If you’ve spent any time on the internet or in the general vicinity of a TV, radio or newspaper in the past two days, you’ve probably heard that the general public is freaking out at the (virtually unfounded) possibility that Oprah Winfrey could be running for president in 2020. People have taken the iconic public figure’s inspirational Golden Globes acceptance speech as an indication that she is making a bid for Donald Trump’s job in the next election and those closest to her aren’t doing a whole lot to stamp out those rumours.
When asked by The LA Times if she would make a run, Stedman Graham, her partner of 30 years, said, “it’s up to the people… She would absolutely do it.” Tuesday, best friend Gayle King said on CBS This Morning, “I do think she’s intrigued by the idea, I do think that” but added, “I don’t think at this point she’s actually considering it.” Any answer that isn’t a definitive “no” just feeds speculation so if the two people closest to Oprah (who both have decades of media experience) aren’t shooting down the public’s President Oprah fantasy, something is up. Is she floating the idea to see if there’s support? What are you doing, Oprah??
The one person who appears to be completely sure the media tycoon isn’t gunning for the Oval Office is the one who’s currently sitting there (or is supposed to be but isn’t, depending on who you believe). Donald Trump is sure that Oprah isn’t running, but if she was, he knows he would beat her.
President Trump to @JonKarl on if he could beat Oprah: “Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well…I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run.” https://t.co/OUqPhZTTnv pic.twitter.com/Wd2QTdxWGw
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 9, 2018
“Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah,” Trump said in response to a reporter question at his broadcasted immigration policy meeting, “Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well. You know, I did one of her last shows. This was before politics … I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run. I don’t think she’s going to run.”
While early numbers would indicate that Oprah would actually come out ahead in a U.S. presidential election against Trump, the president’s comments are particularly intriguing when you remember that he’s actual joked publicly about running with Oprah. In 1999, Donald Trump talked to Larry King about what a hypothetical run for the presidency would look like for him and said that his ideal VP would be none other than the woman who may run against him in 2020.
“I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice,” he told King, “If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman.” CNN re-released the interview because, despite being FAKE NEWS, they have all the receipts (0:55 in the video below).
Isn’t it beautiful that for every President Trump comment, there’s something from his past to contradict him? He suggested running with Oprah again in 2015 (a week after he announced his candidacy) but she was pretty obvious about not being on board with that. She told Jimmy Kimmel that she hadn’t received a call from Trump, but if she did, her response would be, “I’m with her.”
Is this what we have to look forward to in American politics for the foreseeable future? Celebrity versus celebrity while we all try to work out if there will ever be an experienced politician in the White House again? What’s going on here, Oprah? We need answers.