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A surprise: Oprah pays a real cost for supporting Barack Obama

(UPDATE: This Ticket item has aroused so much interest, traffic and hundreds of comments that a new one has been published this morning. After you've read this item and are ready to go to the new one, just click here to read the reactions of hundreds of Oprah fans and former fans. Thanks for reading.)

Most of the attention on the O2 effect -- Obama and Oprah -- has been focused on how much the daytime TV cult leader helped her home state senator by endorsing him and appearing at all those rallies in Iowa and South Carolina with Barack and Michelle.Daytime TV diva Oprah Winfrey's support of Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle turns out to have cost her perhaps more than she helped him

The 54-year-old Chicago TV hostess certainly helped raise a hefty chunk of change by loaning out her estate for that Obama fundraiser last summer.

Oprah Winfrey has long enjoyed an immense popularity tied to her long-running daytime TV show, which started in 1986, and helped give her favorable ratings around 78% by 1996. So well known is she that one name will suffice, as in our headline.

In one 1999 survey of the most admired and respected 20th-century women, Oprah (26%) came in only second to Mother Teresa (33%), who didn't have her own TV show. And in 2003 a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 60% thought Oprah was a more powerful woman than someone named Hillary Clinton, a former first lady and senator, who drew only 28%.

Fourteen months ago, a Gallup/USA Today poll found 74% of Americans had a favorable view of the TV personality.

Then on May 1 last year, Oprah announced during....

the Larry King show that she was, for the first time, going to throw her considerable weight behind a political candidate -- Obama.  King's suspenders nearly snapped.

“I think," she told old Lar, "that my value to him, my support of him, is probably worth more than any check.” Although, to be honest, her estimated $2.5 billion in wealth could buy an awful lot of TV ads in Indiana. It might even be able to purchase the Hoosier State. 

But little attention has been paid to the effect of Obama on Oprah. Now along comes Costas Panagopoulos, an assistant professor of political science at New York's Fordham University, to ask and answer just that question.

Writing at Politico.com, he suggests the aging empress of TV has paid a price for getting into the dirty business of politics with and for her man Barack. By August last year, a CBS poll found her favorabMother Teresa who beat out TV talk-show hostess and billionaire Oprah Winfrey as most admired woman of the 20th centuryle rating had plunged from 74% to 61%, still twice as good as the president but nearly a 20% drop.

Around Thanksgiving she announced that not only was she supporting Obama, but she would campaign with him and we'd see if her political recommendation carried as much weight as her book recommendations. Oprah's political travels produced a media feeding frenzy and a publicity bonanza with women routinely fainting in the front row. The campaign said her rallies produced 10,000 new volunteers.

Winfrey campaigned for Obama in Iowa, which he won, in South Carolina, where he won, and in New Hampshire, where he lost. We haven't heard much about Winfrey since the voting started. Did she realize something we're just getting?  We heard only that she left the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ several years ago, reportedly over some of his more militant sermons that Obama says he never heard.

But 10 days after the campaign media explosion her favorable rating had dropped further to 55% and her unfavorable ratings for the first time climbed to 1 in 3.

A December ABC/Washington Post poll of Democrats found 8% were persuaded by her Obama endorsement, 82% said it wouldn't matter either way and 10% said her recommendation had turned them off Obama.

Now, Panagopoulos has discovered an AOL TV popularity survey of 1.35 million Americans that found 46% said the daytime TV host who "made their day" was Ellen DeGeneres while only 19% chose Winfrey. Forty-seven percent said they'd like to have dinner with Ellen, while only 14% chose Oprah.

Apparently, neither Ellen nor Oprah were asked who they'd like to dine with.

Panagopoulos draws the conclusion that in these days of pervasive media, in reality, celebrity endorsements run the real risk of costing the celebrity more than they benefit the endorsee. So celebs may want to think twice before hitting the stump.

But then how many hundred million dollars a year does an assistant professor at Fordham pull down?

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Newsday, Archdiocese of Colombo

 
Comments () | Archives (515)

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Earth to movie people, musicians (Springsteen), TV people (Oprah). Talking politics is a career killer. For some reason -- even though it's axiomatic to never talk about religion or politics -- entertainers want to insist that this is there right as Americans, which it is. So, tell your friends and family. But no, they have to tell the millions of people who pay them to be court jesters and the like. Problem is, nobody wants to hear your political views, mostly because they are liberal 90% of the time.

