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Oprah Watch: Obamarama Take 2

By Ali Trachta in Miscellaneous on Jan 23, 2009 5:40PM

2009_01_23oprahwatch1.jpg No one has been anxiously awaiting the Obama Inauguration more than his number one fan Oprah Winfrey, and this week she kicked it into high gear with a second round of Obamarama to celebrate the swearing in of our new president. We found ourselves a little confused on Monday when we were greeted with a rerun of a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute at 9:00 a.m., but Oprah was prepping for her star-studded pre-inauguration blowout we Chicagoans were finally graced with at 11:00 that night.

Oprah took the stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to an uproarious crowd, wound up as children on Christmas Eve. Lucky for them, each of Oprah’s guests came bearing gifts. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were Oprah’s first party guests, bringing with them the Presidential Pledge, a work-in-progress involving their celebrity friends which calls upon all Americans to commit to being of service to our country. The Bidens were next to knock on the door with Dr. Jill bringing the gift of gossip, letting out a little slipperoo that Joe had been given the choice between the positions of Vice President and Secretary of State.

Finally, David Foster and premiered their love child, “America’s Song,” the collaborative anthem featuring Faith Hill, Seal, Bono, Mary J. Blige, and of course Oprah, awkwardly lip-synching along to the chorus. Unfortunately, "We Are the World" this is not. Any hopes we had for the profundity of this song were dashed when we heard Will sing “Who-I-Ee” in reference to Obama’s birthplace. This one will not be hitting our iPod anytime soon.

2009_01_23oprahwatch2.jpg Oprah was a little busy getting her V.I.P. on during the inauguration ceremony so there was no time to tape a show on Tuesday. But even after admitting she’d been up partying until 3 in the morning, she had Obamarama Part 2 rolling again by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

Oprah gathered a motley crew of friends at former personal chef Art Smith’s D.C. restaurant, Art and Soul, to revel in and reflect on the historical significance of the previous day. To Oprah’s right sat historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and actor Forest Whitaker, and to her left was Jon Bon Jovi and, of course, Gayle King. This portion of the Obama special had a much more subdued feel than Monday’s rally at the Kennedy Center, and after all the inauguration hoopla, we were pleased with the more pensive mood. Still, we couldn’t help but feel like this show wasn’t much different than an average church service. It was a gathering of devoted followers assembled to profess their loyalty and reverence for their leader.

The fivesome spent the hour repeating praises of our new president we’ve already heard ad naseum: Obama’s incredibly inspirational, he’s a great family man, he’s willing to surround himself with those who will challenge him. Also, in case you forgot, they reminded us this is a whole new world, hope is our foundation, and it’s time for us to fulfill our end of the bargain and answer the president’s call to service. Of course no liturgy is complete without a little music, and Oprah dragged up the music video to that God-awful “America’s Song” again. Still, unoriginal as their observations may have been, each member of Oprah’s panel shared their favorite moments from Obama’s speech, and once again listening to the power woven into his simple words snapped us right out of our cynicism and back to a state of appreciation for the historic moment we’ve been lucky enough to live through.

Another rerun was set for Thursday while Oprah traveled back to Chicago for her Friday live show. Up today is MORE Obama talk. We’re pretty sure this last show will fill the quota.