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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

       Surely you have heard the news about the mother in California who gave birth to eight babies this past week; she already has six children; they are all under the age of 8.  The mother, Nadya Suleman, conceived all of her children by invitro fertilization.  She is unemployed and living in a three bedroom home with her parents.  There are so many questions about how an educated woman, could allow herself to get in this position of having 14 children with little or no support.  Many are questioning the ethics involved in allowing a single woman with 6 children and no job to get invitro fertilization in the first place; let alone, get implanted with 8 embryos.

         Part of the conflict is that people are wondering how did she come up with the money for the invitro for any of her pregnancies?  That is not cheap…let alone to have it done so many times.  Also, it is not normal procedure to implant so many embryos for one pregnancy.  Even when 4 or so embryos are implanted…it isn’t expected that all would become viable babies.  That is amazing in itself that all 8 would be viable and born.

        Now, the woman is living in a home with her parents with only three bedrooms.  There are already 6 children in the home.  Where will these babies live when they come home?  Nadya’s father is a contractor who works overseas and probably wont be around to help and the media has been reporting that Nadya’s mother is threatening to leave the home when her daughter comes home from the hospital.  She says that her daughter has been obsessed with having children her whole life; and, at some point received counseling for that obsession. 

     Nadya’s mother is saying that she is leaving.  So, that must be hard for her to even think about…but by staying would that be considered enabling her daughter or supporting her?  At this point, the babies are already here…they have been born.  The mother says that Nadya is out of embryos so that her obsession will have to end.   I think that is a good thing. 

         The question is…if Nadya truly has an obsession…why wasn’t that dealt with before this latest pregnancy?   Will the department of human services get involved to ensure that all 14 children are being cared for properly?  Will a social worker be assigned to the family to co-ordinate some kind of system to make sure that everyone is doing what needs to be done to support this family?  Who will pay for that since Nadya doesn’t work and her parents have filed for bankruptsy within the last couple of years?  The state of California, where she lives, certainly can’t afford to pay for that. 

         The medical expenses alone for this pregnancy will be astronomical.  Babies born prematurely will have huge medical bills from the birth and caregiving alone…not to mention possible life-long disabilities that they could face.  I heard, dont know if it is fact, that one of the older children has possible autistic tendencies.  That too, would be a big financial concern.

         All 14 children were allegedly fathered by the same sperm donor.  Does he bare any legal, financial, or moral responsibility?  Do you think he knows about the children…or do you think it is an annoymous sperm donor?  If he knows about the children…should he be legally forced to help provide physical and financial support?

          News programs were speaking today about the possibility of Nadya selling her “story” to Oprah’s show or maybe even Diane Sawyer for ABC news for something like $2million dollars.  Do you think that is appropriate or inappropriate?

           I at first thought…that is not cool.  She should have to work to provide for those children herself.  But then, reality set in…child care fees alone would take every penny that she makes; and she would still be a drain to the tax payers.  Not to mention…who in their right mind would take the responsibility of providing care for 14 children, all at once?  Another thing, if she was working round the clock to provide for them…she wouldn’t have any time to dedicate to the emotional needs of her children.  If she can’t make money from her “story” then…she would just be another single mother who supported her children from the money the rest of us tax payers pay in…and that is definately not ok with me. 

         As much as I dont like the idea of selling her story to the highest bidder…it is the lessor of two evils.  I dont think the American public (or California tax payers) should foot the financial or medical bills of that family.   Children are a blessing…i do believe in pro-life values.  However, this was a definate abuse of  the system to create a family.  Not the invitro itself…because i think that does provide an avenue for many families who have trouble conceiving children.  However, she already had children…she was not supporting them herself.  That was already a drain on her family and the tax payers assumably.  I do think it was unethical of whatever medical clinic that provided it’s fertility services to her, in her situation. 

         But, on the other hand, once they did enable her to conceive…I heard that she was offered selective termination of some of the fetuses to offer them a better chance of being born without difficulties.  I am glad that she did not terminate any of the babies…because i believe that is murder.  It is a terrible no win situation…but , life is life…and whatever she is able to do to legally support those children should be done.

