Oprah Effect

Sure, celebrity endorsements don’t usually help. Whether it’s Charlton Heston, Chuck Norris, Sean Penn or Barbra Streisand, the results are negligible because such celebrities preach to the converted about their favorite conservative or liberal candidate du jour. But they do draw crowds and press coverage.

But Oprah Winfrey? She could matter to Barack Obama, because she transcends the definition of celebrity in this culture. And she’s not so tethered to an ideology that she can’t conceivably influence the politically independent and the otherwise apolitical.

Winfrey is a factor. Hardly the most important or relevant one, but she’s no mere celeb endorser.

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