Cult of Celebrity: Will Oprah endorse Obama in 2012? Winfrey is #1—the most powerful celebrity in the world, according to Forbes’ Celebrity 100. (Lady Gaga, who we discussed Monday, is #4.) Getting an endorsement from Oprah is a book author’s fondest dream come true. But could it also be a presidential candidate’s dream endorsement?

The Empress of Media endorsed then-Senator Obama in the 2008 election. And her endorsement produced results, according to economists.Oprah’s endorsement significantly increased voter turnout in the Democratic primaries, and increased campaign contributions. And, it also got the vote for Obama: 1,015,559 votes, to be precise, by one expert estimate. That allowed him to win the nomination over Hillary Clinton.

So, will Oprah endorse the president in the 2012 elections? Not this time, according to sources. Her daily talk show ratings took a hit in 2008 after the endorsement, and polls showed that her favorable ratings fell from 74% to 66%. Now that she has a new program, OWN, she can’t take the chance.

Celebrity endorsements can really matter. That’s part of the cult of celebrity.

And, celebrities endorse everything: what we buy, what we eat, which charitable causes we support, which policies we advocate—and even who we vote for.

Do celebrity endorsements matter to you?

What do you think of Oprah and Obama in 2012?

What about “The Donald” vs. Obama after this week’s news?

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