestsellers when she announces she likes them, reports the New York Times. But as she hits the campaign trail, the daytime diva will see whether voters will scoop up Barack Obama as quickly; or as skeptics say, that "Oprah can't turn Obama into Oprah."

Conventional wisdom holds that celeb endorsements carry little weight—Barbra Streisand's nod isn't going to make anyone run out and vote for Hillary. But Oprah is "a pastoral figure," a political scientist counters, bringing more than an endorsement. “She’s pitching Obama as part of her self-improvement campaign, saying that he will improve your life and improve the nation,” a professor adds.