All Articles Tagged "presidential campaign"
Remember the woman who was nearly drooling at the mouth at the mere mention of Barack Obama’s name in 2008? Where is she?!
Anyone who was around during the last presidential election knows that Oprah Winfrey nearly had Obama’s back more than Michelle on the campaign front. Don’t act like you don’t remember the way she would hold out “O-ba-maaaaaaaaaa” anytime she was introducing the President or his wife. Michelle even became the first person to share a cover with Oprah on the April 2009 issue of O; and the Commander-in-Chief and first lady also joined Oprah on one of the final episodes of her talk show last November. I’m tempted to say the thirst was real. But that’s not an accurate term. The support and love for the African American leaders of our nation was real, or at least it appeared to be, because during this election season all we’ve heard from Oprah are crickets.
This isn’t a new observation. Plenty of people have been waiting for Oprah to pop up somewhere along the line with a “Soul Sunday” or “Next Chapter” special of some kind, but so far we’ve been given nada. President Obama will be featured in the November issue of O, but so will Romney, meaning the coverage is based on the newsworthiness of the 2012 election not Oprah’s belief in “Hope” and “Change.” So why this change?
Some would have us believe the reasoning behind the dwindled support is quite salacious. In his book, The Amateur, author Edward Klein alleges that adviser Valerie Jarrett turned Michelle Obama against Oprah when the queen of daytime talk got a little too comfortable with the Mr. and the Mrs. He wrote:
What good was it being the gatekeeper if you couldn’t lock the gate when you wanted? And so Valerie set about turning Michelle against Oprah. Oprah was too close to the president . . . Oprah was acting like she was the first lady . . . Oprah didn’t know her place . . . Oprah was a bad influence . . . Valerie advised Michelle to “distance herself” from Oprah and cut her out of the White House inner circle.
IT didn’t take much to convince Michelle. As Michelle knew only too well, her husband had a compelling need to win the approval of strong women like Oprah. He seemed to be in awe of the talk-show host, sometimes giving her advice priority over Michelle’s. For instance, Oprah thought that Obama was overexposing himself on television and told him to pull back. Though Michelle disagreed, Obama listened to Oprah and restricted his TV appearances. As far as Michelle was concerned, Oprah’s billions and her elite lifestyle disqualified her as an adviser to Barack, who had no truck with wealthy people, except as a source of campaign contributions, and was a redistributionist at heart.
While that tale could very well be true, I’m inclined to believe what I feel is a more probable explanation, also outlined in Klein’s book: Oprah’s support for Obama was hurting her. Klein wrote:
As it turned out, a sizable chunk of [Oprah's] audience took offense and stopped watching her show. No sooner had Oprah hit the campaign trail, appearing beside Obama at one primary rally after another, than her personal favorability ratings began to slide, falling from 74 to 66 percent. Her unfavorable ratings suffered an even worse fate; they jumped from 17 to 26 percent.
Oprah somewhat confirmed those concerns earlier this year when she told Charlie Rose on CBS “This Morning,” “I’m 100 percent behind our president.” But “I will not be out there because I’m trying to fix a network.” Being the superwoman that she is, Oprah could no doubt figure out a way to juggle OWN and hop on an Obama PSA or two. What she’s not saying is she can’t afford to isolate the Republican supporters who watch her show by pushing her political agenda. And I don’t blame her for that. The gray skies are just starting to clear up for the Oprah Winfrey Network thanks to her celebrity interviews. Pushing a pro-Obama agenda could send the channel right back into the red, and I’m sure her investors wouldn’t be too happy about that, given the millions of dollars they’ve already lost.
Though it might be more entertaining to make up wild stories of black-on-black woman beef to explain Oprah’s absence this campaign season, I’m more inclined to believe the reason she’s been behind the scenes is much more business than personal, and I’m OK with that.
Why do you think Oprah has been more lowkey with her support of Obama during this election season?
More on Madame Noire!
- Well, You Don’t Say: 9 Celebrities, Ballers, Authors And Vixens You Might Not Have Known Were Virgin Islanders
- If At First You Don’t Like Him, Try Again?: Should You Give Him A Second Chance?
- Be Real With Yourself: Is Your Past Behavior Causing Your Own Trust Issues?
