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Oprah visits White House for Christmas special

world Updated: Dec 04, 2009 12:04 IST
oprah winfrey

Oprah and Obama, teamed up again. The billionaire talk show host descended on the White House on Thursday, accompanied by a giant array of personnel and equipment, to interview President Barack Obama for her upcoming primetime Christmas television special.

In addition to a solo interview with the president, Winfrey conducted a joint conversation with the president and his wife, Michelle, and filmed a tour of the White House holiday decorations for their first year in office.

An internationally known celebrity, whose programs are broadcast in 145 countries, Winfrey has influenced everything from the aspirations of young African girls to the global book publishing industry.She has interviewed Obama on other occasions, but not as president.

She also shared the cover of her magazine for the first time with Michelle Obama, in this year's April issue, which also featured a long interview with the first lady about decorating, helping women, parenting philosophy, life in the White House and other topics.

Winfrey has been in the Obama White House on other occasions. In addition to coming for the Feb. 17 interview with the first lady for her magazine, Winfrey was on the guest list for an inaugural reception.Winfrey's relationship with the Obamas dates to their days in Chicago.

Most notably, she lent her celebrity status to Obama's presidential campaign, her first-ever political endorsement. A University of Maryland study found that her seal of approval may have netted Obama about 1 million votes in the Democratic primaries.

She appeared with him at high-energy campaign rallies that drew tens of thousands of supporters, raised money and cheered him on at the Democratic National Convention.Winfrey also was seen weeping in the crowd during Obama's Nov. 4 election night victory speech in downtown Chicago.