Oprah is numer ONE to me and if she feels that Obama is a good choice for president, then I am sure he is.

She is a wonderful person and for her to endorse him he must be also.

The Clintons have been on the Opra show and so has Obama. If any one thinks Oprah has lost any fans or her endorsment they are wrong that is sad and too bad.

Fox was my favorite station when Oprah was not on TV, I will not be watching Fox much now. How can they compare Oprah to a num called Mother Teresa, come on Nuns are poor and what can they do for others. i worked for a Catholic hospital at one time and when I went to one of the Nuns that was on the board as being the owners, she told me the corporation is own my the jewish and the wealthy stock holders that she could not do any thing about me being fired because some one did lie about me and they wanted their friend to be hired, so they got away with it.

The wealthy people always win, so I say go OPRAH GO and I hope so day you are President, you would sure get my Vote.

James Staley
Ann Arbor, Michigan

www.tahitiannoni.com/staleyjames

"60% of the times I read this article the math is right 100% of the time. Wow.... I hope the statisticians that think 74% to 61% is a 13% change don't work for my insurance company. If they did and I had a 74% chance of dying and cut that chance in half.... according to them I would have only reduced my chances by 37%. If I reduce the chances of dying 50% I want to know about it at least 61% of the time. Either way they would only reduce my premium -4.2%.

Posted by: It is | April 09, 2008 at 08:06 PM "

More math problems by someone who should go back to school. You have 100% chance of dying. No matter what anyone tells you, you cannot reduce that to even just 99%.

Tomorrow on Oprah's Book Club: Math for Dummies! Next week: Anything for Dummies - You name it!

The posters on this site need help with basic math, not the author.

Suppose the survey included only 100 people. 74 of them like Oprah. 74%, right? Now suppose the next poll shows only 61 people like Oprah - 61%. Thats a loss of 13 Oprah supporters, but to figure the percentage that decline represents, divide the difference (13) by the original favorable number (74). 13 / 74 = 17.57%. Still not quite 20, but close enough to make the author's point.

You are all right about one thing, though: the math skills learned in school today are pathetic.

Now I know Liberals are mot very smart, so I will explain to you the very difficult subject of % change so you don’t try and kill the author (Liberals are also very intolerant and violent). To find the % change you first take the original number (74% in this case) and subtract the new number (61%) and divide by the original number. So Boys and Girls, it would be 74-61 / 74 which equals 17.6 % or as we can say by rounding up, almost 20%.

It would be great if Liberals didn’t shoot off their mouths before they learn some elementary math. This is what happens when we keep passing Little Johnnie when he fails math, just to enhance his self-esteem.

America all knows what these two are about. They are racist. Jeremiah Wright is no different than Louis Farrakhan who by the way has also endorsed Obama. Wake up America and smell the chitlins.

"This Ticket item has aroused so much interest, traffic..."

All mighty Drudge has linked to it. What else did you think it was?

One woman, one word, I respect her for standing on her feet and speaking her mind out. God bless her!

Maria, she does have every right to support whom she chooses. Her ratings reflect that perhaps Americans now question the sincerity of her "open mindedness" along racial lines. She took a calculated risk and went public with her support for a candidate based soley on the color of his skin. Does her public abandonment of Obama prove she values her career over her civic convictions?

Kwinn

You're correct Rev. Wright and Dick Cheney are not alike.
Rev. wright turned into a racist,anti-american homophobe while Dick Cheney served his country in other capaciities and gave a huge portion of his wealth to charities( not his owncharity, I might add)
Why is ist wrong for Cheney to have been deferred from service because he had a family but o.k. for Bill Clinton to have fraudulently avoided the draft?

I'm confused. I may not be a Oprah fan, but I believe that everyone has the right to choose any candidate they wish. She has never used her show to promote Mr. Obama.

I am a fan of Helen's show. I'm almost positive that I saw Mrs. Clinton on Helen recently. You will never be able to make everyone happy. If she had chosen to support HIllary Clinton, then Afican Americans would be saying the same thing aht white women are now complaining about. She has exercised her right to freedom of opinion, freedom of speech. Leave the woman alone.

It's the nature of politics. Anytime you come out in support of someone some people are not going to like it.

The fact is Obama has inspired many fist time political endorsements including on from the Senator of North Dakota. 3 women governors also endorsed Obama.
These are women that achieved their position on their own merit.

