Thursday, November 24, 2005
Can Oprah help Hillary Win?
Oprah Winfrey, left, recipient of the International Emmy's Founder's Award, stands with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
CNN today tried to gauge what it called the "Oprah Effect". The term, now the subject of a class at McMaster University in Canada is described in the course description as "the single most influential factor on book sales in the history of publishing." The media mogul met the senator this past week at the International Emmy's Founder's Award where Oprah was honored and delivered what amounted to an unofficial endorsement by urging Clinton to run for the presidency in 2008. The two are considered the "most admired women" in the U.S., and, no doubt, the New York senator hopes to turn Oprah's marketing might into votes and to strengthen women's support for her candidacy. In a poll reported on by CNN, if the elections were held today, a McCain candidacy would win again Clinton by 10 points, in part due to men's overwhelming support of McCain and women's split support of Clinton. If the so-called "Oprah Effect" can be activated to help secure the White House for Hillary Clinton in 2008 it might signal an historic shift in the role of women in American politics and mark the emergence of Oprah winfrey, not only as a cultural icon and marketing force but also as a political power.