- Heyyyy Awkward Black Girl! Issa Rae Talks Next Moves and Explains How Her Mama Put A Stop To Her Michelle O Project
- Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Why Falling In Love Is A Choice (And Why I Hate Romantic Comedies)
- An Open Letter To Men Suffering From Light-Skinned, Long Hair Syndrome: I’m Not Flattered
- Contemplating The Heart: How I Came To Understand That His Love Was Not A Pure Love
A group of about 100 people gathered at the 40/40 Club last night where Jay Z and Beyonce hosted a $40,000 per head fundraiser for President Obama, raising a total of about $4 million. On the menu: champagne and sliders. You can see a couple of Instagram shots of Bey dressed for the event here.
The Washington Post has got a pretty good wrap-up, based on what the reporters were allowed to see. Journalists are shown the door after some prepared remarks and before the donors in the room are given the mic to ask questions. Unlike Romney’s now infamous statements about the “47 percent,” Obama stuck with positive remarks, thanking Beyonce for being a good role model and talking about the “bond” between he and Hova because their wives are more popular than they are.
The money raised at this fundraiser and another earlier event at the Waldorf-Astoria, which cost $12,500 per family and was attended by 200 donors, will go to a number of Democratic causes including the DNC and the Obama Victory Fund. There will be one more “Dinner with Barack” event, open to donors giving as little as $5.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Census Shows 27.6 Percent of Black Americans Live in Poverty
- No to OWS: Jay Says He Never Supported Occupy Wall Street Movement
- Vh1′s Jackie Christie and Stylist Rochelle Moseley Encourage Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
- Put Your Pride Aside: Why You Should Take The Job You Need Until You Can Get The One You Want
- Celebrities, Freebies and (Maybe) Some Shopping: A Look at Fashion’s Night Out
- Vogue’s First Fashion Week In Africa Highlights Renewed Interest in the Continent
Well now. That was… enlightening.
In case you haven’t seen this video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser in Boca Raton a few months back, here it is in full on Mother Jones. Few people get away without a remark from the presidential candidate, but the comment that has gotten the most play is about the “47 percent” who don’t pay income taxes. These people are “victims” that he “doesn’t have to worry about,” characterized as freeloaders on society.
When you dig down into the numbers, that “47 percent” (about 76 million people) is mostly elderly people who don’t have to pay taxes on things like Social Security; the indigent, who have so little, you’d have to be cruel to suggest taking anything more; and members of the military and veterans, who are putting their lives on the line for us. Even among the people who don’t pay income tax, there’s a big chunk (two-thirds) who are paying payroll tax. ABC News offers a full breakdown here. A small sliver of the non-income tax payers are actually wealthy people who managed to rack up enough deductions to get out of paying. Go figure.
MSNBC characterized Romney’s comments as a fundamental misunderstanding of how our society works; the “social compact” of who pays taxes, who doesn’t and why. Republicans who are supposed to be on his side have even ripped him for the speech. “This is not how big leaders talk, it’s how shallow campaign operatives talk…It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one,” wrote columnist Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, President Obama reminded us on Letterman last night that the President is meant to represent all of the country.
So today, Romney is trying his darnedest to keep from apologizing for the comments, twisting and turning them into a pretzel of epic proportions in order to show how these thoughtless and awful statements are actually a part of his big economic plan. In a USA Today opinion piece published this morning, he says, “Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency make America strong. When the economy is growing and Americans are working, everyone involved has a shared sense of achievement, not to mention the basic sense of pride that comes with the paycheck they earn.” Given a little more time (and a lot of help from his campaign, no doubt), he’s gone back to talking about “everyone” and how great everyone is/can be. The column is short on actual policy and long on rah-rah-rahs, but here it is nonetheless.
The question is whether Romney’s campaign is officially sunk. Your thoughts?
Beltway insiders and D.C. talking bobble heads may have found their star Republican candidate of the week in Minnesota Congresswoman and de facto Tea Party Presario Michelle Bachmann, but based on the latest YouGov poll in conjunction with The Atlanta Post, the numbers are telling a different story. Even though she has yet to announce any intention for a jump into the wannabe White House tenant fray, former Alaska Governor and media lightning rod Sarah Palin actually gets the bump with a 20% approval rating against Bachmann’s barely registering 5%. What’s up with that?