Oprah has wrongly being accused of being racist,
and a gender traitor. Her White female employees and the vast majority of her audience disagrees.

As Americans we should cherish the fact that we have the opportunity to support the candidate of our choice.

"But then how many hundred million dollars a year does an assistant professor at Fordham pull down?
-- Andrew Malcolm"

What does this have to do with a Hill of Beans?

How much someone makes DOES NOT lend to explaining Intelligence or Ignorance.

Ignorance, although, DOES NOT explain the Super-Status Fame of the Super-Rich, who happen to put their Underware on the Same Way As You, and thus are No better than the rest of us. More often than not, they were in the right place at the right time. Oprah is a perfect example, Phil Donahue was Already Lagging when she came on the scene.

Now, Ellen, because she is not ignorant enough to get into the political swing, especially with someone as obviously Lack as Obama is, is gaining ground against Oprah (YES, I DID just call Oprah Ignorant, and if she had stayed out of Politics, I would Not have called her ignorant). It speaks Greatly to what people want out of Oprah, and what they have no desire to deal with out of her.

The "Professor", who definately Does Not "Pull down" as much as Oprah, by your own words, IS Obviously more intelligent than YOU give him credit for, even IF he does not make Millions doing so.

Stick to Reality, Not your Personal Prejudices Against those not making Millions.

What does this mean to Oprah really? She is doing so much with various shows that the Oprah Winfrey show is just one more although it is the most watched show. The Big GIve is an incredible idea as well as her internet show. With the radio show and the movie production company. Oprah is a revolution in her self. Taking the time to back someone she believes in and showing commitment to the same will not hurt her in the long run. When Brack wins Oprah will win even more. Just because she will have done something great for America.

Her popularity DID almost drop 20%.

It only dropped 13 percentage points, but it comes out to be almost 20%

I'm no math expert but seeing these comments is pretty sad, did any of you graduate high school? Just take 13 and divide it by 74. It comes out to 0.175. Move the decimal and it becomes a 17.5% drop in her favorable rating.

Someome please tell me basic math is biased against the Obama campaign and its supporters.

“had plunged from 74% to 61%, still twice as good as the president but nearly a 20% drop”

For the math challenged that responded to that statement saying that 61 is only a 13% difference from 74, you are wrong.

If you have a bucket that contains 74 apples and you eat all but 61 you have eaten 18% of the apples in the bucket. Maybe that is not 20% but it is closer to 20% than 13%. She lost 13 percentage points but not 13%. The article states percentage, not percentage points.

More accurately 61 is 82.43% of 74 leaving a difference of 17.57%, that’s math. 74 minus 61 is 13, that’s arithmetic. You have to move your thinking beyond second grade arithmetic. Oh, I see now, you studied New Math.

The would is in turmoil and people are talking about Miss Winfreh. She is an okay person , but as a country we must pay attention to the true issues, such as, abortion, the war in Iraq, education, high taxes, high gas prieces, etc., and not who is funding who for president. God bless..

Doc Savage, you are quite the cynic. Hopefully, and realistically I think, your view will be wrong.

For those morons who are using the percentage value equation (x-y/x * 100) as evidence of a "20 Percent" drop in Oprah's favorability ratings, have never taken statistics or at best failed the course. When you have a value representated in units of a percentage (%) like they are in this arcticle. You express that drop using the same units. For instance, say I have $10 and i gave someone $5 from my $10. In dollars its expressed as a "$5 drop". In percentage its expressed as a 50% percent drop. You do not use a percetnage value to express a percentage drop from values that are already expressed in percentages.

Andrew Malcolm and the L. A. Times....shame on you!!! To not mention Costas Panagopoulos previous affiliation with the Clintons is unconscionable. Purposely misleading and an appology to your readers should be issued Today.

Btw, yes 13 point drop is almost 20% of 74.....
morons...

""The support of white women made Oprah her billions. While she has every right to vote and campaign for whomever she wants, she stabbed all women in the back. She used her clout against the first viable white woman. Hope she sinks into oblivion. I will never forget."

Let me get this straight... white women gave Oprah her success so she owes them a debt!?! Thank you for making very clear the racist undertone of the Hillary campaign.

I don't even watch Oprah because her show is irrelevant unless you're a self-indulgent upper middle class housewife. I have news for you-- No one cares what you think, they just want to sell you stuff!