         I do think if she is indeed offered a large sum of money…she should be court ordered to repay the tax payers for any support or monies that she/her family has received from the tax payers as no one else had the choice about how many children she chose to bring into the world.  I truly would be surprised if some reform or investigation is not performed to question the medical and legal ethics of this situation.  What are your thoughts on this story?

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       Yes Oprah is rich and powerful, yes, people hang on her every word…but, with the recent memoir, “Angel at the Fence” written by Herman Rosenblat; some people are looking to point blame at Oprah after finding out that the memoir was based on a falsehood.   Come on, don’t blame Oprah!

        Look the thing is…Oprah gives her endorsement to books that move her.  So what, if this book was written as a work of fiction the story would still be good.  The alleged falsehood of how the couple in the book met; upon which the premise of the book was based, is not any reflection on Oprah.  Herman was a survivor of a concentration camp.  He told a version of meeting his wife as having taken place when the “angel” would bring him apples and bread to the fence of the concentration camp…virtually keeping him alive and helping him to survive the experience.  

         In truth,what was promoted as a love story extraordinare was a lie; they actually met on a blind date many years after his experiences in the concentration camp.  It is a terrible thing to tell everyone a lie about the roots of his marriage; expecting others to perpetuate the myth…just to sell a book.  The Rosenblat’s son did not agree with the falsehood and says he didn’t want anything to do with it. But think about this, when people that his family knew learned of the the writing of the book…and were complimentary….how did his parents expect him to act?  Was he supposed to swallow the truth and pretend that the story being told was the truth?  Or was he to contradict his parents whom I am sure he loves?  What a predictament to put your child in!

         Even though the beginning of the Rosenblat’s relationship is said to be untrue…Herman’s experiences of survival in the concentration camp would have been a very good memoir; one which would have stood up well enough on it’s own, without the lie.  But, the lie is on the author…not on someone who read the book and recommended the book to others not knowing the truth.

          So, again I say…don’t blame Oprah for something in which she had no way of knowing was untrue.  If anything, it should reflect back on the publishing industry.  They are responsible for how they publish and package a book.  If they are going to put a description of the book as a memoir…then they have the responsibility of determining whether or not it is in fact a memoir.  Still, a memoir is a recollection of how one remembers events from their past…and unless the person in charge of publishing the book was there in the past…there has to be some free benefit of doubt that the author is telling the truth.  Ultimately, it is the author of the book that is responsible for whether or not the truth is being published.  In this case, no one else carries the weight of the falsehood more than the person who KNOWS IT IS A FALSEHOOD! 

        The sad thing is that this experience and others like it…only make it tougher for writers to break into an industry that is already famous for being difficult to get published in.   Who deserves to lose the loss of respect over this book for an abuse of trust…the publishers, the author, Oprah or the agents , or the publicity people?

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       Oprah has been discussing her frustration with her recent weight gain over the last two years.  This has been an ongoing problem for Oprah (and many others as well) year after year.  Weight gain/weight loss cycles are hard on the body and even harder on the psyche.  No one needs to pile on the negative comments…because the person going through it beats up on themselves enough!  That is part of the struggle.

        The thing is…the up and down roller coaster ride is not one that most people willingly “decide” to get  on.  One day they have struggled to gain control and lose the weight.  They have focussed on the issues at hand and have overcome the struggle. 

          Then, before they know it…they go on about their daily lives and boom…they find themselves back in a position of being overweight and out of shape.  Because in the course of living…they have gone back to old patterns of lifestyle; because, it is easy to slip back into the comfortable way of doing things, without even realizing that you are doing it.

         The thing is…being overweight is a bit of an addictive problem.  Whether it be smoking, drugs, alcohol or sexual addiction; eating too much is a food addiction…food is tied into holidays and traditions, lifestyle, emotional rewards and punishments; as well as, behavioral patterns. 

            Eating sensibly has to be combined with a proper amount of physical exercise to balance the nurtritional needs equal to the calorie burn to achieve a maintained weight.   If you eat more calories than you burn…the weight accumulates.  Health issues start to arise and you feel less like exercising.  It becomes a vicious cycle…one that must be stopped before serious health issues affect the person in  the quality of their life.

            In reading comments that some posters have left on the news websites that ran with the story about Oprah’s weight issues…there were those who were supportive and those who were not. 

