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Ticket Replay: Obama's speech so moves Oprah her eyelashes fall off

January 4, 2009 |  7:02 pm

This weekend The Ticket is republishing some favorite items from the past 2007-08 political season. This story originally appeared in this space on Aug. 29, 2008 immediately after Obama's stadium speech in Denver:

Daytime TV celebrity and billionaire businesswoman Oprah Winfrey, who played a crucial early primary role in raising the prominence of her fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama, was so moved by her man's Democratic acceptance speech Thursday night that she cried off her false eyelashes.

Longtime successful daytime talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey comes under strong attack in reader comments in Top of the Ticket for her political involvement endorsing Democratic presidential hopeful Illinois Senator Barack Obama over a woman, New York Senator Hillary Clinton

Winfrey, who had previously said she would play a small behind-the-scenes role in Obama's speech to 84,000 close friends at Invesco Field, was herself mobbed by enthusiastic fans after the address.

"I thought the speech was transcendent," she said. That's "what I thought. I thought the speech made us all feel we can do better, be better, walk taller, be higher. I just have never experienced anything like that.''

And she said "ANYTHING" as if it was ALL capitalized.

Winfrey hosted several huge rallies for Obama at the start of the primary season in Iowa and South Carolina, which he won, and New Hampshire, which he lost. As reported here in The Ticket, her daytime TV audience, while remaining the largest, did shrink after her first involvement in partisan politics.

Many women expressed strong disappointment that the woman had abandoned the first serious female candidate for the White House, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in favor of Obama.

Did Obama win the election as a result of the speech? "I think what he won was everybody wanting to go out and make sure he wins the election,'' she said.

Then came the fashion admission: "I cried my eyelashes off just when he walked out. What was the best part? Every part of it. Everything he said. I thought it was the promise of democracy fulfilled tonight.''

"You can make him win,'' an admirer shouted.

"We can make him win,'' Winfrey replied.

With the crowd closing in, Winfrey shouted: "Excuse me. This is Obama's staff, and we would love to take a picture.'' So they did.

-- Peter Nicholas

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Photo credit: Joe Raymond / Associated Press

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