Now go back to your boring meaningless life and let real people decide the fate of the world.

By the way Hillary got everything she has from riding her husband's coattails. Sound familiar?

In recent years there has been a cause/effect relationship with regard to 'stars' and political endorsements, this may well be the case here, it may not. The fact is many Americans have become painfully aware of the "holier than thou, smarter than you so do what I say" attitude of so called celebrities and their endorsements. People are getting tired of being told what and how to do something by people who do not live in the same world most of us do and who tend to be far less intelligent and the dwindling interest in celebrities as well as a drop in tv ratings and movies is another example of that.
I imagine her sinking 'approval' ratings are a combination of things, as mentioned by others, and not solely tied to her endorsement of a severely flawed candidate (then again, all 3 of them are terrible candidates so...)
Personally, I've never watched her show or any of the other mind numbing day time garbage that's on, that is not an attack on Oprah as she's done a lot of good thing with her time and money over the years.

What an amazingly arrogant and ignorant comment to make regarding the salary of a professor. This is exactly the problem with hollywood. Somehow they've convinced themselves that rich = intelligence, apparently the writer falls into this same category which says alot about his intelligence, or lack thereof. Personally, I'd rather be intelligent than rich, unlike the morons in hollywood.

Lincoln - your post shows a depth of ignorance that is laughable. While I don't watch any broadcast news anymore due to the painfully left slant of most of them, FOX actually has the largest and most diverse audience than any of the others.

canuck, I'm glad you don't live here too.

To make a statement that Oprah's been hurt by her affiliation to Obama by maybe a 100 postings from people that don't agree with her is not only a very weak scientific sampling, but a sensationalist headline grabber that is meant to drive traffic here (it worked on me).

Oprah's awesome. And she's opening up people's eyes to new ways of thinking and relating to one another. And if people want to tune out, that's their prerogative, but a whole lot of people (like me, who have only been avid fans for less than 2 years) are really turned on by all the the same characteristics that some people claim have turn them off to her.

All those who thought a 13 point drop = a 13% drop raise your hands...ok...All those who are supporting Obama for president raise your hands...ok...hmmm Aren't you the self described Intellectual party...sheesh...I bet Bushie could have figured this one out.

I weep for our future.

It's funny that it takes a republican...someone a little more business minded, to explain the math behind the article. Go Public Education!!!!!

I'm not sure that Oprah's drop in favorable ratings is entirely due to her endorsement of Obama. Rather, I think her endorsement of Obama and the resultant decline is just a symptom of something else that was already going on with Oprah.

I'm one of those people who would probably fall into the category of having switched allegiances when it comes to Oprah. But the Obama endorsement, at least for me, was just the cherry on top of a bigger sundae.

About two years ago, Oprah seems to have decided to become an advocate for her race by really pushing positive representatives and images of black people on her show. We see it on almost every show now. That's an admirable goal, but at some point, it gets a little tiring to watch her show when it's "all about the black," (as I started referring to it about a year and a half ago). There are other races in this country, after all, and there are other positive stories to be told that don't involve making a statement with racial subtext.

So when Oprah endorsed Obama, I didn't see it as an endorsement of someone with positive leadership characteristics. Instead, I just rolled my eyes and figured Oprah was, once again, making a statement based on race.

As I said, I appreciate what she's trying to do, but I'd certainly be a lot more interested in her show again and in her specifically, again, if she went back to being just a little more color blind.

If the math skills of the "typical" Obama supporter are on display here, be afraid, be very afraid.

Okay children, -20% from 74, or take a calculator (if you have one) and enter 74 x .8. See what happens?

No wonder Obama is akin to a cult leader.

Well ... many of the Obama and Opra supporters here NEED a brief lesson in math. 61% is WHAT PERCENT of 74% ... that's the PERCENT DROP ... the PERCENTAGE POINT drop is 13%, but the PERCENT DROP is a little more than 18% ... This confusion probably explains why so many of you actually believe OBAMA's economic plans ...

An earlier post said:
"If this survey was done by Fox then I do not believe it. 75% of Foxnews listners would not like Oprah whether she supported Barack or not. Anyone that likes Hannity definitely would not like Oprah."

