The Times – Vote Winfrey, not Streisand<br/> The Democrats are hauling out the celebrities but one appears a lot fresher than the other, by Gerard Baker

As we enter the final month of campaigning before the first votes are cast in the primary phase of the presidential election, the Democrats have stepped out on the primrose path of megastar endorsements. Senator Barack Obama announced last weekend that he will be campaigning in December with Oprah Winfrey, the queen of the TV talk-show circuit, creator of an entire media empire. Not to be outshone in the glare, Senator Hillary Clinton quickly announced that she would be animating once again that waxwork icon of liberal campaigns past, Barbra Streisand.

There is general agreement that Mr Obama got the better of this exchange: tit for tat, as it were. Oprah is not merely a bigger draw for Americans these days; she is a much more contemporary figure than Streisand. Winfrey is, certainly in political terms, a novelty. She has never endorsed a presidential candidate before. So when this remarkably persuasive woman goes head over heels for the young black senator from her home state of Illinois, as she clearly has, it matters to her vast audience.

Streisand long ago crossed the blurry boundary between celebrity and politics. She is yesterday’s news, proudly waving the banner of liberal preposterousness since 1965. Her only memorable recent cinematic performance, for all the wrong reasons, was as the oversexed sexuagenarian alongside Dustin Hoffman in the utterly tasteless Meet The Fockers sequel.


Mark Steyn:

Can’t spell, can’t spot fake Shakespeare, can’t tell one wacky foreigner from another: it’s increasingly obvious that Barbra is some deep sleeper planted by the Republicans to discredit the very concept of activist celebrities. Poor old Democrats, in thrall to her fundraising: people who need Barbra are the unluckiest people in the world.

I wonder if the Clintons remember those kerfuffles of old? It rather seems to me they don’t (read the rest of the last half of that link if you forget, too), since, given how they “played” with normal people, Hillary should be politely running the hell away from that woman.