2008 Waiting for Winfrey
posted by December 8 at 12:55 PMon
I’m in Iowa this weekend working on a piece about Barack Obama, and at the moment I’m in a large convention center in Des Moines waiting for the first of Obama’s four appearances over the next two days with Oprah Winfrey.
The hall is packed and Obama’s supporters are, as they like to say, “Fired Up.” I’m a bit frantic, running around trying to do interviews here, fretting about whether snow will prevent me from getting to eastern Iowa later today for a Hillary Clinton event, and stressing about my deadline.
But! I have time to dump an interesting interview out of my notebook and onto Slog. I was in a bar in Des Moines this morning (eating, not drinking) and talking to the bartender, Joe Jacobson, 22. Of the Oprah event, he says:
I really could care less what Oprah thinks. I just think it’s a big deal about something that really shouldn’t be a big deal.
His opinion is obviously not shared by the thousands of people here at the convention center. Nor do they seem to share Jacobson’s skepticism about an Obama candidacy, which is as revealing as it is (in part) wrong. Jacobson told me:
To think that the rest of the country is going to elect someone who’s in the minority in religion and in race just doesn’t seem realistic to me.
The man’s entitled to his opinion, of course, but can you spot the erroneous information in that statement?
UPDATE: For you commenters with trust issues: Yes, of course, I followed up and asked the bartender why he believed that Obama is a member of a religious minority group. He told me he’d heard that Obama is Muslim. (I now await that very rarest of all things on this blog, a commenter apology.)