          Those who were not…tended to be supremely over-critical about her weight, her money, her media savy as well as her political alliances.  Those who were supportive expressed compassion for her and her battle.  Many had been through it themselves in the past or were also in an ongoing situation with their weight.  It makes her real and approachable because often times, the public views celebrities as people who have it all at their fingertips…someone people often put on a pedastal.

           It is a bit frustrating when you think about all of the shows that Oprah has done about weight loss, healthy dieting, lifestyle changes, cooking healthy meals and snacks only to still be in the same position years later.  She is not the only person to do so though.   

            It is a bit discouraging to think that someone who has “all the money in the world” to hire chefs, personal assistants, personal shoppers, and dieticians is still unable to keep it all together in the weight loss department.  That makes those viewers who have less money and resources, who struggle with weight management,  feel less able to be in control.  In reality, a person who struggles with weight issues is in the same predictament no matter how much money they have.  Their self confidence and body image play a big part in their ability to control their weight. 

            Like it or not, Oprah has built a following through years of hard work on her television show as well as her movies and publishing ventures.  Oprah has developed what most business people and marketers are dying to figure out how to procure…it is called customer or viewer loyalty.  This is a great tool to help both Oprah and her viewers to encourage one another and motivate one another in reaching their goals and maintaining them.

            There are those critics who say that Oprah overshares information about her life…and maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t…but, when you stop and think about it…Oprah knows herself well.  Maybe by speaking her version of personal truth and honesty about her weight…it is her way of holding herself accountable once again.  I for one, wish her luck and good health!

           

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       Sarah Palin will be making an appearance tonight on Saturday Night Live.  This is a show to watch as the talented Tina Fey has been impersonating her on the show for a few weeks.  I think they will have worked out a wonderful skit. It will be interesting to see Sarah’s sense of humor shine through; with all of this campaigning…things have been a bit tough on her image.  Will it help Sarah’s image or will it further the impression that Tina Fey has been putting out there for the masses to mock?  Rest assured the appearance will be plastered all over the political programs on Sunday morning and on the news programs…no matter which way things go on SNL.

       In the beginning of the Presidential candidate’s campaigns…people talked about the Oprah factor…the last few weeks it has been about the impact of Tina Fey’s charaterization of Sarah Palin.  Will this chapter of the campaign trail positively or negatively impact the outcome of the election?  Time will tell…i plan to stay up and watch. How about you?

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        There is something to be said for being a part of the middle class…without any of  the demands expected of the rich and famous.  Have you ever stopped to think about what your life would be like if you were one of those celebrity names in the tabloids?  Every family has issues in their family tree with some relative or another. 

        Think about it…what if cousin Ralph committed a crime and was photographed for a magazine, making sure to give an interview which made a connection between his name and your’s in the article; or, your sister decided to become a singer (and she howled like your neighbor’s hunting dog) but still, she badgered your professional contacts to try to get an audition; or say, your Grandma decided to go on a talk show and talk about her sex life before she married Grandpa?  Maybe your father wants to write a best seller that very closely resembles your life pre-celeb days? Or a relative goes on a large shopping spree that they can’t possibly afford to pay for on their own?   How would you handle it?

         In today’s world, with everyone having access to so much digital information…if you are a celebrity, and the media decides to do a little digging…they are sure to find some family member, friend from the past, or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend who is more than ready, willing and able to spill the beans for a little $$$.  What’s more…you don’t even have to wait for the media to find those who are willing to spill the beans for a fee…your relatives can go viral just by publishing a blog.

          You don’t have to look far to see examples of what I am talking about.  After all, there are painful family issues that allegedly haven’t been able to be resolved in private, such as families like the Lohans who make the news regularily, with custody battles, blog posts, or writting letters to media outlets criticizing one another; rehashing the past and the present family problems.  These issues are deeply personal and have the ability to cause life long discord with in a family unit.  

           Then you have the media’s flavor of the month, the Spears family.  Either they focus on the latest exploits of Brit, Jamie Lynn, her mother, father or ex-husbands and boyfriends or they hint at some kind of rumor that vaguely resembles a sliver of truth and wait to see the fireworks.  You can understand the potential added damage done to an individual when there is intensive media scrutiny focussed on them. There is enough family drama in most families, without having to create an intense watch and see environment.

