This 1 Thing Might Make Oprah Run for President
Will Oprah Winfrey run for president in 2020? That’s the question that has been on everyone’s mind for over a year now. Winfrey has answered it many times, but although she keeps saying no, every now and then, she teases us with a comment that makes it seem as if she was at least considering it.
Here’s a look at the ongoing saga of Winfrey’s possible presidential bid, and the one surprising thing that she says might convince her to run.
In January 2017, she said she wouldn’t run
After the 2016 election, during which it became clear that a celebrity with no political experience could become president, Democrats looked for celebrities on their side of the aisle who are tremendously popular and could potentially win in 2020. Winfrey’s name immediately came up.
“Never!” she declared. “Never. Never. No, it’s not my thing.”
Next: Two months later, Winfrey’s answer changed.
Two months later, she said running is a possibility
Two months later, in an interview in March 2017, Winfrey changed her tune a bit. She said that for the first time, she considers the idea of running for president a possibility. “I never considered the conversation even a possibility,” she said. “…I thought, oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough. And now I’m thinking … oh.”
Later in the conversation, she did suggest that she won’t run, saying “that won’t be happening.” But this idea that it’s a possibility was certainly a shift after the “never” she gave Colbert.
Next: Later in the year, Winfrey gives us a big hint that she might run.
She shared an article arguing that she’s the Democrats’ best hope
After that March interview, Winfrey said a few more times that she won’t run for president. In June 2017, for instance, she said, “I will never run for public office. That’s a pretty definitive thing.”
But as the months went on, it certainly didn’t seem like Winfrey didn’t want people to speculate about a presidential bid. After all, in September 2017, she took to Twitter to share an article arguing that Winfrey is the Democrats’ best hope to beat Trump.
“Thanks for your VOTE of confidence!” Winfrey wrote in response to the article.
Next: A trusted news source reports something surprising about Oprah’s political future.
After her memorable Golden Globes speech, CNN reported she was considering running
At the Golden Globes in January 2018, Winfrey received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, and her speech ended up being the most talked about of the entire evening by far. In an address that was hailed as being both inspiring and emotional, Winfrey discussed the recent movements to fight sexual harassment, declaring, “a new day is on the horizon.”
This speech immediately reignited speculation that she will run for president. And the day after the Golden Globes, CNN reported that Winfrey is now “actively thinking” about running. Winfrey subsequently reiterated that she won’t run, though.
Next: This is the one thing that would convince Oprah to run.
She now says she will only run if she receives a sign from God
In late February 2018, when talking about a possible presidential bid in an interview, Winfrey gave exactly the kind of answer you would expect from a future presidential candidate.
Winfrey told PEOPLE on Feb. 28 that after being called on to run, she went into prayer. “‘God, if you think I’m supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it,'” Winfrey said. “And I haven’t gotten that.”
So Winfrey seems to indicate that it’s possible she’ll run if she gets a sign from God. This essentially creates the ideal situation for Winfrey; if she ends up running, it will be because she received her sign. But if she ends up not running, it will just be because she never got one.
Next: Oprah finally gets her sign from God — well, sort of.
On The Late Show, she got that sign — sort of
Not long after that interview in which Winfrey asked for a sign from God, she went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and the late-night talk show host decided to give her that sign.
Colbert has a recurring bit where a cartoon depiction of God talks to him while being projected onto the ceiling. So during his interview with Oprah, Colbert had God appear on the ceiling and hold up a sign that says, “run!”, as well as a bunch of “Oprah 2020” merchandise.
Even as part of this bit, though, Winfrey held back from saying she’d run. “It’s not something I’ve ever seen myself doing,” she said. “It’s not the kind of job that you can have without fulling devoting yourself to it 100%.”
Next: Donald Trump responds to all of this, and Oprah reacts.
Donald Trump says he’d love to run against Oprah
The idea of Winfrey running for president has gained so much momentum that it has earned a response from President Trump himself, who has had a complicated relationship with his potential 2020 rival.
During a speech on March 10, Trump said that he would love to run against Oprah. “I’d love Oprah to win [the Democratic nomination],” he said. “I’d love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness. I know her weakness. You know, I know her very well.”
Trump had previously tweeted about this subject. He wrote on Feb. 19, “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”
Winfrey did not tweet back, and when asked to respond, she avoided doing so. “I don’t like giving negativity power,” she told Ellen DeGeneres.
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