Oprah Shines for Obama

Talk show host slams criticism that Obama lacks experience
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2007 5:10 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.. and his wife Michelle, left, stand with Oprah Winfrey during a rally, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Oprah Winfrey made her debut in presidential politics today, challenging an electrified crowd of 18,500 in Des Moines to "think seriously" about Barack Obama, a candidate she said she supports not because he is a Democrat but for "very personal" reasons. “For the very first time in my life, I feel compelled to stand up and speak out for the man who I believe has a new vision for America,” she said.

Oprah conceded she didn't know if her support would sway voters the way her show affects book sales. But she said worry about the country and belief in Obama compelled her to enter the fray. She challenged the notion that Obama lacks experience. "The amount of time you spend in Washington means nothing unless you are accountable for the judgment you made," Winfrey said, adding that Obama "stood with clarity and conviction against this war in Iraq."