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The O-Zone. Will the Rarefied Air of Oprah Translate Into Votes for Obama or a Big Fat ZerO?

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South Carolina.  Tomorrow, Sunday, looks like it's shaping up to be a huge day for the two big Os.

So big in fact, that the 18,000-seat facility where Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey were first scheduled to appear had to be moved to the 80,000-seat Williams-Brice Stadium at the University of South Carolina, because the demand for tickets was so great.

According to some polls Obama has been closing the gap between himself and Hillary Clinton, and in some cases pulled ahead of her.

The question is, does anyone really care if Oprah or anyone else endorses a candidate, and does it help or hurt a candidate?

Okay, that's two questions.

I remember one time when it hurt, big time.  It hurt me; I doubt it hurt Hal Linden, who was the star of "Barney Miller," and it wasn't a candidate he was endorsing, it was a "thing."

At the time, San Fernando Valley children were being bused out of the Valley to inner city schools to even up the educational playing field, so to speak. Linden joined forces with then mayor Tom Bradley to air public service messages.

Together, they urged Valley parents to obediently comply with the directive and put their kids on unsafe, unseat-belted buses for the freeway trek many miles from home.

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Ironically, my son was scheduled to be bused to a school in West Los Angeles that would have been his home school if we hadn't moved to the Valley a couple of years earlier.

There were also the extend hours to be considered.  In total, it meant an extra four hours a day that kids would waste getting up earlier, coming home later, and spending all that extra time breathing in fumes on congested freeways during both rush hours.

The mayor, showing absolute disrespect for the good sense of his constituents, was so fearful that Valley parents were going to riot.  He  felt he had to caution us to mind our manners -- as if we were a bunch of unruly school children -- and follow the rules like so many docile sheep.

It was a total affront to our intelligence and a slap in the face from two men whose children were in private school.  They weren't obeying the court ordered school busing, so how dare they tell us what to do with our children.

I never turned "Barney Miller" on again.

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To endorse or not to endorse, that is the question.

I don't care for Oprah.  One has to wonder how good her people judgement is when after all, she's the woman who brought us the pompous, arrogant, insufferable Dr. Phil.

Oprah, just as any other personality, will turn out the groupies and curious to see her and her endorsed candidate, but it's questionable whether she can actually influence anyone to vote for Obama.

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Sandy Sand began her writing career while raising three children and doing public relations work for Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). That led to a job as a reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle, a (more...)

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