Although the press covers them pantingly, endorsements often mean little -- if anything -- in presidential politics. The days when a public official could deliver a constituency have long since passed. Even labor unions, once rock-solid in their bloc-ability, have been unable lately to steer their members to a chosen candidate.
Sure, endorsers may help a candidate's fundraising efforts by granting access to their Rolodexes. And the support of a mayor can usually get a few senior citizens to the polls on Election Day. But that's about it.
Unless, of course, the endorser in question is Oprah Winfrey. If anyone is an exception to all the rules, it's Oprah.
Seems like most of the candidates are starting to consider a visit with Oprah to be a big deal for their campaigns, but this will be the first time she's really sided for one candidate over the others. It's politically-incorrect to say this, but the first problem I see is that she's black and so is Obama and, gee, she decides to endorse him. Maybe that's a coincidence, but it sure is a funny one and doesn't look very good. Second, unless she really gets serious about the true issues of the day, I don't know how meaningful this will be. As I've said before, we've suffered through eight years of jovial incompetence in the White House and I think a lot of voters are going to take a harder look at the issues and where the candidates stand on them, not just who they'd rather have a beer with. If Oprah has him on the show and does nothing but lob marshmallows for an hour, that will not work.
I like Obama -- he's my second choice after Richardson for the nomination -- but I don't like talk-show hosts peddling politicians like they do tips on keeping your husband happy in bed or the latest pop-culture literary fad. I hope that Oprah will respect Obama and the American people by treating this with the seriousness it deserves.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!