Please, no more celebrity pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in 2020

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In his Jan. 9 op-ed, “Never un­der­es­ti­mate Oprah,” Eu­gene Robin­son all but en­dorsed Oprah Win­frey for the pres­i­dency. We can agree that, un­like the cur­rent pres­i­dent, she has an ex­cel­lent hair­cut, is not a shame­less ego­tist and doesn’t make your skin crawl when­ever you see her on tele­vi­sion, but that’s just to say she would be bet­ter than Pres­i­dent Trump, which is very faint praise.

Ms. Win­frey wouldn’t hand her tele­vi­sion show over to some­one who had never worked in front of a cam­era and had no demon­strated abil­ity to at­tract and hold an au­di­ence; why should we hand the coun­try over to her? Could she per­haps start as mayor of Chicago? As far as I know, Ms. Win­frey, to her credit, hasn’t ex­pressed in­ter­est in run­ning, but the elec­torate has be­come so child­ish that it seems in­evitable. Frank Zappa once said of young Amer­i­cans, “The peo­ple are des­per­ate to be en­ter­tained.” That was decades ago, but things haven’t got­ten bet­ter — more like worse.

I saw 10 min­utes of the “To­day” show yes­ter­day, and the sub­ject was Ms. Win­frey. The host turned her cheer­ful morn­ing TV face to the au­di­ence and, with that happy-talk de­liv­ery, asked if they’d like to see Ms. Win­frey run. The un­spo­ken but un­mis­tak­able ques­tion was, “Wouldn’t that be fun?” Un­sur­pris­ingly, the re­sponse was en­thu­si­as­tic ap­proval.

Keith Smith, Sil­ver Spring

We need to end the political as­pi­ra­tions of celebri­ties and political neo­phytes. If Oprah Win­frey wants to run for of­fice, let her start in Congress, as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive, un­til she learns the leg­isla­tive process. We are ab­so­lutely fin­ished with putting begin­ners in the high­est of­fice in the land. You don’t go from zero to 100 just be­cause you are a celebrity. Work your way up. We are fin­ished hand­ing you the keys to the king­dom be­cause you’re a bit fa­mous.

The van­ity cam­paigns by the rich and fa­mous have to end be­fore they’re even al­lowed to start.

Jess Ver­mont, Ar­ling­ton

I ad­mire Oprah Win­frey. I re­ally do. Her Golden Globe Awards speech was fiery and in­spir­ing and ex­cit­ing and well thought out. Clearly, she can speak (af­ter all, she is an ac­tress). She has done well with her life and en­riched ours with her many tal­ents.

But we have al­ready had the ex­pe­ri­ence of a TV star run­ning for (and be­com­ing!) pres­i­dent. And his lack of political knowl­edge, work ethic and ex­pe­ri­ence in any­thing re­motely akin to gov­ern­men­tal is­sues may bring us all down.

It is one thing to like a per­son; it is quite an­other to ac­tu­ally put him or her in charge of your coun­try. I fear that the same peo­ple who thought a failed busi­ness­man and a re­al­ity show host would be able to work in the com­plex en­vi­rons of our govern­ment might want to try again.

I do think Ms. Win­frey is sta­ble and, like, re­ally smart. And I am sure that she lis­tens to her ad­vis­ers and ac­tu­ally reads. But she is not pres­i­den­tial ma­te­rial. May calmer heads pre­vail. Pene­lope Su­ritz, Ar­ling­ton

No, no. Oprah Win­frey should not run as a Demo­crat. Run as an in­de­pen­dent to show both ma­jor par­ties they have lost their way in gov­ern­ing for the peo­ple. Walt Cheatham, Ar­ling­ton

I am read­ing with grow­ing con­cern the vox pop­uli cry­ing for Oprah Win­frey to run for pres­i­dent in 2020. While I think she is an amaz­ing per­son who has done much with her fame and wealth to help di­rect pub­lic di­a­logue about nu­mer­ous so­cial is­sues, in­clud­ing her emo­tional speech at the Golden Globe Awards, none of that nec­es­sar­ily qual­i­fies her for the high­est lead­er­ship po­si­tion in our na­tional govern­ment.

Have we learned noth­ing from the 2016 elec­tion and the cur­rent oc­cu­pant of the Oval Of­fice? We need can­di­dates who have gov­ern­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at the lo­cal, state or na­tional level. This is ev­i­dent in the cur­rent pres­i­dent’s push for poli­cies that re­quire more thought, de­bate and bi­par­ti­san co­op­er­a­tion to ad­dress both im­me­di­ate and un­fore­seen con­se­quences of them.

I know ded­i­cated elected of­fi­cials at ev­ery level of govern­ment may not have Hol­ly­wood-style charisma, but they have ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge, and the vast ma­jor­ity in­cor­po­rate an in­trin­sic de­sire to serve the peo­ple, not them­selves. Natalie Root, Ar­ling­ton


Oprah Win­frey at the Golden Globe Awards in Bev­erly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 7.

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