January 8, 2008

The Oprah Effect Revisited

In light of Obama's victory in Iowa and his strong showing in New Hampshire, its worth quickly revisiting Oprah's involvement for a moment. The MSM is so simple that they often miss the boat on whats really going on. In the case of Oprah's endorsement, people, including Dr. Laura, are also missing the boat.

The Obama campaign was very smart in obtaining Oprah's support and they were genius in how they used her. They went on a three state tour, before the IA caucus and NH and SC primaries and used her celebrity to the get the names, phone numbers and email of 60,000 potential voters. You had to give up your info for tickets, you got better seats if you volunteered, it was genius. They have been working those 60,000 voters ever since, and turned them into victory in IA, a very strong performance in NH and potentially a victory in South Carolina. Oprah was the sizzle and they provided the steak. She made the pitch and they moved in to close the sale. Very smart. It was not about a celebrity endorsement, it was about getting a shot at 60,000 voters and they totally succeeded.

That success is an intriguing predicate to a discussion about what else is possible in impacting public policy if the black elite and the political class joined forces to press for change on other public policy issues facing black America.