Barack Obama’s first presidential bid got a major boost on Dec. 9, 2007 at Columbia’s Williams-Brice Stadium: Nearly 30,000 people showed up to see him share a campaign-rally stage with Oprah Winfrey. The high-profile — and high-energy — support the first-term U.S. senator got from the queen of daytime television helped vault him past Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, then roll to a seven-point general election victory over Republican nominee John McCain.
But while Ms. Winfrey said early this year that she will help the president’s re-election quest in any way she can, she wasn’t the daytime talk star who made an appearance with — and gave an enthusiastic endorsement to — Mr. Obama last week.
Jerry Springer, after meeting with the president in Cincinnati, praised him as “truly exceptional” and offered this glowing recommendation: “He’s so competent and so smart, I just don’t see why we wouldn’t want him for four more years as president.”
Yet some folks just don’t see why President Obama would want to be seen with a man who has earned the moniker “The Sultan of Salaciousness.”
Unlike Ms. Winfrey, who became a cultural icon with her uplifting message of personal growth, Mr. Springer has long aimed for the lowest common denominator.
His program relentlessly presents ugly confrontations between apparent low-life types over accusations of personal betrayals. DNA tests to determine parentage are a recurring attraction.
As a raucous audience roars encouragement and yells, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry,” his “guests” routinely engage in obscene shouting matches and even brawls.
A ringleader of such sordid spectacles is not traditional presidential-endorser material.
Then again, Mr. Springer still generates profitable ratings — and was once mayor of Cincinnati.
And lest fans of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claim some high ground in the endorsement arena, remember, he stood beside “birther” blowhard Donald Trump — star of NBC’s nighttime “reality” show “The Apprentice” — while receiving the business magnate’s February blessing in Las Vegas.
So brace yourselves.
With more than three months until Election Day, the worst of dubious presidential endorsements is likely yet to come.