CHICAGO >> President Barack Obama is helping his pal Oprah Winfrey wrap up her syndicated talk show in style.
Obama arrived home in Chicago Wednesday to appear on one of the final episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The talk-show host and Obama supporter has announced that she is ending her top-rated TV program on May 25 after a quarter-century on the air.
Obama’s wife, Michelle, was joining him on Oprah’s couch for the interview, which is scheduled to be televised Monday.
The president’s day of politicking was continuing later Wednesday in New York with his first fundraising sweep of the city since he announced his re-election bid this month. Three Democratic Party fundraisers were scheduled across midtown Manhattan, including an event at the home of financier and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and a dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Obama was not due back at the White House until the wee hours of Thursday.
Winfrey’s relationship with the Obamas dates to their days in Chicago.
Most notably, she lent her credibility and celebrity status to his 2008 presidential campaign with her first-ever political endorsement. She joined him at campaign rallies that drew supporters by the thousands, raised money for him and cheered for him at the Democratic National Convention.
On election night, she was seen weeping in the crowd during Obama’s victory speech in downtown Chicago.
"Her show is coming to a conclusion of a terrific run," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Obama "considers Oprah a friend and he looks forward to being on the show."
Corzine, who lost his political job in 2009 despite Obama’s efforts to help him get re-elected, is a former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. He has deep ties to the financial industry, which felt battered by Obama’s rhetoric blaming the financial crisis on "fat cat" Wall Street bankers. The industry also chafed at the subsequent overhaul of financial regulations.
Corzine now heads MF Global Inc., a financial services firm, and Obama has begun trying to repair his relations with the business sector.
From Corzine’s home, Obama heads to Park Avenue for a dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria, followed by a concert-style event at the Town Hall theater primarily for his younger supporters and featuring The Roots, a hip-hop band from Philadelphia.
Since he became a candidate for re-election on April 4, Obama has embarked on an aggressive inaugural fundraising tour that included three events in Chicago on April 14 and six events in two days last week in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Obama raised $750 million for the 2008 campaign and hopes to top that for his re-election.