Obama Owes Her Big Time
Winfrey's endorsement gave candidate huge boost, especially during primaries
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2008 2:07 PM CST
Oprah Winfrey waits with Stedman Graham at the election night party for President-elect Barack Obama at Grant Park in Chicago, Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – As an early backer of Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey may have made the difference in the close primary contest against Hillary Clinton, Jake Tapper writes for ABC’s Nightline. One statistician estimates Winfrey—whose choices for her book club, for example, have an astronomical impact on book sales—delivered between 400,000 and 1.6 million primary votes for Obama. She laid low for the rest of the campaign, but now that he's won, expect a more open role.

For her, it was just another reason to be ecstatic as she lifted her freeze on political discussion on her TV show yesterday, bounding on stage waving an American flag and wearing a "Hope Won" T-shirt.  Winfrey acknowledged that her viewers might not all share her enthusiasm: “Trust me, I know,” she said. “If it had turned out differently, we'd be doing the show today from Northwestern Hospital with a drip.”