- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If ever there were a candidate destined to shine on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Sarah Palin would be that woman.

In less than a week, the Alaska governor, former PTA member and 44-year-old mother of five - including an infant with Down syndrome - survived a vicious press assault on her family only to win over the majority of Americans with her brave and unapologetic speech at the Republican National Convention last week.

In a media instant, Sarah Palin went from an unknown moose hunter to a mass phenomenon on the precipice of becoming the vice president of the United States.

She is the Oprah audience personified - an unlikely feminist icon that braved the storm while deftly protecting her children. Many already are saying she has the inside track for the top slot in 2012.

Mrs. Palin is history in a dress. And her script is straight out of Hollywood - like those teen movies with the cliched ending featuring the female valedictorian delivering the speech of a lifetime projecting a bold and transformative future with an independent-minded woman in charge.

That future is now.

Women want to get to know Sarah Palin. And they want to meet her family.

Yet Oprah Winfrey, the high priestess of the female empowerment movement and America’s most adored television host, denies her massive and loyal audience’s most obvious wishes because of her single-minded drive to put Barack Obama in the White House.

On Friday under scrutiny for this decision Oprah Winfrey released a statement:

“At the beginning of this Presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.”

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton can certainly relate to the Palin shut-out. Oprah helped annihilate the candidacy of the first female major party presidential candidate by failing to humanize her the way only the Queen of Daytime Talk could.

Surely, Hillary will forgive and forget.

Given that in previous election cycles Miss Winfrey famously gave both sides equal time, many of her adoring throngs are drawing the conclusion that in the media titan’s mind - and in the Democratic Party’s identity politics playbook - race trumps gender.

The entrance of another historic woman into the election only reinforces this idea.

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