Is Oprah running for president in 2020? Maybe.
Oprah Winfrey, the former daytime television maven teased a presidential bid on Thursday when she tweeted out a New York Post article that hailed her as the “Democrats best hope for 2020.”
“Thanks for your VOTE of confidence,” Winfrey, 63, wrote in the post sharing the article, directing her comments to the column’s author, John Podhoretz.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) September 28, 2017
The piece opens praising Winfrey for her “60 Minutes” debut in moderating a panel of Michigan voters that included both Democrats and Republicans.
“The power came not really from what the panelists were saying but who the moderator was: Oprah Winfrey,” Podhoretz writes. “Listening, asking, speaking without judgment, trying to find common ground — it was a superb performance by Oprah.”
But for Podhoretz, it’s more than just Winfrey’s mediating charm that could get her into the White House. She’s uniquely positioned to oppose President Donald Trump.
Here’s how Oprah Winfrey could beat Donald Trump
“She is the mirror image of Trump, but more so. Of course, she’s female and he’s male; she’s America’s generous aunt and he’s America’s crazy uncle. And yes, she’s black and he’s white, she’s liberal and he’s whatever he is,” Podhoretz writes.
“It goes beyond that. He’s rich and she’s rich, but she made her $3 billion herself and with no controversy. She is, in herself, the embodiment of the American Dream. He got famous from TV, and so did she, but she became vastly more famous and vastly more successful at it,” he continues.
Politics are far off base for Winfrey — she endorsed Barack Obama back in 2007, mobilizing both wealthy donors and at least 1 million votes for the Democratic candidate.
It’s this combination that has convinced Podhoretz that Oprah can run for president — and win — in 2020, in theory at least.
“A Trump-Oprah contest cannot just be one of personalities. Trump did not just win due to his. His embrace of voter anger and the idea he would “Make America Great Again” gave his candidacy a fiery aspect no Republican could match and against which Hillary Clinton never found the right weapon,” he said.
“Oprah would need that, too. She can’t just be the anti-Trump. She would have to find a transcendent message of her own that rose above Democratic constituent service and spoke to the right people in the right states to take the fight to Trump’s underbelly,” Podhoretz continued. “She can do it — in theory.”
So, is Oprah Winfrey running for president in 2020?
Whether Winfrey will actually run for president in 2020 is anyone’s guess. Amid speculation in June that she might take her chances, she definitively shut down the rumors.
“I will never run for public office,” Winfrey said. “That’s a pretty definitive thing.”