Obama Can Trump Clinton with Oprah

The news that Oprah will stump for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is tantamount to a political earthquake, in my book. The moment we couldn't imagine, Obama edging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) over so late in the game, after holding back for so long, has finally arrived. And all along Obama has been holding back his best weapon, saving it for last.

We didn't know what Oprah Winfrey, who long ago made her preference known for Obama, would do to actively help him beat Hillary Clinton. As Most Popular Male in the country -- Bill Clinton -- campaigned for his wife, Most Popular Woman in the country stayed quiet, save for a swanky fundraiser she threw him at her house. It grossed $3 million, but the number clearly is a pittance compared to what a collection of side-by-side Oprah/Obama appearances would do for the Barack-Star.

Oprah's universe of worshipers threatens Clinton because they bridge the groups of women who choose her and the group that prefers Obama. The women watching Oprah, following her, listening to her, reading her magazine and checking her website include those lesser-educated, lower-income women who support Hillary, as well as the more educated and higher-income females who back Obama. In other words, everyone is a member of Oprah's book club. But the people Clinton should probably worry the most about are those removed from politics, those disinclined and disengaged from the process. If Oprah tells them to get out of their chairs and get behind this once-in-a-lifetime politician, something tells me there are going to be some empty seats.

We all know how powerful the Clinton machine is. But Oprah has never failed to sell anything she endorses; the Clintons have.

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Can Oprah push Obama over the edge? Send comments and questions for my weekly Q & A video post to askab@thehill.com.