Barack & Oprah, Hillary & Babs

(CBS)
Dean Reynolds is a CBS News correspondent based in Chicago. He's covering the Barack Obama campaign.
Barely a day after Barack Obama's campaign announced Oprah will stump with their candidate next month comes word that Hillary Clinton has snared her own celebrity endorser: Barbra Streisand.

All of which begs a question and I'll put it as gently as I can:

Who cares?

Well, evidently a lot of people think people they know will follow the lead of Oprah or Babs. The responses run something like this:

"Oh no, I wouldn't be affecterd by what some celebrity does or says, but my neighbor would."

That would be the shallow, dim-witted neighbor we all live near, I guess. The poor soul who cannot make up his or her mind without a little nudge from a star.

One lady we spoke to in Concord, N.H., said Oprah's Obama leanings must mean "that she knows something nobody else knows." That may be true, but it's not as if these candidates are mysterious to the rest of us, harboring secrets about their qualifications that only Funny Girl gets to hear.

Please.

The political calculus is that, yes, some folks are dumb enough to vote whichever way a celebrity tells them to. But there is also the fact that by listening to Streisand or Winfrey, people will stick around long enough to hear or read about the candidate they've endorsed.

It could be a factor in a close race. A very, very close race.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.