           What about family members who stay in the background until they have shopped around the possibility of writing a tell all book…like Oprah’s father, allegedly considered doing?  Or a little less reclusive personality, such as…Madonna’s brother, Christopher Ciccone who actually did write a book recently, detailing his complicated relationship with his sister.  Remember many years ago, the explosive book called Mommy Dearest, written by Joan Crawford’s daughter about her very famous mother?

           We’ve all seen that the tabloids will exploit a family member’s run- in with the law.  Or, maybe a business owner or individual who slaps a lawsuit on a family member of a celeb, knowing that it will get settled because of the negative PR.   A recent example of a legal situation was when Hulk Hogan’s son was sent to jail for allegedly being the driver in an accident that seriously injured one of his friends.  All the while, his family was going through a seperation/divorce and the media attention only added to their personal difficulties.  This fed the flames of many articles and celebrity gossip shows for many weeks.

            There is never a lack of divorce related stories or custody issues either.  We have come to know more about certain star crossed couples, and their problems, than we need to know; think of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, or Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, Pamela Anderson and any of her exes.  In these cases, many times the courts are often at fault for allowing legal records to become released to the public through the media; that is why you occasionally hear of circumstances where divorcing couples use a private mediator to settle their marriage issues.  Sometimes it is through individuals or their family members that we learn what is often harmful to the well-being of the couples or their children.  I am sure in the long run they come to regret the fact that so much private information has become public knowledge. 

            What about those situations where family members are estranged from one another and they use the media to communicate with each other about family issues.  I think about in that case, Angelina Jolie and her father.  Or, maybe Kellie Pickler who had a difficult relationship with her estranged birth mother.   Or Jennifer Anniston and her mother who allegedly became estranged, from one another, over too much personal information being given out. 

           Some celebrities don’t publically acknowledge their family problems…others confront them head on.  Which way is most effective for them, sort of depends on why the violations take place in the first place.  Some celebs feel that they must go public and defend themselves and others…keep a quiet counsel and deal with things privately.  It is not easy either way.  The power of criticism is strong…and you can’t please everyone, no matter what action a celebrity chooses to employ to deal with the fallout. 

           Regardless of celebrity status…it is helpful to remember that those people are human beings with feelings too.  They have relationships that can be damaged, and, they are often afforded little privacy as it is.  You would think that their family members would have a little bit of loyalty and a desire to keep some issues private; and, not turn their private relationships into some sort of pay- per- view.  But often, these situations aren’t JUST about money.  Sometimes, the interviews and books are written out of more complex issues; such as, unresolved issues involving trust, envy, control, anger, betrayal, neglect, abandonment or favoritism.  So when you see one of these interviews or books; remember that it might be more about getting even, than it is about getting rich!

           Certainly, the people who publish the reports, interviews, books, and celeb gossip programs aren’t going to keep potentially scandulous information to themselves; not when it is their bread and butter.  So think about that, the next time you purchase one of the tabloids, weekly celeb mags, tune in to the gossip programs, or purchase the latest personal memoir about someone famous; you are enabling them to sell out their own family members.  What if your friends or relatives did that to you?  What kind of tales could they tell about you to allow them to make money off from you or your past?

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        Have you ever been in a situation where you were won over to another person’s opinion…allowing them to convince you to their way of thinking?  Maybe your original opinion was wrong in the first place; but if not, how were they able to change your mind; have you ever wondered?

         Of course, most of us have an opinion about the things that go  on around us.  Have you ever found yourself in the position of having catapulted over to another person’s way of doing things; when you really wanted to do them differently in the first place?  Why did you allow their will to trump your own?  Was their way of doing things better…or were they just more persuasive?

          It is an interesting thing to think about.  Did you give more value to their opinion than your own?  What convinced you that they were right, and your thoughts or opinions were less right?  Often it is persistent persuasion, combined with perceived superior credibility.  You know your own faults and mistakes…but, you do not know those of the other person quite as readily; giving them the advantage of a certain level of confidence, that you do not automatically give your own opinion. 

