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Sweet column: Oprah in NH for Obama “You can’t be fooled by this experience question.'' Obama acknowledges booking non-union venue, calls for hall to be unionized.


MANCHESTER, N.H.—Oprah Winfrey, after two days on the presidential campaign trail for pal Barack Obama on Sunday was home on the stump, delivering the fourth political speech of her life, flying here from a rally in South Carolina.

“You know, we started out in Iowa last night, I was a little nervous,” said Winfrey to an audience of about 8,500 at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

“I’m beginning to like this. I’m beginning to like this. I’m beginning to like it because I can feel that you are ready for a change.”

Winfrey, relaxed and familiar enough with her stump speech now to be freed from the tyranny of reading from text—which Obama communications chief Robert Gibbs said she wrote herself—riffed at times, pointing out that she brought with her best buddy Gayle King.

She drew parallels between Obama and herself; two self-made figures with strange names who made it to the top. Winfrey confronted Obama’s chief weakness, his lack of experience. Winfrey framed a new argument in appealing to the parents in the crowd

“You can’t be fooled by this experience question,” she said. “And time, because you know it is not the amount of time that you spend with your children, it’s the quality of that time, it’s what you do with that time.”

While Winfrey did not mention any of Obama’s opponents by name, she continued, “And what I know is that experience in the hallways of Washington do not compare to experience on the pathway of life.”

She said later, “where would I be in my life if I waited on people to tell me when it was time?”

A basic element of chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) stump speech is talking about the historic nature of her run, that if elected she would be the first female president. Obama does not make race an essential element of every speech. Winfrey talked about diversity to this mainly all-white audience.

“There is a new day. There is a new day a’coming,” said Winfrey. “And we can vote Martin Luther King’s dream into reality,” she said to cheers. “We can vote the dream into reality.

Obama, she said, “He’s the one person he’s not afraid to talk about what race means to this country. Not afraid to talk about it, understands it, and wants us all to come together.


At the top of his comments, Obama who paces the stage when he talks, returned to the podium to consult his notes. He acknowledged a labor tiff, resolved Friday to avoid pickets on Sunday, prompted by his campaign renting the non-union Verizon venue for the rally.

Obama’s remarks seemed to be the price for getting a pass in booking a hall whose workers are not unionized. He said he invited as special guests stage hands and pointed out that Joyce Cardoza, the business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 195 was in the audience.

He said he seated these “special guests” because “the Verizon Wireless Arena does not hire stagehands who are union workers.”

Last week, New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie said in a statement, “the NH AFL-CIO working closely with our affiliate, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, has reached a satisfactory agreement with the campaign. There will not be a picket."

The Manchester Union Leader reported Cardoza said before the agreement,"I am concerned why a candidate would go into a building and not be able to get union help in there. They are going in without a union company bringing in and setting up the equipment."

Said Obama, “This is a great facility and we should have union workers in here to make sure that the stagehands are getting a fair shake. I just want the, I just thought that that was important. 'Cause I believe in workin’ people. I believe in workin’ people. I believe in workin’ people.”

The first-in-the-nation primary here is Jan. 8


The only people fooled by the "experience thing" are the kids who are blindly following Hollywood Obama on his rockstar ego binge. The kids can have their candidate. Adults are voting for Hillary Clinton because she knows what she's doing on day one in the White House.

"You can't be fooled by this experience question," she said. "And time -- because you know it is not the amount of time that you spend with your children, it's the quality of that time, it's what you do with that time."

While Winfrey did not mention any of Obama's opponents by name, she continued, "And what I know is that experience in the hallways of Washington [does] not compare to experience on the pathway of life."

Oprah Winfrey said, " is not the amount of time that you spend with your children, it's the quality of that time..." I guess Senator Obama is applying that addage to his constituents in Illinois. During his short two years in the senate, he used the first year promoting his book and the second year he used running for president. So the only quality I see is the quality of life for him. He visited our town in Illinois once since he got elected and I envy the people in Iowa because they see and hear him way more than the constiuents he currently represents. We are the forgotten ones. He has also missed critical votes, so yes Miss Winfrey it does count to be in the hallways of Washington and being home with your Illinois family of constituents.

I was very excited to vote and campaign for Senator Obama two years ago, but he appears to be all glitz and glamor and no substance. I am not willing to vote for a person who doesn't do their homework and job.

I would first like to point out that anyone elected to the Presidency for the first time gets "on the job training" since they have never done the job before. Even Hilary who lived in the White House as the First Lady regardless of what some may think is not experienced as a President. She just thnks she is and she is also probably the most arrogant woman I have ever seen. During an iterview with Barbara Walters some years back I recall Barbara asking her whre she would be at that time if Bill had not been elected President. Her answer was she'd still be in the white house because who ever she married was going to be president. I don't know about anyone else but to me that meant she was the driving force and brains behind the man and without her he was nothing. And I am sure that the only reason she moved to New York after the White house years is because her research showed that was the only state in which she could win a senate seat that might lead back to the White House.
Now as far as Senator Obama is concerned he definitely exhibits the poise and charisma needed to ascend to the White House. What appears to be his biggest liability is his race and that is the biggest disgrace this nation faces. This country has never had a female or black President and that time is coming but Hilary should NOT be the first woman to assume that honor. Her interest is purely personal and not those of the country's. while I believe Obama has the country's interest at heart. Given a choice between the two I'll take Obama.

