*A few months ago it didn’t seem as if Oprah Winfrey would be down for helping President Obama in 2012.
Winfrey hadn’t publicly declared her intent to campaign for his reelection, even when he and first lady Michelle Obama taped an episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Show” near the end of its final season.
Winfrey, who is beginning a new chapter in life following the end of her history making daily TV show, told Politico she would be “happy to be of service” to Obama for his reelection campaign.
“I supported Barack Obama in 2008 because I believed then as I do now that he is the right man for the job,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I wanted to share my enthusiasm for his candidacy in hopes that others would see what I saw in him.”
“As for 2012,” Winfrey added, “If the campaign needs me, I’m happy to be of service. I’m in his corner for whatever he needs me to do.”
Analysts say Oprah would be a great proponent in the campaign due to her strong following. She could boost support among Democratic women, particularly white, working-class women.
“One of the biggest problems that the administration has right now is communicating to women that they are in touch with women’s lives, and particularly downscale women’s economic lives,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told Politico. “Oprah has a 25-year career communicating that. In some ways she can be even more influential in saying ‘Hey listen, this is what this administration has done. I’ve never lied to you. They are in touch with your lives as I have always been.'”
Meanwhile, Republicans are poopooing the idea of any measurable “Oprah effect” in 2008 or in 2012. Instead, they’re chalking up her support as another example of a Democratic candidate palling around with celebrities — something they’ve largely succeeded without.