On yesterday’s installment of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Ali Velshi and Bill Schneider fantasized about talk-show megastar Oprah Winfrey supporting a presidential run by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) in 2008. Clinton and Winfrey met at the International Emmy Award ceremony on Monday, and in Schneider’s words, “had a very interesting and possibly politically significant encounter.” Schneider's view:
"What would a Hillary Clinton-John McCain race look like? The CNN-'USA Today'-Gallup poll pitted the two frontrunners against each other among registered voters nationwide. The result: McCain leads Clinton by 10 points.
"Why? Men. Men give McCain a huge lead over Clinton. Women are divided. Maybe an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey could make a difference. If she were to rally women to support Hillary Clinton, the race could become a lot closer."
What follows is a full transcript of this exchange.
ALI VELSHI:Now, if a major party were to nominate a woman as its presidential candidate, it would be huge. And if both parties did it, it would be a mega-moment in political history.
Now, many supporters of Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton are hoping that such a thing is a possibility, and that may include none other than Oprah Winfrey. Now, to make sense of this all, here's our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.
What a story, Bill.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is indeed. Well, Ali, to paraphrase something David Letterman once said when he hosted the Academy Awards, Oprah, Hillary, Hillary, Oprah.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Senator Hillary Clinton and TV host Oprah Winfrey. According to the Gallup poll, they are the two most admired women in America. They had a very interesting and possibly politically significant encounter at the International Emmy Award ceremony Monday evening.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you. I hope you do us a privilege and run for office. Thank you...
... president of the United States.
SCHNEIDER: Was that an endorsement? Not clear, but Oprah Winfrey has a huge following, particularly among women. The question is whether it could translate into votes.
Right now, Senator Clinton is leading in the polls for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. The leader among Republicans at this early point, Senator John McCain.
What would a Hillary Clinton-John McCain race look like? The CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll pitted the two frontrunners against each other among registered voters nationwide. The result: McCain leads Clinton by 10 points.
Why? Men. Men give McCain a huge lead over Clinton. Women are divided. Maybe an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey could make a difference. If she were to rally women to support Hillary Clinton, the race could become a lot closer.
Some Republicans are trying to get Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to run for president. Rice is the fourth most admired woman in the country after Laura Bush.
What would a Rice versus Clinton race look like? Clinton, by nine points. Why? Women.
In a race between the two women contenders, women voters prefer the Democrat by 16 points. And men, they just can't make up their minds. Maybe Oprah could help them.
SCHNEIDER: When Oprah endorses a book, it instantly becomes a best-seller. It would be interesting to see what would happen if she endorsed a politician -- Ali?
VELSHI: This will be a good one to watch. Bill, thank you so much for being with us. Bill Schneider joining us now from Washington.
(Hat tip to Huffington Post)