It adds a whole new twist to the slow burning but heated competition between the two influential conservative women as observers are figuring a dust-up of cat fight proportions is about to bubble up. Based on whispers between campaign consultants, observers and folks steeped in the political grapevine, Palin more than likely curled her lips and sucked teeth when she heard these famous words earlier in the week: “I filed my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States today and I’ll very soon be making my formal announcement.”
The problem was that it wasn’t coming from her. Instead, standing where she assumed she’d be standing had stars correctly aligned was Bachmann. That, of course, became the hit sound bite of the highly anticipated and ultimately dry Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire last week. Bachmann, who had carefully laid groundwork and built bricks leading up to that point, was now capturing the spotlight in new form.
Unraveling is what some observers are referring to as a death match contest for spotlight between the two titan conservative women — both white, both scrappy and as polarizing as the other, both elected officials (although one with a shorter political résumé), both moms … and both who carry huge political weight on the partisan right. Now, there is a sense of a political cat fight looming, each jockeying for the H.W.C.W.I.C: Head White Conservative Woman in Charge. It’s the conversation Republican strategists are having, but no one wants to talk about out of fear it could melt into distracting headlines as the GOP struggles to find a message for 2012.
The problem, based on the YouGov poll, is: Michelle Bachmann who? That’s once you step outside Beltway World and the fantastic, self-congratulating universe that is mainstream media. It still reigns true when looking at the RealClearPolitics.com aggregated polling averages in which we find Palin in second place at 16% points against leader Mitt Romney’s 24%. Brother From Another Pizza Planet, Herman Cain (the only non-elected official in the pack who hypes up his experience as a former, 20th century CEO of Godfather’s Pizza), snags about 7% in the YouGov poll; but, check it – he’s actually faring better than Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul, cats who’ve been elected and in the game for a longer time than Cain. Not bad for yet another black Republican talk show host with no track record. But, he’s got mad Tea Party sound bite cred.
Still, in the YouGov survey, Sarah Palin’s unfavourable quotient is the highest amongst any major national political figure: 40%.
Here are just a few things I love about Herman Cain… and by love I mean that I find them fascinating and worthy of study.
(1) Cain’s campaign is a reminder that black political ideas are complex and multi-layered. I became fascinated with the political history and contemporary manifestations of black conservatism while writing my first book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. In it I argue that it is ahistiorical to dismiss black conservatives as race traitors laboring under self-serving, false ideology. Conservatism has deep roots among African-Americans. It appeals to self-help, views the state as overly intrusive, and believes free markets are non-discriminatory. Black conservatism stresses that political strategies are inferior to efforts for economic empowerment for addressing racial inequality. These tenets echo Tea Party rhetoric, but among black Americans this form of conservatism is typically, especially racial.
(AP) – Herman Cain has run a pizza chain, hosted a talk radio show and sparred with Bill Clinton over health care. He’s never held elected office. Now the Tea Party favorite wants to be president. ”In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or doubting Thomas out there, just be to clear … I’m running for president of the United States and I’m not running for second,” he told a crowd at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. Chants of “Herman” erupted. The announcement by the businessman, author and talk radio show host that he was joining the expanding Republican field came after months of traveling around the country to introduce himself to voters.
(New York Times) — A clump of reporters and photographers on Thursday got a glimpse of the new Chicago headquarters for President Obama’s re-election effort. An entire floor at 1 Prudential Plaza, which looks out on the city’s prized Millennium Park downtown, will be the campaign’s home — only a few blocks from the 2008 headquarters. Dozens of staff members began moving in on Tuesday, but many empty seats are left to be filled in the coming months and the place is still a work in progress.
(New York Times) — President Obama will close the office of political affairs at the White House in preparation for the establishment of his re-election headquarters, which will open its doors in Chicago by late March to concentrate on building a national fund-raising and grass-roots operation to rival his first campaign, aides said. The president has signed off on the plan to set up his campaign headquarters away from Washington, a first for a modern-day presidential re-election campaign. To avoid turf battles, chaotic communications and duplicated efforts, aides said, a significant realignment is under way in the West Wing, with the duties of the political office being taken up by the Democratic National Committee.
Everyone’s whispering about the artist, Wyclef Jean’s aspirations for the Haitian presidential seat.