Talk show host Oprah Winfrey — the TV legend, darling of the Left, businessperson, lifelong public dieter, and more — has revealed that she is mulling the notion of running for president, all thanks to the victory of Donald J. Trump.
“I never considered the question even a possibility. I just thought, ‘Oh.’ I thought, ‘Oh, gee, I don’t have the experience. I don’t know enough.’ And now I’m thinking, ‘Oh,'” said Winfrey, 63, in a recent interview on “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations.”
It’s quite a change of pace for the media mogul — in past years, she always brushed off the notion of running for president. She had previously answered the potential presidential run question in an interview with Stephen Colbert by saying, “Never! No, it’s not my thing.”
Things have changed for Winfrey, who was a vocal supporter of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Watching someone move spectacularly from the private sector to government — Donald Trump — has made her think a little harder about the possibility of running for commander-in-chief, apparently.
She’d certainly be a more popular candidate than most of the people leading the Democrat Party right now. She’s even garnered the support of the many on the Left already, who likely see her as the Left’s answer to Donald Trump.
“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert already released a video of him and his staff waving Oprah Winfrey posters behind a banner that reads, “Oprah 2020.” He then presented a poster that sports a potential campaign slogan: “Hope-Rah.”
Others have expressed support for Winfrey through social media. “Oprah might run against Trump and his dark vision for America in 2020! RETWEET if you’d support her!” tweeted the account @DiscavowTrump16. It has over 500 retweets as of this writing.
“I’m down for #Oprah2020. She’s good at business & would be great at foreign policy. Plus Steadman would make a fantastic 1st Man!” tweeted @JenAnnGeuse.
“PLEASE LORDE GIVE THIS TO ME,” tweeted @matt_1397 with the #Oprah2020 hashtag, which found itself trending on Twitter after Winfrey’s comments went public.
Winfrey has long had support on the Left as far as a presidential run goes.
“Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah [Winfrey] or Tom Hanks,” filmmaker Michael Moore said in an interview with CNN after the Democrats’ loss for the White House in November. “Why don’t we run beloved people? We have so many of them. The Republicans do this — they run [Ronald] Reagan and the Terminator [Arnold Schwarzenegger] and other people. Why don’t we run somebody that the American people love and are really drawn to, and that are smart and have good politics and all that?”
But if that’s the case, then why not comedian, TV host, actor, and producer Steve Harvey? Shouldn’t he be considered? Isn’t he a better celebrity choice — since we’re talking about celebrities? He’s a politically vocal celebrity that has moved beyond just his television hosting duties and gotten involved in policy. He’s also someone able to work across the political aisle – evidenced by his meeting with President Donald Trump about working to help grow cities like Chicago.
Oprah, of course, is well-known for the media empire she’s built for decades. Running one of the most successful talk shows of all time, she transitioned that popularity into her own television network, OWN. She has also acted in films like “The Color Purple” and “The Butler.” As a self-made billionaire with a loyal following, she potentially would have the kind of edge in a presidential race that Donald Trump did during his run.
However — nearly all of her experience has come from imaging and media. Donald Trump had the benefit of being able to say, “I’ve built things” when he ran against establishment politicians in the 2016 presidential race.
As hopeful as some on the Left may be about Oprah’s potential challenge four years from now, her commitment to such a cause is far from a sure thing. Longtime friend and talk show host Gayle King said of Winfrey’s comments on “CBS This Morning,” “I was in the audience that day and it was clearly a joke when she was playing with David [Rubenstein] because they have such a great rapport.”
She added, “I would bet my first-, second-born and any unborn children to come, that ain’t never happening.”
Which brings us back to a compelling point: What about Steve Harvey?