Could it be a sign that the Obama 2012 is feeling shaky? Politico has reported that Oprah is ready and willing to campaign for Obama again:
Winfrey, who is beginning a new chapter in life following the sunset of her monster-hit show, told POLITICO she would be “happy to be of service” to Obama for his reelection campaign.
“I supported Barack Obama in 2008 because I believed then as I do now that he is the right man for the job,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I wanted to share my enthusiasm for his candidacy in hopes that others would see what I saw in him.”
“As for 2012,” Winfrey added, “If the campaign needs me, I’m happy to be of service. I’m in his corner for whatever he needs me to do.”
Since Obama’s inauguration, Winfrey hadn’t publicly declared her intent to campaign for his reelection, even when he and first lady Michelle Obama taped an episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Show” near the end of its final season.
So now all of a sudden she is back on board, after reports in April that she was going to stay publicly out of 2012 because she had been concerned Obama boosterism would hamper her efforts to build an audience for her struggling television channel, OWN.
Could it be that Oprah’s network has now gained a sufficient share of the viewership so that she doesn’t have to worry that her liberal Hollywood politics would drive segments of her audience away? Um, not likely. About.com Media reported last week in “The Oprah Winfrey Network Falls to 73rd in Cable TV Ratings” that:
Its ranking had been 45th for the first quarter, so dropping to 73rd place for the second quarter shows that ratings are in a free fall. TV Week reports that OWN is in last place among all women-focused cable networks.
This comes after the announcement in early July that Oprah was taking over as CEO at OWN.
The About.com Media story goes on to note:
Winfrey’s issues extend beyond television. Her O magazine is faced with an advertising sales drop of more than 31%. The Media Industry Newsletter says that compares with a 7% drop in ad sales for monthly magazines overall.
So is Oprah simply willing to toss her troubled network over to assist her buddy Obama? Or is campaigning for him simply a way to get her name in the media again?
Oprah’s CEO announcement in the NY Daily News also included a little tidbit about one of OWN’s shows in development: a new talk show hosted by Rosie O’Donnell set for this fall.
Anyone afraid their endorsement of Barack Obama would damage their business would not be putting the toxic, hate-spewing Rosie O’Donnell in a prime slot on their network. Having O’Donnell gush anger and slime daily might tend to turn off more people.
Oprah can’t help herself. She’s just a lefty, now more anxious and willing to promote liberal views.
Therefore, I’d bet Oprah needs the publicity as much as Obama does. She’s gonna gamble that she’ll gain more eyeballs than lose the ones she pokes in the eye by appearing in support of Obama again.