          If you are a person that often feels resentment because others seem to get their way; and, your way is often not the chosen path; you need to think about why that happens.  Do you express yourself well?  Do you listen to all of the facts respectfully and then verbalize your opinion in a fair way, with a pleasant tone of voice?  Are you easily led by the firm voice of others, into doubting your own opinion?  These are issues that are important to the daily bump and grind in life, business, families and organizations. 

         If you tend to err on the side of giving more weight to the opinions of others, you need to evaluate where that comes from.   Knowing what you think and believe; and understanding why you hold those opinions, is key.  If you firmly believe that you are in the right, your opinion can be backed up with facts or figures; and, you learn how to present your voice in a confident and respectful way…others will listen.  Present the large and small picture, put things in perspective, use examples that re-inforce your beliefs, validate your opinion with evidence or a precedence that will apply to the situation.

         Sometimes it is important to find common ground where both sides of a discussion or issue can be met.  From that point on, listening is very important.  Listen to the other side of the issue or discussion before stating your opinion.   When you do express yourself, do it in a manner that is open to some give and take; or, compromise.  People who become entrenched in getting their own way, simply for the sake of getting their own way…often don’t. 

         If common ground can be achieved and there are degrees to which an issue can be decided…you have a better chance of convincing others to agree to your way of thinking.  If you can convince one or two other people to agree with you…often, you will start to see a shift in the direction of a group.  Persuading another person or two, begins to show validity to your way of thinking.  Some people may still personally hold a different opinion privately; but, what starts to happen is, that they are persuaded to hold an opinion that is influenced by the majority opinion.  This is effective impact.

         Often, you will see an organization or business use a celebrity or a powerful person who already has credibility in a certain area to give a testimony.  This is also called social proof…that is, harnessing that person’s value as a spokesperson because their opinion has valuable impact that can influence others.  If a group, business, or organization gets a famous person who shares their passionate message to endorse them…they are more likely to persade others or inspire them to their believe their message. 

         That is powerful, and that is why you see advertisers using the most famous powerful person that they can get on their public relations team; you even see it in politics.  Think about recent developments with Sen. Barack Obama…whether you believe in his ability to lead or not…you certainly have seen the star power that has been attached to his campaign.  There have been many celebrities who have given their “testimony” about their belief that he should be President…in fact, media analysts have given mention in the news to the Oprah factor regarding his campaign.  Oprah’s opinions carry alot of weight with some voters…she brings alot of persuasion to the table.

         Influencing a group in this way, needs to be done in a way that is ethical and honest.  Forcing others to your way of thinking can backfire and cause great harm if you are malicious minded.  Think of those who use gossip or rumor to negatively affect persons, or groups of people.  No one wins in that situation and bad feelings are created; leaving everyone involved with a negative impression.

         If you use the process of persuasion…and you are doing it in an ethical way…you will start to find that people will gravitate towards supporting your business, issue, or organization.  Being persistent in stating your opinion or issue is important to getting others to support that issue.  The more people who are pursuaded or convinced, the more that word of mouth spreads the opinion, it becomes viral; and, it becomes more credible to those who have not heard it, or been previously convinced. 

          If your goal of persuasion is to get people to take action…then effective persuasion is a must.  Ken McArthur’s Impact Boot Camp Action Team has spent the weekend learning how to use their impact to get people to take action and to be effective in their collective powers of persuasion.  These team members include people like Jeff Wellman who made a splash in the internet marketing world in the last year or so.  They were exposed to experts in many areas of impact such as publishing, media, social networking and so on.  Author Brendon Burchard, who also gives inspiring advice to businesses and non-profit organizations, was present. 

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      Is there no end to the humiliation that Kwame Kilpatrick is willing to endure to stay in office?  I mean, the man has been in jail in the last week, been released, ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device, his travel has been restricted, he has been “invited” by local clergy, to please step down from his position out of respect for the people of Detroit, Michigan Govenor Granholm says that she won’t pardon him should he be convicted of the charges before the court, and now, the coupe de grace…he is being “un-invited” to attend the Democratic National Convention, allegedly, by a spokesman for  Sen. Obama; because the focus would be taken off of Senator Barack Obama; and, Kwame Kilpatrick would be a “distraction”. 

