One reason the newly minted Senator John Fetterman wanted Oprah’s endorsement so badly is everyone remembers what a huge game changer it was when Oprah endorsed Obama in 2007. At the time, everyone thought Hillary was supposed to be the next President, and endorsing any other Democrat was considered career suicide. However Oprah bravely defied the conventional wisdom and told the black folks of South Carolina:

“There are those who think Obama isn’t ready yet, that he needs to wait his turn. Think about where you’d be in your own life if you waited your turn. I know I wouldn’t be where I am if I waited on all the people who told me it couldn’t be”

Chris Mathews thought this was a great speech, because “here you have the most successful woman in the country saying she wouldn’t be there if she listened to the doubters….she made wait your turn sound like back of the bus”

In an attempt to downplay Oprah’s endorsement of Obama over his wife Hillary, Bill Clinton said “it makes sense, she’s from Chicago and he’s from Chicago” But it was obvious Bill was sending working class whites a dog whistle. “from Chicago” seemed like code for “black”.

But you know who wasn’t black? Ted Kennedy. And when he heard Oprah was campaigning across the country for Obama, it gave him permission to do so too, and Oprah had been friends with Maria Shriver since the 1970s in Baltimore, Their friendship was put to the test when Shriver’s future husband Arnold Schwarzenegger answered the door in only a towel and invited Oprah to come in and wait for Shriver with him. Far too shrewd to risk her friendship with a Kennedy over even the appearance of impropriety, Oprah insisted on waiting outside on the porch.

When Ted Kennedy followed Oprah on the Obama train, Bill Clinton reportedly went ballistic and reportedly told the Lion of the senate “a few years ago he’d be carrying our bags”

In other words, if Obama had been born in the 1950s instead of the 1960s, despite his Harvard Law degree, he’d have been a mere servant to the elite instead of daring to challenge them for their power.

The mere fact that someone as politically savvy as Bill Clinton would even think this argument would be persuasive to a liberal like Ted Kennedy tells us how pervasive racism was in older generations, even among liberals.

But Bill was right that Obama benefited of coming of age at at time when America was much, much less racist than it was in Oprah’s day. A good proxy for open racism is the percentage of Americans who don’t approve of interracial marriage.

When Obama launched his national career in 2007, about 25% of America was openly racist, compared to about 55% when Oprah launched her’s in 1986. And then on top of that, Oprah has almost twice as much black ancestry, and was an overweight woman to boot!

So if Obama needed to be a Harvard Law magna cum laude genius to reach the elite when he did, it’s not surprising Oprah needed a super sized cranial capacity(see photo below) to be smart enough to adapt to the much more racist America of the 1980s.