Oprah Winfrey was made clear on many occasions in the past that she is willing to carry water for Barack Obama. Her endorsement of him for president in 2008 is of sufficient import to merit its own Wikipedia page.
Yet, when it comes to the president’s vaunted health care law cum train wreck, even Winfrey holds her nose. According to Edward Klein writing at the New York Post, last summer, Valerie Jarrett, the president’s pointwoman on a host of issues, phoned Winfrey asking her to meet with Team Obama to powwow on how she could best use her influence to peddle Obamacare.
Oprah declined the invitation. Klein reports that a close ally of the media mogul told him:
All of Oprah’s top people thought she would go, because when the president invites you to the White House, most people automatically say yes. But Oprah said she didn’t have the time or inclination to go. It wasn’t like she had to think it over. It was an immediate, flat-out, unequivocal no.
Klein goes on to note that Winfrey’s reluctance to stump for the health care law may also be rooted in mutual hard feelings that have emerged since she first went to bat for Senator Obama in 2006.
Oprah, Klein writes, was promised access to the White House if Obama won. He quotes a source as saying:
Oprah intended to make her unique White House access a part of her new network. There were big plans, and a team was put together to come up with proposals that would have been mutually beneficial.
But none of that ever happened. Oprah sent notes and a rep to talk to Valerie Jarrett, but nothing came of it. It slowly dawned on Oprah that the Obamas had absolutely no intention of keeping their word and bringing her into their confidence.
Winfrey stayed home during the 2012 presidential race and has been silent on other Obama agenda, including his push on gun control, immigration reform, and the environment. She maintains that her schedule is too jam-packed for her to become involved in politics, even though she somehow found time to host a fund-raiser for soon-to-be-former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who won a U.S. Senate seat last week.
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