Oprah is unleashed!
With the election won by the candidate she endorsed off air and stayed mum about on her talk show, Winfrey finally admitted from the stage of her Chicago-based show a day after Barack Obama was elected president what everybody already knew: She's a staunch Obama supporter.
And in true Oprah fashion, she whooped, hollered and cried as if she herself had won the election.
Taking the stage wearing a T-shirt that read "Hope Won" beneath a bright red sweater, and waving a flag in one hand and the cover of the Chicago Sun Times with the headline "Mr. President" in the other, Winfrey screamed, "I have two words for you, America: Mr. President.
"During this long campaign, I made a vow at the beginning I would not use my show as a platform, and I kept my mouth shut and supported Barack Obama as a private citizen," she told her audience during a live taping of the show Wednesday morning. "Today, though, the election is over and I'm unleashed."
Winfrey went "out on a limb" last May when she publicly endorsed Obama during an appearance on Larry King's CNN show. In September 2007, the media mogul hosted a fundraiser at her Promised Land estate in California, raking in more than $3 million for Obama's White House bid. And last December she hit the campaign trail with the Democratic candidate, making appearances alongside him in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Her public support cost her some of her viewers, who posted comments on her Web site calling her "ignorant" and a "traitor" for backing Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
"You know, for so long I've felt a connection to Oprah and all that she's done not only for women but the world in general. She was such an idol to me, and I truly loved all that she stood for. Since she threw her support behind Barack Obama I felt like she let me down," wendykwrit posted in January.
A CBS poll last August showed that Orpah's favorability rating had dropped from 74 percent to 61 percent. And in AOL TV popularity survey, 47 percent of respondents said they would like to have dinner with talk show host Ellen Degeneres, while 14 percent chose Winfrey.
The Oprah Winfrey Effect
On Wednesday's show, Winfrey addressed viewers like wendykwrit. "For those of you who have been loyal viewers who voted differently than I and 52 percent of the country did, I respect your choice and understand how you might be feeling disappointed today just as I might be," she said. "If this was not the outcome, I would be doing this show from Northwestern Hospital [in Chicago] with a drip today."
"But my deepest hope is in the days and weeks ahead, we will come together with the same renewed spirit that we took to the polls because we need each other now more than ever," Winfrey continued.
Winfrey, accompanied by her partner Stedman Graham, joined the thousands of people massed on Grant Park in Chicago to celebrate Obama's win. She described it as "the most electrifying and emotional night I have ever experienced."
Earlier on Tuesday, Winfrey told Robin Roberts from "Good Morning America" that she had no regrets about throwing her weight behind Obama.