Hell Hath No Fury (a.k.a. Oprah And ObamaCare)
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by JimmyMack 10 months, 4 weeks ago.

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One person who has been conspicuously absent from the political front (and especially the ObamaCare debate) over the past few years has been Oprah Winfrey. Ever wonder why? I have - especially considering how visible she was in President Obama's campaign in 2008 - even acquiring the unofficial moniker of "President-Maker" after the election. This item from today's online New York Post tells the tale:

"Even Oprah isn’t on board with ObamaCare

By Edward Klein | October 20, 2013 | 5:29am

As the White House was gearing up to sell ObamaCare to the American people last summer, Valerie Jarrett, the president’s pointwoman on a host of issues, phoned Oprah Winfrey.

She invited the Queen of All Media to join celebrities, including Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys, to meet with President Obama and discuss how they could generate publicity for his health-care law.

Oprah refused.

“All of Oprah’s top people thought she would go, because when the president invites you to the White House, most people automatically say yes,” said one of Oprah’s closest advisers. “But Oprah said she didn’t have the time or inclination to go. It wasn’t like she had to think it over. It was an immediate, flat-out, unequivocal no.”

Instead, Oprah sent a low-level rep from one of her talent agencies, which was regarded as a insult. Obama had been counting on Oprah’s immense persuasive powers to help enroll millions in ObamaCare. But as the rollout turned into a disaster, Oprah didn’t lift a finger to help.

The story of why Oprah has changed her tune and gone AWOL on ObamaCare goes well beyond mere gossip. It speaks volumes about the convergence of celebrity and politics under Obama and about a president who thinks nothing of using and then discarding his most loyal supporters.

Everyone remembers that Oprah went all out for Obama during the 2008 presidential election. What was not reported was that, in return, Oprah was promised unique access to the White House if Obama won. She’d get regular briefings on initiatives and a heads-up on programs to give her material for her fledgling cable network, OWN.

“Oprah intended to make her unique White House access a part of her new network,” a source close to Oprah told me. “There were big plans, and a team was put together to come up with proposals that would have been mutually beneficial.

“But none of that ever happened. Oprah sent notes and a rep to talk to Valerie Jarrett, but nothing came of it. It slowly dawned on Oprah that the Obamas had absolutely no intention of keeping their word and bringing her into their confidence.”

Oprah did not campaign for Obama in the 2012 race, and she has been absent from his battles on gun control, immigration reform and the environment. She claims she is too busy to get involved in politics, even though she hosted a fund-raiser for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who won a US Senate seat last week.

Oprah’s friends publicly dismiss the idea that she had a falling out with Obama. They note that she phoned Michelle Obama right after the 2012 election to congratulate her. They say Michelle invited her to have dinner with the first family. But the dinner never took place, and Oprah continues to be frozen out.

“Oprah was hoping there would be a genuine change in the atmospherics,” one of her friends told me. “But there hasn’t been. Clearly, she is being rebuffed at the level of Michelle and Valerie. And, just as obviously, President Obama hasn’t interfered on Oprah’s behalf.”

During Obama’s first term, I argued in my book “The Amateur” that Michelle was jealous of Oprah, furious that he was seeking her advice.

“For her part, Oprah doesn’t like being with Michelle, because the first lady is constantly one-upping the president and anybody else around her,” said an Oprah adviser.

“Oprah has struck back by banning the Obamas from her O, The Oprah Magazine . . . It probably hurts Oprah more than Obama, who, if he had his head screwed on straight, would have flown to California and begged Oprah to help him save ObamaCare.

“But Obama hasn’t budged, and neither has Oprah. She’s hurt and angry, and I seriously doubt that Oprah will ever make up with the Obamas. She knows how to hold a grudge.”

See: http://nypost.com/2013/10/20/even-oprah-isnt-on-board-with-obamacare/

Wow. Tough stuff. But interesting......very interesting.....


Latest Activity: Oct 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM


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Graeme245 commented on Sunday, Oct 20, 2013 at 16:27 PM

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! I almost feel sorry for the poor man.

Yes, Oprah's absence on the matter has been VERY noticable. They truly could have sold "O"care to the masses in no time flat with her help... I'm thinking probably 3-4 one hour regular network broadcast/townhall-type shows done as only Oprah can. It wouldn't have changed the 'plan' but it sure COULD have changed how people perceived it. If Oprah had said it was okay people would have bought IT.

sebekm commented on Sunday, Oct 20, 2013 at 16:49 PM

I think it wouldn't even have required that much time. Just three or four 30-second "public service"-type commercials pitching the importance of signing up, aired on the networks and cable during the 90 days leading up to the 1 October launch. That would have made a big difference.

But above all else, Oprah has usually been very savvy about what she endorses. Her intuition might have told her that the product (i.e., ObamaCare) wasn't one that she wanted to be associated with. The fact that the rollout has been such a STINKER would bear that out. (It also happens to be bad legislation.) After five years, Oprah may also agree with Tavis Smiley that history will show blacks will have taken a step backward in the struggle for economic and social improvement during Obama's two terms.

I suspect that the "Michelle Factor" might have had a bit to do with it as well. If Oprah was really bothered by "the first lady...constantly one-upping the president and anybody else around her," that would do it right there.

But whatever. The whole situation reminds me of the Kennedys and Frank Sinatra after the 1960 election. Sinatra and the Hollywood crowd were squarely in Kennedy's corner, and reportedly "delivered" many votes for Jack. After Kennedy won, Sinatra was frozen out. There are some GREAT stories about how all of this went down and Sinatra's reaction.

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 at 14:54 PM

So....it's come to this: tabloid he said she said, has it? And what's with asking Oprah to help Obama "save" the ACA? The last time I checked it was the Law. But yet, as the right continues to throw their mud ever so frustratingly at the ACA, they have now resorted to an "Oprah-Michelle spat." Well, do tell. I believe I'm coming beset with the vapors!

A cat fight??! REALLY??!!!!

This is getting silly.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM

It is, but it is what it is. The story here is that a MAJOR Obama contributor and member of his "bull pen" has gone off the reservation. Oprah - the "President Maker" isn't selling Mr. Obama's failed policies - for whatever reason.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 17:35 PM

Sebe, you are this blogs greatest contributor. Funk pegged you correctly as MVB, Most Valuable Blogger. You're respectful, even handed for the most part, and rarely lose your temper. (one of my major failings here.)

Though it is not a major screw up, this one regarding Oprah and Michelle, well in my opinion is beneath you. I realize many are throwing the kitchen sink at ACA, but you are a much more erudite wordsmith than calling the play by play action of what MAYBE is or is not an out and out real catfight.

I know the ACA has hit the fan in negative public opinion. And it may turn out to be a good thing for uninsured Americans, or it may turn into a horrible boondoggle. But I believe we gave W. several years to find his weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq at a cost of trillions of taxpayers money. All without results.

IF ACA turns into a BAD thing, then Americans will flush it. But, to be fair, I think we should give it time to work out the kinks and see.

Yes, it kinda looks and tastes bad at this point in time, but much like castor oil it just may turn out to be a good thing for the Nation's health. As bad as it looks and tastes in its present form.

Leave the cat-fights to the tabloids and stay with the comments of substance for the readers of this blog site to consider.

After all, female rasslin' didn't ever catch on and was a dud at ticket sales. Just a humble comment.

Jimmy


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