       My opinion is, who could tell whether Mr. Kilpatrick was a distraction, what with the news that Oprah will be there, Bill Clinton will be making a speech, and of course, Hillary his former competition will be there.   This whole Democratic National Convention is looking like a big ole slice of distraction pie anyway…but still, enough is enough regarding Mr. Kilpatrick.  The stress of this whole case, has to be having an enormous effect on him and his family; it is hard enough to go through these issues privately…but, publically is a whole different matter.  As far as he goes, i guess it is his problem…he put himself in that position…but his family and friends…that is another matter…they aren’t the ones being accused but they are in the middle of it just because they are close to him.

       Besides Mr. Kilpatrick being pushed and pulled like a human yo-yo between two court room jurisdictions; being allowed to travel to the Democratic National Convention by one judge, forbid by another, told to wear the electronic monitor, then given permission to have it removed; only, to have it re-attached four hours later, it has to be taking up all of his time just to deal with the legalities; when and how does he start healing his relationships. 

       How many times, and in how many ways, does Mr. Kilpatrick have to be told to move on…it is a little like a woman throwing herself at a man; a man who: a).  doesn’t want her, b)  doesn’t need her, and, c).  is thinking about filing harassment charges against her; and finally, d).  has to go into the witness protection program, because he can’t get away from the woman who has turned a little extreme, and is acting out a role in a fatal attraction, kind of way!   I mean really, a compulsive person who is driven to act in ways that are not in their best interest, and can’t seem to help making things worse for themselves; and, is in denial about it…really needs to find a way to understand that the ordeal has to end sometime…so why not take control of the resignation before it ends in total political humiliation?   Of course, i don’t know how much more humiliating it could get than to be publically un-invited to your own party’s national convention.

         Like a moth drawn to the flame…the moth can’t seem to help itself before it is too late.     Isn’t there someone in his personal life, or one of his close advisors that he respects, who cares enough about him to say…step down…do it for yourself or, your family if for no other reason;… because this isn’t good for you, your family, or for Michigan?  This last year in politics has been nothing but controversy for Michigan…most of us have had enough frustration and embarassment.

        The whole mess has elevated to a new level of dismay with each new court appearance, or news article that gets published, or video clips that make the nightly news.  Someone, somewhere is thinking that this will make a great book with all kinds of insider explanations…please don’t…some of us have to continue to live in the state of Michigan…even after the Kilpatrick soap opera is brought to an end; and, healing begins to take place. 

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        Oprah has been doing an “experiment”…she has been following a vegan diet for 21 days to increase her spiritual awareness of food.  The experiment was induced by author Kathy Feston of the book, Quantam Wellness.  The diet puts into practice the removal of alcohol, animal products, gluten, and sugar and caffeine from a person’s daily meals and snacks.  (more…)

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         With Barack Obama getting the nod from the Democratic party on Tuesday evening as the Democratic nominee in the bid for the office of President of the United States…Oprah is celebrating.  She has said that she has been doing the happy dance all day.

         Oprah also allegedly said, she is ready to go door-to-door for Barack Obama if he so desired her to; which brought to my mind a vision of Oprah becoming a modern day salesman (woman).  Is Oprah starting a new career? 🙂

            Is she ready to start a new career as a pitch person for the political movers and shakers?  Her influence is quite powerful.   After all, Oprah has conquored the television talk show circuit, produces movies, she is a book club afficionado, and she is an advocate for initiating education; by planting a school for young African girls.  Oprah is a magazine owner… she is a successful business woman, as well as, an expert at branding herself in any area that she wishes to explore.  She is a smart woman…a beautiful woman… a seasoned business person; and, she connects with people in extra-ordinary ways. 

            She appears to accomplish what she sets out to do.  She definately did her best to bring attention to Barack Obama’s campaign.  Between television, her magazine, interviews and the campaign trail…Oprah definately has the platform to draw potential voters to the election process.  She also has a powerful impact in the areas that she makes a commitment to.  Oprah is nothing but passionate about the things that she chooses to spend time doing.

          People either love her or they don’t…but, most people do have an strong opinion one way or the other.  How will this opinion affect the vote for the President of the United States, come time for the actual election?  Time will tell.

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