Cardoza: "I am concerned why a candidate would go into a building and not be able to get union help in there."

Where is Guido and the boys when you need them?

We need union workers in there to make sure the stagehands get a fair shake-down because I believe in the workin' people as long as they are 'union' workin' people.

That means all you guys working in an open shop are not actually workin' people. You may be content with your employer, even proud of your company and its product, but you remain in the eyes of Obama and Company, nothing more than a scabbed leper shunning the light.

You got the mange!

After the Oprah Hullabaloo, Barack Hussein Obama should do a reality check and stop day dreaming.

He was overwhelmed by the publicity stunts of the Oprah Winfrey Road Show and forgot to address the real issues at stake.

After the Oprah Winfrey Road Show, what's next?

It should be pointed out that AFL-CIO President Mark S. MacKenzie also said he recognized that booking the Verizon Wireless Arena was really the only choice that the Obama campaign had with the large number of people expected to attend this New Hampshire event. There simply aren't event facilities of this size readily available in New Hampshire.

How is Hillary going to be able to run the White House on day one when she can't even run a good political campaign. If running a campaign is any indication, Obama would definitely make a better president. Oprah is right. Don't be fooled by the "experience thing." Remember, Dick Cheney had tons of experience. It's time for a real change. It's time for inspiration. It's time for hope. It's time for Obama. He's the one.

I hate to say it but Oprah sounded kind of dumb. Experience does matter and where she is is not relevant. She does a TV show. Obama wants to be leader of the free world. He's not ready and no matter what, I am not voting for someone because a TV personality says so. She should stick to promoting bad singers and bad movies, I don't think she has done Obama any favors.

Obama spells hope for our nation, something we all need badly. Hilary represents the old guard. The Clintons have gotten a bit too cozy with the Bushies. We have had a Bush in the Wight House for 20 years since 1981.. Remember Bush1 ran the CIA in the 70's. Even though Bush1 started out as the vice, he and his cronies have been running the country ever since. When I hear Republicans on CNBC praising Hilary, it's time to jump off her train. Hilary already said we will be in Iraq at least until 2013, which would give her another term in office until 2016. That would be a total of 36 years of Bush/Clinton running the country. Very scary! We probably can vote for little brother Jeb Bush by then and continue the kingdom.
It's all one big happy family making lots of money on this war.
So far Obama and Richardsen are the only choice we have.

To all the nay-sayers out there...You so-called "adults" have been allowed to mess things up for long enough. Obama will win, not because of Hollywood, or because a talk-show host endorsed him, but because he is the best candidate.

Don't be afraid. Obama '08

The world doesn't have time for on-the-job training. The Clintons already have global respect, which we need badly. Hilary has been a powerhouse in Congress. Obama hasn't and Edwards wasn't. The best lawyers and journalists thoroughly investigated her and turned up nothing. Republicans have no mud to sling at her. She could bring out half of Hollywood if she wanted. Instead she focuses on issues, not celebrities or whining like Obama and Edwards. She's an excellent campaigner who makes virtually no mistakes. She can pull this country together and gain support from the middl. They have to win the middle to win. Hilary will be the 1st president to pay attention to the needs of women and kids. She also has the respect of business leaders, which we need to respond to global warming and a looming recession. Hilary Clinton is the only one prepared to clean up the mess Bush will leave behind. If Democrats rally around her, we'll have an ideal candidate and a smart, highly qualified president. I'm 100% enthusiastic about Sen. Clinton and I recently volunteered through her website, to work for the first woman president.

I'm kind of wonder that Oprah means if Bush's capacity can be a president, so why not Obama? Please we get enough already.
It is extremely important that Experience and Vision are both needed for a job, should be said a service to American people, in the high office.

Being an adults means being accountable for the choices and judgments you make.

Hillary has not once been accountable for her errors in judgment, whether it is the Iraq war, healthcare or her decision to choose all the foreign policy experts who were wrong on the war as her advisors.

Adults who think about what it means to have experience and who what to rely on experience should know that you cannot rely on experience that is consistently wrong.

You have to change unless you want the same failed outcomes it is ignorant to keep choosing the same folks who got it wrong.

Thinking adults would not vote for HRClinton and once the electorate realizes that Obama will be sworn in as the next President of the UNITED States of America in Jan 09

Obama 08

This election is crucial,after the bush administration has run us in the ground so bad, we need someone who can turn things around. Everyone says we need change,no one says what kind. What we need is change back to what we know works.We know Pres. Clinton made things work well and we need Hillary to bring things back to balance,then we can afford to take chances with other peoples ideas.Hillary has led this campaign from day one on both sides of the fence. When she said she has a health care plan every decided they also have a healthcare plan and they followed ever since. That to me shows true political leadership!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 9, 2007 10:28 PM.

Sweet Oprah/Obama New Hampshire 2: Will Obama speak to labor dispute? was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Obama in L.A., fund-raiser with the stars. is the next entry in this blog.

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