The impact of today's inauguration was not lost on Oprah, a key early backer of Barack Obama. "It means everything," she told Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It means everything and more and everything. It's like no moment I ever expected to experience." Sweet found Oprah near the West Capitol steps within a celebrity goldmine of sorts—Denzel Washington, Caroline Kennedy, and Jesse Jackson, among others.
"I can't say anything that hasn't already been said," said Winfrey. "It's beyond. It's sacred. You know I feel both celebrative and like celebratory and also very sobered by it." Kennedy, speaking hours before her uncle Ted suffered a seizure, echoed the sentiment. "It's so exciting for everyone," she said. "I am thrilled to be here." New York Gov. Paterson, meanwhile, will soon name his pick for the Senate, and Kennedy is still believed to be a front-runner.