There was a pretty damning article in the New York Post on Sunday that shed some unfriendly light on the relationship between Oprah Winfrey and President Obama. Winfrey, who offered her very vocal and visible support for President Obama during his 2008 run, reportedly turned down an offer from senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to join a handful of other celebrities to meet with the President and discuss how to generate publicity for Obamacare.
“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,” one of Oprah’s closest advisers reportedly told The Post. “But Oprah said she didn’t have the time or inclination to go.”
The Post article also discussed the strained relationship between Oprah and Frist Lady Michelle Obama. Following President Obama’s 2012 election win, Oprah reportedly phoned the White House to offer her congratulations. The First Lady suggested a dinner be arranged at the White House, but that dinner never happened.
“Oprah Winfrey declined the White House invitation for a meeting aimed at helping the President sell his healthcare law,” Glenn said on radio this morning.
“I like that,” Pat said. “She’s obviously opposed to the way this thing is being rolled out. She wants to help people. She sees that it’s hurting people. Good for her.”
“No, no,” Glenn interjected. “Because she feels she has been cut out of their inner circle. Oprah intended to make her unique White House access part of her new network, a source close to Oprah said. 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 representative to talk to Valerie Jarrett but nothing ever came of it. It slowly dawned on Oprah that the President and First Lady had absolutely no intention of keeping their word of bringing her and the network into their confidence.”
While Pat argued that Oprah was instrumental in helping President Obama win his first election, Glenn was less sure of her influence. In Glenn’s mind, the Obama’s were smart to stay away from Oprah and her fledging network, and, in many respects, Oprah was probably better off without their support.
“I don’t think there’s any love lost between the women: Valerie Jarrett, the Mrs., and Oprah. And the women stopped Oprah from coming in,” Glenn said. “I mean, the people who partnered with Oprah Winfrey have got to be on their knees praying and giving thanks that [the White House] access didn’t happen because that would have destroyed that network. I mean Oprah destroyed it pretty much herself. Don’t you think?”
“Well, the relationships with the President hurt her because she was much less partisan before,” Pat agreed. “And then she picked sides. And so, I think she alienated a good deal of her audience.”
“If you overcome these things, and then you are going to Jeremiah Wright’s church, and you are for big government, oppressive government. I don’t understand,” Glenn said. “You didn’t learn your lesson. You went from one abusive relationship to another.”