It’s still unclear how much the party vetted him before his 2008 nomination.

Recent speculation on the possibility of an Oprah Winfrey presidential bid has raised important questions about just how much power Democratic Party leaders have over their party’s most important decisions. Can a celebrity just take the party’s presidential nomination without any serious vetting of ideology and policy commitments (as happened recently with the GOP)?

To answer that question, it’s helpful to look at the events of 2007-’08, the interpretation of which remains somewhat unclear. In short, it’s hard to know whether the Democratic Party chose Barack Obama as an effective champion or just kind of got lucky that such a strong campaigner shared their views.

Obama ran in 2008 as something of a celebrity candidate, a critique leveled at him by Hillary Clinton and, later and more forcefully, John McCain. That is, he was famous and well-liked, but not for any particular accomplishments or experience. He attracted the attention of Democratic primary voters and others thanks to his memorable speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a speech he made as a state legislator and candidate for US Senate.

He’d served only two years in the Senate when he put his presidential campaign together and announced his candidacy. This is considerably more political experience than Oprah has, of course, but far less than that possessed by Clinton or most of Obama’s other rivals that year.

Now, what Obama delivered as president was a series of policy achievements — on health care, the environment, student loans, economic policy, foreign affairs, and more — very much in line with longstanding Democratic Party goals. He proved to be a reliable agent for the party. Unlike with Donald Trump, Obama’s party didn’t need to spend much time or effort <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" Read More Here