Oprah Winfrey set to tape "holiday season

Oprah Winfrey will tape a holiday-season interview with President Obama next week for an ABC Christmas special.

It'll be Winfrey's first sitdown with Obama since he took office, after interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama last week for her daytime talk show.

Just as Winfrey campaigned for Obama in 2007, drawing huge crowds in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the political question will be whether such a high-profile special will provide a boost to the president in the face of declining poll numbers.

In his recent book on the campaign, David Plouffe wrote that they did focus group testing on Winfrey's appeal and her ability to draw women who otherwise don't follow politics. So much will depend on how substantive her interview is, and whether Obama uses what will be a much softer platform --- a Christmas special --- to push his efforts in health care reform, climate and the economy.

As it was during the campaign, the risk is that it will reignite debate on celebrity endorsements and, for Obama, that he's too attached to celebrity at a time of rising unemployment.

The statement from Winfrey: "The intimate, informative and entertaining hourlong special will include a one-on-one conversation with the president, marking the first time Oprah has interviewed him since he took office, as well as an exclusive sit-down interview with the first couple."

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