THE NOTE: Double-Oh Show:

To a campaign that's seen everything, toss in the woman who can do anything: Oprah.

There are endorsements, celebrity endorsements -- and then there's Oprah. Ms. Winfrey makes clear that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is one of her favorite things at this white-hot moment of the campaign, with a full weekend scheduled that will bring Obama some glitz, energy, and enthusiasm in all the right places.

No campaign surrogate -- up to and including Bill Clinton and Barbra Streisand -- can do what Oprah is poised to do for a campaign. And consider that Oprah -- unlike the former president -- will introduce voters to her favored candidate who aren't all that familiar with him (or all that convinced he's the right choice).


In South Carolina, an 18,000-person arena has been ditched for the 80,250-capacity football stadium at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

In Iowa, two sites with 11,000-plus capacity have been lined up for the kick-off "Oprah-palooza" rallies on Saturday. "No free cars," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs tells the New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy.

Kennedy: "But the Queen of All Media's first-ever foray into political campaigning is going to be one for the history and political science books, testing the limits of celebrity endorsements and setting primary-season crowd records."

In New Hampshire, Oprah's Sunday night rally is "shaping up to be one of the largest events in New Hampshire Primary history," Scott Brooks writes in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The campaign has given away some 10,000 tickets, meaning "the crowd size will be comparable to concerts by Justin Timberlake, Aerosmith and Neil Diamond." (Don't forget we're talking about New England.) Verizon Wireless Arena spokesman Jason Perry: "There's that awe factor."

"She's going to electrify the campaign trail -- there's no question about it," ABC's George Stephanopoulos said on "Good Morning America" Thursday.

And how would this be for counter-programming: The Clinton campaign is "considering sending Bill Clinton to South Carolina a day ahead of Oprah Winfrey, to try and counter her effect," Stephanopoulos said.

"While Winfrey has never before endorsed a presidential candidate, her influence as a taste-maker is well-established," Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman writes.

"The Obama campaign's fondest wish is that Winfrey does for their candidate what she has done for products such as the Clarisonic skin-care system, sales of which increased 10-fold in just one week after her endorsement."

Per ABC's Nitya Venkataraman, "Her Midas touch saves names from anonymity, best sellers from dusty storerooms and favorite things from Internet obscurity. But as Winfrey has long chosen abstinence in the arena of political endorsements and campaign-trail theater, her capital remains untested. Until now."

"She's never endorsed a candidate before, so there's no data to compare," Jeffrey Weiss writes in The Dallas Morning News.

"On the other hand, there may be no celebrity more studied and analyzed by marketing and advertising experts. Their consensus: If any celebrity can jiggle the needle for a candidate, Ms. Winfrey is that person."

And Oprah's selling a product who's fairly good at selling himself. Obama's new ad is as simple as it is brilliant: It's an inspiring, rousing 60-second clip from Obama's Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner in Des Moines, perhaps the second-best political speech of Obama's career.

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