Remember the letters Wisconsin teacher, law enforcement and firefighter union leaders sent out to privately held businesses demanding they publicly oppose the efforts of Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators during the state’s budget battle? It’s time they turn their attention to Oprah Winfrey.
You’ll notice I didn’t suggest they set their sites on The Oprah; ensuring I stay with the new tone. From the letter sent by the union thugs on March 10 …
The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.
In 2007, The Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Sen. Barack H. Obama for president. The backing was supposedly worth more than 1 million votes, with some pundits suggesting Obama would have lost the election to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) without her. In May of 2007, CNN’s Larry King asked Winfrey why she took the step to endorse Obama publicly. My emphasis in bold.
“Because I know him personally,” Ms. Winfrey replied. “I think that what he stands for, what he has proven that he can stand for, what he has shown was worth me going out on a limb for – and I haven’t done it in the past because I haven’t felt that anybody, I didn’t know anybody well enough to be able to say, I believe in this person.”
While the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is in the hunt for ratings, Winfrey seems to be heading back towards the trunk of the tree. Although publicly, representatives suggest Winfrey has, and always will support the president, an insider told Pop Eater’s Rob Shuter (recycled with a different headline spin in the NY Daily News) that Winfrey will hold back on any 2008-style endorsement efforts.
As much as Oprah may still love President Obama and may support him behind the scenes, do not expect to see the same public support you saw in 2008. As my source puts it, “Helping a friend keep the most important job in the world is great, but making sure her OWN network thrives is now her priority.”
This is where the Wisconsin union thugs should come in. I think they should send a letter to The Oprah and demand that she publicly and enthusiastically support The One – aka The Zero – during his reelection bid or they will assume she is supporting the opposing candidate(s) by default and suffer the consequences.
See what I did there?