Hillary v. Oprah — Oprah won the battle, but Hillary won the war
Oprah went off the air this week with much fanfare. The hoopla — though annoying to some — was well-earned. Oprah’s rise from a dirt poor and abusive childhood to the most powerful woman in the entertainment biz epitomizes the American Dream. She has mothered millions and changed lives with her philanthropy.
Truly, Oprah Winfrey is a woman to celebrate. That’s why it’s especially sad that her lapse of judgment in 2008 ran her off the air so quickly. Oprah endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008. Women – especially the middle class white women who formed her core audience – felt betrayed.
Oprah had never forayed into politics before – and her first foray was to kneecap Hillary Clinton, a hero for middle and working class women. Some have suggested that Oprah’s endorsement put Obama over the top; he would not be President without her, which is a testament to her power.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans and Clinton Democrats were not impressed. In the wake of helping Obama win the White House, Oprah saw her favorability ratings and the ratings for her once-dominant television show drop.
No doubt Oprah saw the writing on wall and decided to end her show before the bottom fell completely out. It did not have to be this way. But Oprah’s disgraceful dismissal of Hillary’s candidacy and consequent demise ranks as yet another example of the curious series of downfalls now afflicting so many 2008 Hillary backstabbers.
Oprah may be the most powerful woman in American entertainment — but Hillary Rodham Clinton is still the most powerful and admired woman in the world.