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Oprah’s Political Acumen

Some liberals are trying to compare the "lies" of George W. Bush to the lies of author James Frey. In truth, if there is a political comparison to be made, the comparison is between Oprah and Bill Clinton.

Oprah’s move yesterday — admitting she was wrong about defending the book: A Million Little Pieces — is deserving of the title: "Clintonian."

Granted, Bill Clinton took too long to admit to the Lewinsky scandal. He may have been better-served by admitting that mistake much earlier. Otherwise, he was a master at co-opting the other side’s winning argument. Remember, it was he who said, "the era of big government is over."

Now, in an excellent display of political jujitsu, Oprah has taken a page from the Clinton playbook and "co-opted" her opponents’ message — and is now the leading voice in opposition to the very author she was defending just 24 hours ago.

I give her credit for admitting her strategy wasn’t working. Instead of stubbornly sticking to a losing plan ("a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," you know), she admitted her mistake — took a 180 degree turn — and then went on the attack!

It was as if Dick Morris had done a poll showing she "had to do this" — and then had a "come-to-Jesus" talk with her. …She bit her lower lip, and expressed outrage at this man who has made her the victim.

This brilliantly executed change of direction further goes to prove a point I made a long time ago that Oprah is one of the best politicians in America.

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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