- The Washington Times - Friday, November 7, 2008

During the past eight years, conservatives have relished the sight of sulking Democratic celebrities making their never-kept vows to rid the country of themselves. This time, it seems endorsements by the famous made a difference, at least at the margins. Call the roll:

1. Oprah Winfrey — The much-admired talk-show host, who threw her support behind Barack Obama last year, had never endorsed a presidential candidate before. Although her description of the Illinois senator as “The One” became fodder for Republican attacks, two economics students at the University of Maryland concluded in a study that Miss Winfrey’s public support secured Mr. Obama 1 million votes during the Democratic primary.

2. Tina Fey — The Emmy-winning comedian’s return to the cast of “Saturday Night Live” as Sarah Palin helped define, for some sizable chunk of the electorate, the Alaska governor as a pandering, schemingly opportunistic dingbat.

3. David Geffen — Almost a year before the 2008 Iowa caucuses, the entertainment mogul was an early harbinger of the kind of hostility Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband would face from the media and pro-Obama forces. “Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease. It’s troubling,” he told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

4. Bruce Springsteen — The Boss, a vocal supporter of Sen. John Kerry’s in 2004, was worried he would be a jinx this year. However, his appearance at an October rally in Philadelphia helped Keystone Democrats rack up a 1.2 million registration advantage over Republicans.

5. Barack Obama — As the president-elect himself said at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City, the charge that he’s the world’s biggest celebrity hurt so much that “I punched a paparazzo on my way out of Spago’s.”

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