I don't like CNN (too partisan) - but I wouldn't dismiss their polls. This poster is WRONG to say that 75% of Foxnews listners [sic] would not like Oprah... where did he get HIS poll data from? I am thinking Fox polls are definitely more accurate. I watch Fox, love Sean Hannity's show (tv and radio), and still love Oprah. I have a good many friends that watch Fox and like Oprah. What I like about Oprah transcends politics. I actually like her better that she backed Obama than if she had backed Hillary (neither of them are my choice). I like Oprah because of her giving nature, her efforts to get people reading, and her positive attitude. I like Hannity because there is very little I disagree with him about politics and how this country should be run. I am betting that Hannity and Oprah have a lot more in common then this other poster would like to think. If Oprah left Jeremiah Wright's church for the reasons stated in the article - then I like her even more! Hannity and Oprah seem to both be patriotic, successful, and respected media personalities. I know that many in this country see conservatism as a disease rather than a choice - but just remember, our founding fathers, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Q. Adams, etc., were CONSERVATIVE!

I am surprised to see how many people cannot calculate percentages and/or who cannot read. I assume you could be confused with the phrasing. The phrase "nearly a 20% drop." is not the same as the phrase "drop of 13 percentage points."

Math lesson:

74 - 61 = 13
13 / 74 = 17.56756756756 (this is what we call a repeating number. It happens a lot in division. You can round that to 18% which is nearly 20%. If you do not like to round, you can also just put a line over the repeating numbers.)

I don't care what political affiliation you are. If you base your decision on who to choose for president based on the advise of ANY celebrity, you are an intellectual midget.

For those who dismiss Wright's influence on Obama: would you be so inclined to dismiss such hate-filled rhetoric if the person sitting in that pew for 20 years was a conservative? Of course not. You're either lying to yourself, or to us, or both.

Go do your own research and stop listening to others telling you how to vote. I don't care which news media you trust, whether it be Fox, CNN, or MSNBC, or talk radio, or whatever, please do the country a favor and go do some fact-checking on your own.

here are my thoughts on the money fallout from the obama and mccain campaigns:

http://thevote.abc13.com/2008/04/more-money-more.html

Her ratings may be twice as good as the President's (nice cheap dig), but they're THREE TIMES as good as Democrat-controlled Congress's, and Pelosi's. Why mention those more astounding numbers though when you go hit the punching bag bush. The BDS MSM is pathetic.

The point of the article is that celebrities risk losing popularity when they enter into the political fray. I agree. When an a celebrity starts preaching I quit buying tickets to their movies or quit watching their T.V. shows. I believe that is what's happening to Ms. Winfrey. Just entertain me, don't pretend you know more than I do just because your an actor. After all, what do you do other than read lines someone wrote for you?

I believe some of her ratings may have dropped because of Obama. However I think in large part she is losing her Christian audience because she is so far into New Age. Her latest course she is teaching is A Course in Miracles which says Jesus and the Cross have nothing to do with your going to Heaven. Since she has gone New Age the quality of her show content has dropped as well. She is a really good person, but in my opinion very misguided.

OPRAH..NO MORE ,'' BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER,''SO MY MAMA SAID TO ME.
HER NEW AGE PREACHING IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO HEAR ON HER SHOWS...USTO WATCH,BUT ! HER OBAMA SUPPORT DID IT FOR ME....SORRY NO MORE...OPRAH,
B.ring on somthing new..her time has past and she can retire for life with her billions >>> MOVE ON OPRAH

NEXT !

Wake up - Obama is Oprah, money equals power... Oprah for president!!!!!

Oprah hadn't voted in a primary since the 80's. It appears her support was race based.
But forget that, whats worse is her New Age radio shows, leading uncritical thinkers/blind sheep down the wrong path. That is what I really hold against her and pray for her. She is so lost and others are following.

The day Oprah announced her support to Barack Obama is the day I knew she would crumble with her audience. I'm disappointed and have chosen not to subscribe to her publication and watch her show any further. I am an American, taxpaying citizen. This is all about our choices. She's just made hers and I have made mine.

