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Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey

Oprah throws the party Oprah Winfrey is the diva of chat and the celebrity American publishers most want to be their authors' best friend. She makes diets (and breaks them) as well as bestsellers, and this year she decided to help make a president. And she sure did her best for President-elect Barack Obama. Her involvement began with a garden party so grand and exclusive that it snarled traffic all over Santa Barbara and turned even that star-kissed resort into a town full of gawkers. Oprah's invitation to the exclusive fundraiser she threw for Obama on the lawn of her sprawling and gated Montecito estate came with explicit instructions: no high heels on her lawn. The guests came for the message, but many ignored the fashion tip. Later, the Chicago-based talk show host and media traveled to North Carolina for an Obama rally big enough to be mistaken for a Tar Heel basketball game. Elise Amendola / AP
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