Oprah Winfrey‘s energy, compassion, discipline, business acumen and progressive views…her positivism, reach-out attitude, brains, confidence, phenomenal wealth…all of this would make her an excellent antidote to the Donald Trump poison if she were to run for President in 2020. Because she would almost certainly win.
I’d vote for Oprah without hesitation, without blinking an eye. Compared to the grotesque horrors emanating from the current White House occupant, President Winfrey would be a huge relief, a godsend…water from a mountain stream. Another headstrong leader, yes, but a sane one.
In mid-November ’16 Michael Moore said that Democrats “would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks or…why don’t we run beloved people? I mean, we have so many of them. The Republicans do this.”
But at the same time I’m a little scared. Because Winfrey is a political neophyte, and she’d probably be looking at a steep learning curve, certainly in terms of D.C. relationships and practical politics. Remember how she said that she felt “hope” when President-elect Trump meet with President Obama 14 months ago? That was embarassing. Plus her ass has been steadily smooched by big media and tens of millions of fans since the mid ’80s, and keeping her cool and mounting a defense once the Republicans bring out their heavy artillery would be a new skill set for her.
We all know Oprah is brilliant and that she actually reads and is probably 25 times more knowledgable than Trump about the major issues, but I haven’t actually heard her specific views on anything. Maybe she should expound a bit on taxes, health care, military strategy, alternative fuels, climate change and North Korea before we all jump off the cliff?
Boiled down Oprah is the same kind of high-profile personality and political journeyman that Trump was/is — a self-made billionaire business person and a magnetic TV personality with a huge following. Winfrey would be the hopeful, progressive and inclusive side of this equation, but she’d be seen by many as a fundamentally Trump-ish candidate in the sense of being a political outsider with no I.O.U’s held by special corporate interests, etc. Okay, she’s in tight with liberal progressives, of course, but somehow this clan doesn’t feel as odious, at least not from my perspective. Until last night there hadn’t been a prospective Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 election who looks and sounds like a charismatic winner, and a lot of us, I think, were getting more and more worried about this. Which is why on 12.9 I seriously proposed the idea of Tom Hanks running for the top spot (“Emotional Rescue President“). Oprah has that same quality — X-factor, galvanizing, crackling.
But at the same time I’m a little bit scared. Deep down I’d prefer a Presidential candidate with an Oprah-like charisma who is also a savvy politician. On the other hand it’s January 2018, and until last night there was no one on the Democratic horizon who seemed to have “it.”
And last night’s Golden Globe speech was mainly directed at POCs and women. It was heartfelt and humanistic, but also rabble-rousing. It was written and delivered to fit into the general #MeToo agenda and the eternal, ever-continuing pushback against Hollywood’s white-male establishment
“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” she said. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”
But I keep coming back to a bedrock belief…okay, a strong premonition that if Winfrey were to run for President (and she’d have to start putting an organization together by at least the middle of this year), she would almost certainly defeat Trump. Compared to the surreal psycho-drama we’ve enduring on a daily basis for almost a full year, how could this be anything but a very pleasant alternative?
“She would absolutely do it,” Oprah’s longtime partner Stedman Graham said of her potential presidential run. This is what Oprah told @CBSThisMorning about a 2020 presidential bid in October. pic.twitter.com/F60nnD8dqh
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 8, 2018