Hollywood celebrates Obama’s ‘victory of hope’

November 6th, 2008 - 8:40 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew York/Los Angeles, Nov 6 (DPA) She was one of his earliest and most prominent supporters. So when Barack Obama’s final moment of victory came, it was no real surprise that Oprah Winfrey, the hugely influential cultural arbiter and queen of daytime television, let the tears stream down her face.”This is one of the greatest moments I could ever imagine,” said the Chicago native in broadcast remarks as she celebrated with thousands of others in Obama’s adopted home city. “It feels like hope won. It feels like it’s not just a victory for, obviously, Barack Obama. It feels like America did the right thing. It feels like there’s a shift in consciousness.”

“I made a vow not to use my show as a platform so I supported Barack Obama as a private citizen,” she said on her show Wednesday morning. “But now the election is over and I am unleashed.”

Brad Pitt was among the other stars present at the celebration Tuesday night in Chicago, though there was no sign of Angelina Jolie.

Perhaps she was one of the many celebs who were turned down for tickets to what was easily the hottest event of the year. An Obama campaign spokesman said that for every celebrity in attendance, 10 had to be turned away.

Among those who did make it was director Spike Lee.

“It’s a great day, it’s a beautiful morning, a new dawn, a new beginning - not just in America but the world over,” he said.

Their words words may have sounded like cliches, but that should be forgiven, argued Michael Moore, the leftwing filmmaker whose documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11″ is credited with helping to turn the tide of public opinion against George W. Bush and the Republican administration.

“Who among us is not at a loss for words?” he wrote on his website. “Tears pour out. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. A stunning, whopping landslide of hope in a time of deep despair.”

He was one of many stars that helped get out the vote for Obama - from Sarah Jessica Parker to Ben Affleck, and from Bruce Springsteen to Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Along with others like Justin Timberlake, they comprised a throng of stars who volunteered for Obama throughout the campaign.

Many celebrated through the night at a celebrity party in Los Angeles hosted by actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette. The partygoers included “Friends” TV show co-star Jennifer Aniston, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher.

In New York, film producer Harvey Weinstein hosted a fete attended by Salman Rushdie, TV presenter Matt Blanc and actress Jessica Alba among others.

“I came to live in America in 1999, and in a way I feel I got cheated,” Rushdie said. “Immediately afterwards I got 9/11 and eight years of Bush. I thought, can I please have America back, and we are about to get it back now. It feels great to have a sensible, intelligent, stylish man in the office.”

Though the support of Hollywood’s biggest names has rarely proved decisive in US presidential elections, there are many signs that this year their involvement had a positive effect.

In both previous elections, Bush successfully pilloried their support as that of a small liberal elite that did not reflect “real America”.

This time Hollywood again raised millions of dollars for the Democratic candidate. But with millions of young voters flocking to the polls like never before, the public support of the movie icons and pop stars that they admired could not be marginalised.

Superstar George Clooney has also been an outspoken supporter of Obama.

“I congratulate president-elect Obama on his historic victory, and now it’s time to begin unifying the country so we can take on the extraordinary challenges that this generation faces,” said Clooney in a statement.

Other stars were also quick to recognise the historic moment.

“This will go down in history, in black history, for all of the sacrifices that the great Joseph Lowery and Martin Luther King made.

This actually pays off for their sacrifice … I’m speechless. I don’t even know what to say,” said singer-song writer Usher.

US rap mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs said the election gave him an unprecedented sense of power: “I felt like my vote was the vote that put him into office … And that may not be true but that’s how much power it felt like I had,” he said.

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