Hollywood Flocks to Oprah's Fundraiser Bash for Obama

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Sept. 10, 2007 – When the richest woman in show biz gives you her juice, you get something like the shindig Oprah Winfrey threw for Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday at her sprawling California estate.

With a guest list that included such notables as Stevie Wonder (who performed for guests), Sidney Poitier, Forest Whitaker, Chris Rock, Cindy Crawford, Jimmy Connors, Linda Evans, Dennis Haysbert, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and Halle Berry, it was the hottest ticket in town.

The talk-show diva, who has kept it no secret that Obama is her "favorite guy" and "choice," for president, reportedly told a crowd that she hasn't been actively engaged before because there hasn't been anything to be actively engaged in, an unidentified source tells the Chicago Sun-Times.  The source tells the paper that O says she's engaged now "to make Barack Obama the next president of the United States."

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Saturday's event was the kind of setting that helped Obama look even more like a rock star, as the sold-out $2,300-per-person gala offered the appearance of a burgeoning political movement that is attracting a rainbow of regular folk and hordes of Hollywood heavyweights alike.

Already, the Illinois senator has cleverly turned his lack of D.C. experience into an advantage, saying that the nation needs fresh blood, rather than the stayed, stale, separatist politics of his closet rival, frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Obama – thanks in large part to the fact that he is younger than his rivals, knows how to leave the necktie at home and has the most high-profile pop icons on his side – is getting a boost in selling himself as an alternative to the status quo.

The well-dressed crowd that was buying the message on Saturday was bused to Winfrey’s home from an equestrian center about 10 miles away in a caravan of limos and other luxury cars, CNN reports. The event was expected to raise about $3 million, according to published reports, which should go nicely with the $58 million he has raised so far – more than $4.2 million of which came from California alone between April and June.

Obama shocked the political world several weeks ago when his financial disclosure report revealed that he has done a better job than anybody in history in raising money for his presidential run.

With Oprah considered the second most influential woman in the United States, according to a recent Gallup Poll, just how much will her support help Obama? 

The Democratic presidential hopeful tells the Chicago Tribune that right now it's hard to say but "Oprah is somebody who has enormous reach, and that means that I may get a hearing in certain quarters," Obama said.

Do you think that America would elect a Black man to occupy the White House? Click "Discuss Now," on the right, to comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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