Could Oprah Winfrey run for president and beat Donald Trump? The United States was ablaze Monday with speculation that the billionaire talk show queen might be nurturing White House ambitions after an impassioned Golden Globes speech.
Winfrey had barely heralded a “new day” following a sexual harassment watershed, before calls snowballed for one of America’s most famous women, a self-made tycoon born into poverty, to run for the highest office in the free world. Hollywood’s loathing of Trump and Democrats’ bafflement that a crass-talking reality star with no previous government experience could win the presidency have fuelled talk of, well, why not another television star, only one with the “right” politics?
Twitter ignited, Democrats championed her as superior to Trump and even Republicans admitted she was a formidable opponent to a reality star president, who himself named Winfrey as his pick for vice president in an interview 20 years ago.
The White House even waded in, saying Trump would “welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else,” when a spokesman was grilled aboard Air Force One.
The only fly in the ointment? Winfrey’s denial. “I don’t, I don’t,” she reportedly said backstage at the Globes when asked if she planned to run.
“There’ll be no running for office of any kind for me,” she told CBS in October. But fevered speculation only escalated. “Oprah for president? She’s got my vote,” tweeted pop superstar Lady Gaga.
CNN quoted two anonymous “close friends” as saying Winfrey was “actively thinking” about a presidential run. Her longtime partner suggested that she could be persuaded.