HEY, OPRAH: YOU IN OR OUT?
Allies send mixed signals on political future
As Democrats nationwide encourage Oprah Winfrey to seek the presidency in 2020, those closest to the media mogul are sending mixed messages about her political intentions.
Her best friend, CBS News host Gayle King, said Tuesday that Winfrey is “intrigued” by the idea of a White House bid.
“She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way, but I don’t think she’s actively considering it at this time,” King said. “I also know that after years of watching the Oprah show, you always have the right to change your mind.”
On Monday, Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times that “it’s up to the people” whether she will be president, adding, “She would absolutely do it.”
The presidential buzz follows Winfrey’s impassioned call for “a brighter morning” at the Golden Globes on Sunday night in a speech that left some viewers contemplating the idea of the Democratic Party embracing a celebrity candidate of its own to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
Even so, for Democrats in early voting states, and perhaps for a public that largely disapproves of Trump’s job performance, the notion of a popular media figure as a presidential candidate is not as strange as it once seemed.
Winfrey’s speech as she accepted the Cecil B. Demille award touched on her humble upbringing and childhood wonder in civil rights heroes.
But it was her exhortation of the legions of women who have called out sexual harassers — and her dream of a day “when nobody has to say ‘me too’ again” — that got some political operatives thinking Winfrey might be what the Democrats need. Her appeal extended well beyond her celebrity, some said, citing her compassion, kindness and devotion to helping others as a badly needed change after Trump.
Even Trump’s daughter Ivanka endorsed Oprah’s message, if not a political future, in a tweet Monday. “Just saw @Oprah’s empowering and inspiring speech at last night’s #Goldenglobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #UNITED.”
Oprah Winfrey arrives with the Cecil B. Demille Award in the press room during The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California.