In the aftermath of Oprah Winfrey’s very presidential-seeming Golden Globes acceptance speech, an especially ironic video surfaced: A 1999 interview with Donald Trump, in which he said Oprah would be his first pick as a running mate.
“I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice,” Trump said in an interview with Larry King. “She’s really a great woman. She’s a terrific woman. She’s very special.”
That was the consensus after Winfrey’s speech Sunday night, when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. She spoke to the evening’s theme, sexual harassment and misconduct. “I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon,” said the media mogul. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women … and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders that take us to the time when nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”
Although Winfrey didn’t hint at a political future in so many words, the internet did it for her. The reaction instantly permeated most corners of the culture: The speech was called “jaw-dropping” by”Rolling Stone, Stephen Colbert posted a takeoff of the iconic Obama poster titled “Hope-Rah,” the online housewares store Fishs Eddy sold out of an Oprah 2020 mug in hours, and CNN launched an “Oprah 2020” live blog.
On Sunday night, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that Winfrey was “actively thinking about” running for president and had been for several months.
The Trump administration said bring it on. “Regardless of who is on the ballot… they are going to have to face a president who has record-setting achievements in record-setting time,” said White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley. “We welcome the challenge whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else. We welcome all comers.”