Oprah Winfrey – A Credible Presidential Candidate
Oprah Winfrey poses with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in the press room during The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California – Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America.
Oprah Winfrey hasn’t even said that she is considering running for president, but short of her putting an “It Won’t Be Me” cover on O, The Oprah Magazine, it’s likely that the media speculation will be a perpetual 2020 storyline, according to Variety.
Along with the boosterism of Oprah Winfrey for President, and the thought that she could even borrow Barack Obama’s campaign logo, is a whole counter reaction of naysayers.
President Donald Trump predicted that he would beat her (even though a new poll says she leads), and his press secretary vaguely said that she disagrees with Winfrey on some issues, while some columnists have weighed in with commentary on the celebrity-frication of the White House, or, in the case of some rightward detractors, by trying to link Oprah Winfrey to Harvey Weinstein.
Those who have run campaigns, however, say that as much as Oprah Winfrey, were she to run, would get a huge advantage in the form of name recognition, there are also the mechanics and stark realities of a presidential contest.
Mike Murphy, who was chief strategist to another celebrity candidate — Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful 2003 run for California governor — praised Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech and said that she would come in the race with significant advantages.
“The truth is that under the new rules, which aren’t even that new, she is very media savvy, she knows how to communicate her message and she is rich,” Murphy said. “That puts her in the hunt as a credible presidential candidate.”
Oprah Winfrey has shown a knack for capturing the zeitgeist of the American public, as was reflected in her decision to jump into the political fray and endorse Obama in his 2008 campaign. That, too, will be essential if she does really weigh the bid. A year from now, when the presidential contest will be revving up, Democrats and the public at large may favor Washington experience to counter Trump. Or they may just be looking for another celebrity political novice, albeit someone who speaks in the tone of a daily meditation rather than a daily drama.