To J WOODS a Member of Trinity UCC:

1st yes Obama has written Two Books the second one was to help ease the I hate White people statements most likely inspired by Rev. Wright
2nd Obama as NOT Drafted AND PASSED NUMEROUS LEGISLATION. in Fact the majority of the time as his own State Senator he Voted "Present" on inportant bills for funding and such things as partial birth abortion, which I guess he is fine with and the times he did vote and was asked abouthis vote he said Quote"I hit the wrong button"
3rd I agree there may be more to Trinity than what we are seeing on the 30 sec clips... unfortunitately nobody is comming out with tapes of love for the fellow man from this church...infact my research is finding that there is even more to the story that is going to come out later and thus the reason the media group that was hired by the church to put a positive spin or light on the church. There is no doubt that this church has done some GREAT things in the community and around the world but so has the Islamic community, and when extreemist try to inspire a group like this church is doing....BAD things can and will happen. Unfortunately, Obama Stayed.....Fortunately Opra Left.....She will be stung for a short time in the ratings but ultimately forgiven for making a wise decision in NOT closing her eyes nor her ears to what was going on in her church. Good for you Opra!! Best of luck.....

Think about your decision though, about supporting a person who choose to stay in that enviroment and kept the him as his personal Spiritual Leader (Uncle).

I see the Obama supporters have weighed in and proven they have mastered math the way they have mastered economics, politics, and race relations.

"...74% to 61%..."

Is nearly a 20% drop. It is also a 13 point drop in support.

80% of 74 = 59.2.

Are the logic challenged starting to see the picture?

People that cannot figure basic math should not be allowed to vote.

I think Obama's 20 year association with Wright (and therefore Oprah's support of Obama) is entirely relevant to the discussion. If the KKK held barn dances and opened community centers the better to spread their venom the left would not be making excuses for them or their political supporters. Bravo for Oprah for leaving Wright's church -but then here she is supporting one of his surrogates. Under these circumstances I would not trust Oprah, Obama, or any of the other appologists for this appalling bigot. The stakes for the Country are too high. I am not a Hillary supporter and do not feel that Oprah was obligated to support a woman against a superior male candidate. However, Obama is not that one.

i think oprah backing obama didn't make a difference she was a member of the church and she left becuase of the comments of the Pastor, then he is a liar because says he never heard those comments well if he didnt hear he was told by other members because i am a member of a prominent church and if i don't go to church and our pastor preach any kind of sermon and it as anykind of things that we dont expect from him i would hear from someone that was there , so i dont believe himn and i think he was suprise that those things came out one minute he was not there and the other he didnt hear those , once a liar always a liar, oprah says she is a christian but refuse to marry the man she claim she love for all these years and the Bible clearly talk about marriage not living together , i couldnt care less if she give him all her money i am not going to vote fopr him until i am he as been in the senate for some more years so he will have learnt the role and how to play it to the fullest .

Does anyone of voting age actually CARE about this tripe?

I am ashamed of women!!! One should not just vote for a person based on gender but by key issues--and, Senator Clinton, does not represent a true woman! She has lied, blatently about her experiences--oh, excuse me, misspoke several times. If her character has portrayed lies--is this the type of person you want in office? I would love to see a qualified woman run for President--but it is one who stands for honesty, peace, and what was once the American Dream. I'm sorry--but Senator Clinton is far from it. And, she continues to slam her opponents in a very low manner. I would want someone who can stand on her merit, not by slam-dunking her opponents.

Sorry, but I think Oprah should be able to chose who she wants...

Would Oprah have supported Obama as much as she did if he were white?

To all who ask how is a drop from 74% to 61% a 20% drop? Simple mathematics.

Let's say the sample size is 100 people. 74 of them approve of Oprah. That's 74%. After her escapades with Obama, 61% (that is, 61 people) now approve of her.

61 / 74 = .82

This means she only has 82% of the supporters she once had. Therefore she has lost roughly 18% of her supporters. That is pretty close to 20%.

to Sign who considers herself a black women first. You are part of the problem. How can the racial divide ever be overcome until we consider ourselves as humans first? Your obvious bias is so typical of blacks who have a chip on their shoulders. I am white but it is the last thing I consider when pondering the sad state of affairs in this country. Maybe you should try seeing past your color as I do because it sure helps to smoothe the way for me. I was permanently and severely disabled as the result of a black doctor's carelessness but I do not bear him more than occasional ill-will. If I did my life would be consumed by bitterness and I won't let anyone have that much control over my life!.

Count me in as a woman who was never ever a fan of Oprah, because she makes her money by exploiting the woes of others; she a phoney; and I wouldn't ever read a book she recommended. I will, however, vote for Obama inspite of her endorsement.

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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