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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.

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

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